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Why isn't it working?

Your wireless network may have been working fine for a long while before it suddenly stopped working. Your Wi-Fi network may have never worked at all.  HP strips away the technical jargon to give you the solutions to your Wi-Fi problems.

 

1-2-3 Troubleshooting made easy

Network troubleshooting always starts with the hardware devices you are using and the cables that connect them. The process is the same with Wi-Fi networks.

Use the following steps to verify that your modems, adapters, routers and access points (AP) are turned on and connected properly.

Step 1 - Check the wires

  • Look at your cable or DSL modem for disconnected cables or wires. Make sure the power cable is connected and the lights are on.

  • Verify that the wireless router is connected to the power adapter and modem. Make sure the lights are on.

  • Reseat all cables and turn the power off then back on again to "Power Cycle" both the modem and access point or router.  It may take 30-60 seconds to re-establish a wireless connection.

Industry standard symbol for wireless Note: Most HP Notebook PCs have wireless devices built-in. To turn on the built-in device, simply press the wireless power button on your PC which will have the universal symbol for Wi-Fi (shown here on the left) and illuminate with a blue light.

Step 2 - Check your HP Notebook PC Software

HP System Check for Notebook PCs compares known issues against current system software settings and hardware performance to detect and assist you with a solution.

Begin using HP System Check for Notebook PCs Click here to begin using the HP System Check for HP Notebook PCs
 

Step 3 - Check Your Network Settings

You may also use the HP Network Assistant to validate your wired and wireless network settings.

Start using the HP Network Assistant

Click here to start using the HP Networking Assistant

 

Advanced Network Troubleshooting

In addition to the automated tools you may find the following manual options for troubleshooting your network to be of some help.

 
Install Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Windows XP

Microsoft has released the Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)  update that enhances your wireless network configurations tools.  HP recommends updating to SP2 if you have a wireless network.

Upgrading to Microsoft Windows XP SP2

 
Check the wireless network adapter
  • If your wireless network adapter is built-in to your notebook PC, verify that the adapter is turned on. Some notebook PCs have an on/off button on the front or side that corresponds to a blue or red light. Press the button to turn the wireless adapter on.

  • In Microsoft Windows XP, let Windows re-detect the wireless adapter. Remove the adapter from the PCMCIA slot or USB port and re-insert it while Windows is running.

  • Look for lights on the wireless network adapter. The light should be on or blinking. If the light is off, the adapter may need to be re-inserted.

  • Update the wireless adapter software and drivers. Locate the updated software and drivers at the adapter's manufacturer Web site.

Check the wireless router or Access Point
  • The Power light should always be solid indicating that it is on. If the power light is not on, check the power adapter or try a new power outlet.

  • The Test light should be on only when the router is first turned on or if it is reset. If the Test light is always on, your router may have a mechanical problem.

  • The Internet Link light should be solidly on if the router is connected to a LAN, DSL, or Cable modem. The DSL or Cable modem must be on for the Link light to be solid.

  • The WLAN or Wireless light should be solidly on at all times. Even when there are not any wireless devices connected to the router. The WLAN activity light should flash when there are packets being sent or received from any computer connected through the router.

Repair the wireless connection
  • In Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), the Repair capability has been enhanced for wireless connections. When you repair a wireless connection, it is disabled and re-enabled, which clears many error conditions on wireless network adapters.

  • You can access the Repair capability by double-clicking the wireless connection icon in your system tray and clicking the Support tab.

Re-enter your WEP or WPA keys

Incorrect configuration of your encryption settings is the most common cause of wireless network problems. Depending upon the type of wireless network you are connecting to, wireless encryption (WEP) can vary in complexity and security. In general, follow these steps to resolve encryption problems:

1) Click Start and then Connect To and then select Show all connections.
2) Double-click the Wireless Network Connection icon (see picture below.)
  Windows XP wireless networking connection icon
3)

Click the Properties button and then the Wireless Networks tab.

4)

Double-click the network name you are connecting to in the Preferred networks box.

5)

Enter your encryption key into the Network Key box and re-enter the key in the box below that (see picture below.

Wireless Properties window in Windows XP
 

Note: If you have forgotten your wireless encryption keys or password then you will need to reset the encryption keys in your wireless router configuration settings.

 

Need more help?

Find the professional and detailed answers you are looking for by visiting our partner's support and knowledge web sites.

Microsoft: Troubleshooting Windows XP IEEE 802.11 Wireless Access

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