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HP PCs - Troubleshooting Wired Home Networks (Windows 7)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq PCs with Windows 7 using a wired local area network (LAN).
Use the steps in this document to troubleshoot wired home network issues in Windows 7. Test the network connection after performing each step. If the problem is not fixed, continue to the next step.
Step 1: Complete the network connection checklist to troubleshoot network issues
Many network connection issues are caused by problems with the cables or firewall settings. Use the following checklist to solve these problems with home networks:
  • Check all of the network cables and wires. A loose or disconnected cable or wire prevents a network connection and Internet access. Check the following connections:
    • Network cable from the modem to the network hub (or router).
    • Network cable from the network hub to the RJ-45 network port on the computer.
      Figure : Shape of RJ-45 connector
    • Network cable between two computers.
  • Check the lights on the network hub. The lights can often show the location of a connection problem.
  • If you are trying to connect to another computer on the network, make sure that computer is turned on.
  • Check the firewall settings on all the computers on the network. The firewall settings may be preventing network access.
After performing the items in the checklist, try to connect to the network.
If you do not experience problems with the network, you are done.
If you are still experiencing problems with the network, continue with the next step to use the Network and Sharing Center.
Step 2: Using the Network and Sharing Center in Windows 7
The Network and Sharing Center displays the status of the network and allows you to set up network discovery and file sharing across the network. Follow these steps to use the Network and Sharing Center:
  1. Click Start , Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet.
    Figure : Network and Internet
    Network and Internet Control Panel window
  2. Click Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Check the status of the network at the top of the window:
    • A green line between the computer name and the network name indicates a good connection to the network.
      Figure : Good network connection
      Network and Sharing Center showing good network connection
    • A line with a red X indicates a broken or missing connection.
      Figure : Broken or missing connection
      Network and Sharing Center showing bad network connection
    If the connection is broken or missing, click Connect to a network to attempt a network connection.
  4. The Network area displays the network access and connection.
    Figure : Network area
    Network area of Network and Sharing Center
  5. Click Choose Homegroup and sharing options.
  6. In the Homegroup settings window, click Change advanced sharing settings.
    Figure : Homegroup settings
    Homegroup settings window
  7. Turn on network discovery and file and printer sharing. In addition, now is a good time to review the other settings and turn them on or off as needed.
    Figure : Advanced sharing settings
    Advanced sharing settings window
      note:
    These settings must be enabled on all computers in order to share across the network. For example, if File sharing is turned off on one of the computers on the network, you cannot access the files on that computer through the network.
    • Network discovery: Turn on network discovery to allow the computer to find other network computers and devices.
    • File and printer sharing: Turn on file sharing to share files and folders with other computers on the network and to allow network users access to the printers connected to this computer. Network users must know the user name and password of a user account on this computer to access the printers.
    • Public folder sharing: Turn on Public folder sharing to allow other computers access to the Public folder on the computer. You can choose to have users of other computers on the network to be able to open files, open and modify files, or to deny access to network users.
    • Media streaming: Turn on media streaming to allow network users to access shared music, pictures, and videos on this computer.
    • File sharing connections: Windows 7 uses 128-bit encryption to protect sharing connections. Some devices cannot support 128-bit encryption. If you are using one of these devices on the network, change the setting to enable 40- or 50-bit encryption.
    • Password protected sharing: Turn on password protected sharing to require network users to enter a user name and password of a user account on this computer to access files, folders, and printers over the network. Turn off password protected sharing to allow everyone on the network access to this computer.
    After configuring the settings in the Network and Sharing Center, try to connect to the network.
    If you no longer experience problems with the network, you are done.
    If you are still experiencing problems with the network, continue with the next step to use Windows 7 diagnostic and troubleshooting tools.
Step 3: Using Windows 7 diagnostic and troubleshooting tools
Windows 7 includes a network diagnostic tool and a network troubleshooter. Both tools help to identify network problems and provide possible solutions.
Step 4: Uninstalling and reinstalling the network adapter software in Windows 7
If the network is still having problems, there may be an issue with the network adapter. You can check the network adapter using the Network and Internet Troubleshooter in the previous step. Alternatively, follow these steps to uninstall and reinstall the network adapter software in Device Manager:
  1. Click Start , and enter Device Manager into the Search field. Click Device Manager.
    Figure : Opening Device Manager
    Opening Device Manager from the Search field
  2. Double-click the Network adapters category.
    Figure : Network adapters
    Device Manager window showing Network adapters expanded
  3. Right-click the name of the Network Adapter and select Uninstall.
  4. On the Confirm Device Uninstall window, click OK.
  5. When the network adapter drivers have been uninstalled, restart the computer.
  6. After the computer restarts and completes the installation of the device driver software, try connecting to the Internet. If the problem still exists, continue with the next step to update the network drivers.
Step 5: Updating the network drivers
From a computer that has Internet access, check the HP Web site for network drivers for your product. If one is available, download and install the latest update for your network hardware. Use the following steps:
  1. If you are presented with a page to enter your model number, enter your model number. For example, Pavilion p6230f or TouchSmart 600-1050uk.
  2. Select the version of Windows the computer is using.
  3. Click the Driver - Network link.
  4. Select the network or modem driver update. For example, Realtek RTL8139 LAN Driver Update.
  5. Follow the instructions on the download page to download and install the update.
  6. When done, restart the computer and connect to the Internet again.

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