Troubleshooting Hard Wired and Wireless Network Connectivity in Windows 7 and 8 Part 1

If you are having network connectivity issues in Windows there could be a variety of reasons why. Here are some common issues you can check that can cause these problems:

 

 

 

  • Make sure your wireless network adapter switch on your laptop or desktop is enabled and turned on
  • Network security key or password problems verify the password was typed in correctly
  • Cables that are not connected properly or are faulty – try unplugging and re-plugging or replacing the existing cables
  • Corrupted or incompatible drivers – try uninstalling and reinstalling drivers for the network hardware
  • Missing updates
  • Network connection settings
  • Hardware or software problems

Attempt Connection

Test your network connection after each step before going on to the next step.

Connect to a Wireless Network in Windows 7 or 8

If your computer connects to the network through a broadband router, try power cycling your modem and router (unplug both devices from power, wait about one minute, and plug in the modem, wait another minute, and then plug in the router). If you do not use a broadband router, or if resetting your router only temporarily resolves the issue and the network connectivity issue returns, continue to the following steps.

 

If you have another laptop or a PC computer with a working wireless network adapter, you can test the network connectivity by trying to connect with this computer.  The available wireless networks will only appear if your PC has a working wireless network adapter, the adapter is turned on, and the wireless access point is within range.

 

 

You can see and connect to wireless networks within range by following these steps:

  1. Click the wireless network icon  in the notification area this will bring up the list of available networks.
  2. In the list of wireless networks, click the network you want to connect to, and click Connect.
  3. If you are connecting to a secure network, type the security password, and then click OK.

 

Where can the network security passkey be located?

If your PC is already connected to the network you can find it in your network settings.

 

  1. Click the network icon. Choose the network you want to connect to or are already connected to, and then click Connect.
  2. Right-click the network name or click View connection properties, and then click the Security tab.
  3. Select the Show characters check box.

If you are looking for the security key so that you can connect to the network, first look for a reset button on your router. If you find a reset button, press it and hopefully the router will automatically add your PC to the network. Some wireless routers have a default security key that you can usually find on a sticker on the bottom of the router. If you still can’t find it, you can use the wireless router settings webpage via hard wire. This is where you can find the default security passkey.

 

Finding Network Security Key Via Router Settings Webpage

  1. Connect your PC to the router with a network or Ethernet cable.
  2. Open a web browser and enter the IP address for your wireless router into the search bar (some common ones are, 192.168.1.1 or 172.16.0.0). You can find the default IP address in the documentation that came with your router.
  3. Enter the user name and password to open the router settings webpage. Most router documentation will also include a default user name and password that you can use.
  4. On the router settings webpage, look for a wireless or a wireless settings option.
  5. On the wireless settings page, look for a security or wireless encryption setting. The security passkey should be listed in this section.

 

 

Use security-enabled wireless networks whenever possible. If you do not connect to a secure network it is possible for someone with the right tools can see everything that you do on your computer including your user names and passwords. Changing your network location to Public can help decrease the risk of this happening.

Choosing the Public network setting for networks in public places (ie. coffee shops or airports):

 

 

This location is designed to keep your computer from being visible to other computers nearby you this helps to protect your computer from any malicious threat from the Internet. You should also choose this network connection option whenever you connect your device directly to the Internet without using a router, or if you are using a mobile broadband connection.

How To Troubleshoot Connection Problems

If both computers are not able to connect to your designated network you may need to call your ISP to make sure that everything is functional and running on their end.  If everything is good on their end and you are still having trouble connecting to a wireless network please try these troubleshooting tips.


What if I don’t see my wireless network in the list of available networks?

Your wireless router might not be set to show the network ID (SSID). If your router is set up this way you will not be able to see the network when doing a search for available networks. Enabling your router to show its network ID makes the network visible to any nearby user within range.

 

 

To see if your wireless router has this setting on and to enable the option to show the network ID (SSID), you may have to find information on your specific router to change this setting or try these steps:

  1. Connect your PC to the network using a network cable, start Internet Explorer, and type the IP address for your wireless router (ie. 192.168.1.1).

 

Finding your IP address using Command Prompt:

    • Access your Start Menu
    • Hover over “All Programs”
    • Click on Accessories when the menu pops up
    • Click on Command Prompt
    • Type in “ipconfig” once the program comes up and hit the Enter key
    • Search for your IP address next to IPv4

 

 

 

Find IP address with Windows Network and Sharing Center

    • Access the Control Panel through the Start menu
    • Select Network and Internet
    • Select Network and Sharing Center
    • Select Wireless Network Connection for wireless internet or Local Network
    • Connection for hard wired internet
    • Click on Details
    • Find your IP address by looking next to IPv4 Address

 

 

 

  • Enter the user name and password to access the router settings. The documentation for your router will contain the default user name and password if you do not have these.
  • On the wireless router page, find a Wireless Settings option.
  • On the Wireless Settings page, look for an option to Enable SSID Broadcast or Wireless SSID Broadcast. Click the radio button or place a check in the box to enable this option, then, save your router settings.

 

 

 

You can now check to see if your network is available and accessible.

 

No WIFI after PC Wakes Up From Sleep or Hibernation

 

 

Check for these few things:

  • Auto connect may be turned off for this network on your computer. Select the Connect automatically check box and then try to connect to the network.
  • Lots of laptops disable wired networking to save battery juice. The solution here is to plug your laptop in.
  • When your computer comes out of sleep or hibernation, the wireless network connection may not reconnect if the power options on your wireless adapter are set to a power-saving mode.

 

 

 

More tips to troubleshoot your network coming soon.