TechSpot

Wireless internet stopped working suddenly

By michaeleast1
Sep 6, 2009
  1. I have a HP Pavillion laptop and the other day I closed the lid, came back an hour later an had no internet access. I know its not the router because I grabbed my wiles laptop and set them side by side at the ssame table and her worked just fine.

    Here are some steps I have already tried:

    turned off and on the wireless switch a few times - no luck

    went into device manager and deletedd the hardware for the wireless. Restartedd the computer, vista reinstalled the hardware automatically - no luck

    shut down the computer for a few hours hoping this would hekp. - no luck

    I'm baffled and am not very good at this stuff. Please respond like your talking to a 5yr old. I know, embarrassing, but true.
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Laptop internal wireless cards are known to fail. Try attaching a usb wireless device and see if you can connect
     
  3. michaeleast1

    michaeleast1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What is that?
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

  5. michaeleast1

    michaeleast1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So all I have to do is plug this into a usb port and I will have internet access? Thats it?
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    Yes, the computer will detect and install the device, and your computer will tell you if any wireless networks are being detected
     
  7. MrDJ009

    MrDJ009 TS Rookie Posts: 78

    Before investing $$ check out a few more things.

    Don't you hate it when your wireless does this to you? I hate to admit it but I encounter this problem far too often. I would hold off investing in a removable wireless device such as the USB adapter until you've absolutely determined that your wireless card is the problem. There are a number of things you can do the check out you notebook before spending money. Since you powered down your router and your 2nd computer isn't having issues this probably rules out the router and modem as the bad guys--for the moment. Try one, or all, of the following three tests before going forward.

    TEST #1:
    Make sure you didn't disable your wireless capability by moving the switch on your notebook which enables Wi-Fi. Manufacturers sometimes use sliding switches and put them in places that make it easy to inadvertently turn off the notebook's wireless capability. If it was off your Internet connection should be re-established once it's turned back on. If this wasn't your problem try Test#2.

    TEST #2:
    One of the most frequent villains is the inability of your notebook to to get a valid IP address which is assigned by your router. This is one of the first things I check when my connection drops for no apparent reason and I cannot get it back easily. To trouble shoot this try the following:

    Check the status of your network connection. This is done by checking the icon (two overlapping computer monitors on the task bar). If you have a red X over the computers you do not have a network connection (to your router). If you don't have the X and move your mouse over the icon and it will say: "Access: Local Only" or "Access: Local and Internet". The latter is what you want but apparently don't have.

    If you don't have a network connection or you have "Local Only" connectivity the next step is to check your computers IP address. This address is normally automatically assigned by your router to your notebook when you turn it on. Run the Vista accessory program called "Command Prompt". When the window pops up type "ipconfig.exe" next to the C:\...> prompt and this will tell you your computers IP address(es). Check under "Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection" and note the IPv4 Address. If the address begins with 192.168.xxx.xxx the router is properly giving your computer a usable address. If you see an address that begins with 169.254.xxx.xxx, or you don't have any address, the router and the computer are not correctly connecting to one another and Vista is giving you a default IP address which is useless for getting to the Internet.

    If you have an IP address problem, it doesn't necessarily mean that any of your hardware is defective. It only means that they have lost their way--as crazy as this might sound--and your goal is to re-sync everything. First, try and re-establish a manual connection from your notebook to the router by left clicking on the task bars network icon and choosing "Connect to a network". You should get a list of available wireless networks which includes your router. Right click on your router and choose "connect". If you're back online you're done. If you're not allowed a connection due to an invalid security key you may have to reenter the security key into your notebook, then try again. For some reason wireless clients occasionally just "lose" their security key. This is done by right clicking on the router and choosing "properties". If one of these two steps don't fix the problem try the next test.

    TEST #3:
    For the record I have no clue why the next procedure works but this solution has bailed me out of this problem many, many times. Disable the notebooks wireless capability by turning off the wireless switch on the computer. Then use an Ethernet LAN cable to plug your notebook directly into your router. If you do this correctly, you should now have "Access: Local and Internet". Now launch your browser, surf the web and make sure everything is working OK. You might also check your IP address to make sure the router and computer are on good "speaking" terms again. You should have an IP address in the 192.168.xxx.xxx range. If everything is functioning normally shut Windows down and unplug the network cable. Turn the wireless switch back on and reboot your notebook. If you have normal wireless Internet everything is back to normal and you're DONE. At this point if you don't get an automatic router connection you may have to manually reconnect using the procedure in Test#2 above.

    If neither of the above three procedures work. There are still a couple of things that should be done before declaring your notebooks Wi-Fi to be DOA. But first try the above. Good Luck.
     
  8. michaeleast1

    michaeleast1 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    OK. Sorry for getting back so long. I have tried everything here with no luck. I did go ahead and purchase the D-link wireless usb plug and it is working, but very slow. Yet, here is a mystery. Twice since I posted this link, while using my laptop, the little box popped up in the bottom right of the screen telling me my wireless was on. And sure enough, it was working all by itself. I unplugged the D-link from the USB and it remained connected for a few hours till I shut it down. When I restarted it, it wasn't working again. Then about a week later the exact thing happened, but this time on start up. It worked until I shut it down and then nothing again so I'm back to using the USB. I'm completeely baffled on this. I sure hope to get it figured out because it works so much faster when the built in wireless is working.
     
  9. MrDJ009

    MrDJ009 TS Rookie Posts: 78

    You did not say if you were,or were not, having an IP address problem. When you are unable to connect does your notebook have a 169.254.xxx.xxx IP address?

    Also, try and find another wireless router to connect to. Perhaps a friend or relative can allow you to connect to their router. If you have no problems connecting to other routers this would rule out your notebook as having a defective WiFi card.
     
  10. michaeleast1

    michaeleast1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    When I did a lookup for the ip address it showd none. However, when directly plugged in to the router I was able to locate one.

    On the second request, I was unable to connect to another wireless router.
     
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