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Troubleshooting wireless network and Internet (Windows Vista)

This document pertains to HP computers using a wireless network (a router) with Windows Vista.
Wi-Fi networking is a convenient way to access the Internet. However, a lot of things that can go wrong when using a wireless connection and it can be frustrating when the connection is slow, intermittently drops, or cannot connect. The steps in this document provide tools that have been found helpful in solving many problems that can occur with wireless network and Internet connections.
Step 1: Using automatic troubleshooting
The Windows 8 Network and Internet Troubleshooter tests the network for problems and attempts automatic repairs for any issues found. Use this tool from Microsoft to test and repair the connection.
  1. If your computer has a wireless key or button on or near the keyboard and the wireless activity light is off or amber in color, then press the key or button to enable your wireless adapter. This key might be the F10 key, F12 key or labeled with a symbol of an airplane.
    • If wireless activity comes on or the activity light turns blue, you have enabled wireless on your system. Try connecting to the Internet again. If problems persist, continue using these steps.
    • If your computer does not have a wireless key or the wireless activity lights remains off or orange, then continue using these steps.
  2. Click Start , type troubleshooting into the Search field.
  3. Select troubleshooting from the search results.
  4. Click Network and Internet.
  5. Click Internet Connections.
    Figure : Internet Connections
    Internet Connections selection highlighted in the Network and Internet window
  6. Click Advanced.
    Figure : Advanced selection
    Internet Connections selection highlighted in the Network and Internet window
  7. Click Run as administrator (if present), check Apply repairs automatically, and then click Next.
     note:
    If a User Account Control window opens, click Yes to continue.
    Figure : Internet Connections selections
    Internet Connections window with the selections Run as administrator, Apply repairs automatically, and the Next button  highlighted
  8. Click Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet, and click Next.
    Follow the instructions to check for problems.
    Figure : Internet Connection window
    Internet Connections window with Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet selection  highlighted
  9. After automated troubleshooting has completed, read the information on the screen.
    • If problems are found, the window provides more information about problems that found. This window might also show you what was fixed or actions that you can do to resolve the problem. Read the information in the window and perform any suggested actions. Try connecting to the Internet again. If problems persist, close the troubleshooting window, and then continue to the next step.
    • If no problems were found and your computer is still experiencing Wi-Fi problems, close the troubleshooting window, and then continue to the next step.
    Figure : Troubleshooting has completed message
    Troubleshooting has completed message with problems found: a network cable might be unplugged and wireless capability turned off (fixed)
Step 2: Reinstalling the wireless network adapter driver
Removing and reinstalling the wireless network adapter driver can clear registry values and reset configurations so that the driver can be properly setup and accessed by Windows. Use one of the following sections to reinstall your wireless adapter.
Step 3: Updating wireless network drivers
Downloading and installing the latest driver for your wireless adapter can resolve issues with wireless Internet connections, especially issues related to performance or intermittent dropped connections.
Use one or more of the following sections to find updated drivers for your wireless networking hardware. If you cannot find an updated driver or the updated driver fails to solve the problem, go to the next step.
Step 4: Checking and reset hardware
Resetting the hardware on your wireless network in the proper sequence can resolve a variety of connection and performance problems.
  1. Click Start , and then click Shut down.
    Figure : Shut down
    Image: Shut down
  2. If your network includes a wireless router, wireless gateway or wireless modem/router combination, unplug the power cord.
    Figure : Power cord being unplugged from the back of a router
    Power cord being unplugged from the back of a router
  3. If your network includes a separate broadband modem, unplug the power cord from the broadband modem.
  4. Wait for about five seconds, and then plug the power cord into the wireless router (and broadband modem, if separate).
  5. Wait until all lights come on, and then reflect normal Internet and computer activity. If the lights on the broadband modem indicate a problem, refer to the following list of options for help:
    • If all lights are off after reconnecting the power, check the power source by plugging the power cord into another power outlet. Service or replace your broadband modem if it cannot be turned on.
    • If only the power light is on and the remaining activity lights are off or show no activity, a network connection is not being detected. Make sure the cable carrying the Internet signal is connected to the broadband device. Ensure Internet cables coming into your residence have not been damaged or disconnected. You might need to contact your Internet service provider if other people in your area are also experiencing Internet outages.
    • If the Internet or Online light consistently blinks and does not indicate an online connection is available, the problem likely resides with your Internet service provider. Either wait until service is restored or contact your Internet service provider for further assistance.
  6. Turn on your computer and wait until Windows opens. If you are using a notebook computer, perform a hard reset at this time.
    Wait until Windows automatically connects to your wireless Internet connection.
  7. Right-click the network connection icon in the system tray, and select Network and Sharing Center.
  8. Select Manage network connections.
  9. Verify the status of the wireless network.
    In this graphic, the wireless network is disabled.
  10. To enable the network, right-click the connection, and then select enable. It might take a few seconds for the connection to become enabled.
    A window might open prompting you for a password or push button connect actions depending on the type of security you are using.
  11. If you can connect to the network and to the Internet, you are done. If not, continue with the next step.
Step 5: Performing a Microsoft System Restore
If the computer was working on the wireless network in the past, but now cannot connect or performs poorly, use Microsoft System Restore to restore your system files back to a date and time when wireless networking was working well. For more information about how to use System Restore, see Using Microsoft System Restore (Windows Vista).
Step 6: Other things to try
If your computer is still experiencing Wi-Fi connection or performance problems, one of the following sections might help resolve the issue.

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