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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Troubleshooting Your Wireless Network (Windows 7)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq Desktop PCs using a wireless network (a router) with Windows 7.

This document describes how to diagnose and troubleshoot wireless network problems.

The following sections provide detailed explanations of the troubleshooting process and corrective actions.

Identify the network connection problem

When troubleshooting a computer that cannot connect to a wireless (Wi-Fi) network or to the Internet, do the following:

  1. Check the status of the Network Connection icon in the notification area:

    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is not displayed in the notification area, follow these steps to display the icon:
    1. Right-click the date and time in the notification area, and then click Customize notification icons .

      Figure 1: Notification area menu

      Image of notification area menu
    2. In the drop-down list next to Network, select Show icon and notifications .

      Figure 2: Network Area Icons

      Image of Network Area Icons window
    3. Click OK .

  2. To check the status of the computer, the network, and the Internet connection, right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area, and then click Open Network and Sharing Center .

    Figure 3: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
  3. In the Network and Sharing Center, look at the network status.

    A yellow exclamation symbol indicates a problem with the connection. A red X indicates no connection. This information changes as the network status changes.

    Figure 4: Network status

    Network status
    NOTE: Click the red X to open Windows Network Diagnostics and check for problems.
  4. In the following table, identify the connection problem and select the symptom that most closely describes your problem.

    Red X between the computer and the Internet.
    The home wireless network is not set up or the wireless router is turned off or frozen. See Wireless network is not active .
    Yellow exclamation between the computer and the network.
    The computer was connected to the home wireless network in the past, but now it cannot connect to the home wireless network or has a limited access message. See Cannot connect to an existing wireless network or have limited access to the Internet .
    Red X between the network and the Internet
    The computer has been connected to the home wireless network in the past, and it did have access to the Internet, but now it cannot connect to the Internet even though it can connect to the wireless network. See Can connect to the wireless network but not to the Internet .
    Slow connections, or dropped frames in live television.
    The computer is connected to your home wireless network and you have access to the Internet, but the connection is slow or dropped. See Slow or dropped connections .
    Cannot share files with another computer on the network.
    The wireless network is working correctly but you cannot access files on another computer on the network. See Wireless network is working but you cannot share files with another computer .

Once you have determined the type of network connection problem, use one of the following sections that matches the problem:

Wireless network is not active

If the Network and Sharing Center displays a red X between the computer icon and the Internet icon, the computer is not connected to the network. The home wireless network is not set up or the wireless router is turned off or frozen.

If you have not set up your home wireless network, or you tried setting it up but the computer has never been able to connect to that network, see Creating a Wireless Home Network in Windows 7 .

If you have connected to the wireless network before, but cannot connect now, follow these steps to connect to the network

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

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

  3. Reset the wireless router by turning it off, unplugging it from power, waiting 5 seconds, and then plugging the power back in.

  4. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area to check if the wireless network is displayed. If the network is displayed, click Connect next to the name of the wireless network to connect to the network.

Cannot connect to an existing wireless network or have limited access to the Internet

If the computer has been connected to your home wireless network in the past, and had access to the Internet, but now it cannot connect to the wireless network or displays a limited access message, follow these steps to try to fix the problem.

Test the connection after performing each step. If the problem is not fixed, continue to the next step.

For more information on a given step, click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.

Step 1: Check the hardware and cables

Use the following steps to verify that your modem, adapter, and router and access points are turned on and connected correctly:

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

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

  3. Reseat all the cables and power cords.

  4. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Connect next to the name of the wireless network.

    If the network name is not displayed, click the Refresh button to scan for wireless network signals.

Step 2: Reset the power to the network router and the ISP or DSL modem

When a computer establishes a connection with a router or with the Internet, it uses several IP addresses to manage the communication. If the electrical power to the computer, the router, or the Internet service is interrupted momentarily, the IP address might change and disrupt the connections. The indicator lights on the equipment might indicate that a connection exists, but the IP addresses might not be correct. To re-estabish the correct IP addresses, reset the power as follows:

  1. Completely shut down the computer. Click Start , and then click Shut Down .

    Figure 5: Shutting down the computer

    Shutting down the computer
  2. Unplug the power to the network router and to the ISP or DSL modem.

  3. Wait at least 30 seconds before continuing.

  4. Reconnect the power to the modem and allow it to re-establish a connection to the ISP.

  5. Reconnect the power to the router and allow it to re-estabish the connections to the modem and other components.

  6. Turn on the computer.

  7. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Connect next to the name of the wireless network.

    If the network name is not displayed, click the Refresh button to scan for wireless network signals.

Step 3: Run Windows Network Diagnostics

Windows 7 monitors the network and Internet connections. If it detects a problem, Windows 7 displays a no connection or limited connection message, and prompts you for permission to diagnose the problem. Click OK to allow Windows 7 to diagnose the problem and restore the connection.

To run the diagnostic tool manually, use one of the following options:

  • No error message is displayed, but there is no Internet connection:

    Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area, and then click Troubleshoot problems . Windows Network Diagnostics checks for problems.

    Figure 6: Troubleshoot problems

    Image of notification area
  • The Network Connection icon is missing in the notification area:

    1. Click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

      Figure 7: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

      Image of the Start menu
    2. In the Network and Sharing Center, click the yellow exclamation symbol or the red X in the Network status area to run Windows Network Diagnostics.

      Figure 8: Network status

      Image of Network status area

Step 4: Use the Windows 7 Network and Internet Troubleshooter

Windows 7 has a Network and Internet Troubleshooter that tests the network for problems and automatically repairs the software connections if applicable. Use this tool to test and repair the connection:

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 9: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

    Figure 10: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

    Image of the Start menu
  2. Click Troubleshoot problems .

    Figure 11: Troubleshoot problems

    Image of Network and Sharing Center

    The Network and Internet Troubleshooter opens.

  3. Click Internet Connections to test the Internet connection.

    Figure 12: Network and Internet Troubleshooter

    Image of the Network and Internet Troubleshooter
  4. Follow the instructions to check for problems.

  5. If the problem is resolved, you are done.

    If the problem continues, return to the Network and Internet Troubleshooter and click Network Adapter to test the adapter.

Step 5: Make sure the wireless network connection is enabled

A disabled network connection prevents the computer from connecting to the network. Follow these steps to check the status of the wireless network connection:

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 13: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
  2. In the Network and Sharing Center, click Change adapter settings .

    The Network Connections window opens.

  3. Check the status of the wireless network connection. If the network is disabled, right-click the connection, and then click Enable .

    Figure 14: Enable network

    Image of Wireless Network Connection right-click menu

    It might take a few seconds to enable the connection.

Step 6: Make sure the network adapters are enabled in Device Manager

  1. Click Start , and then type Device Manager in the Search box. Click Device Manager in the results.

    Figure 15: Opening Device Manager from the Start menu

    Opening Device Manager from the Start Menu
  2. Double-click Network adapters .

    Figure 16: Device Manager

    Image of Device Manager
  3. Check the status of the wireless LAN hardware.

    If the icon next to the hardware has an arrow ( ), the hardware is disabled. Right-click the name of the hardware, then click Enable .

    Figure 17: Enable the wireless LAN hardware

    Image of Device Manager
    NOTE: If the wireless LAN hardware is not listed, click Action , then click Scan for hardware changes . If the hardware is still not listed, restart the computer, then return to Device Manager. Windows 7 automatically detects hardware and installs drivers upon system startup.

Step 7: Minimize interference and move the computer closer to the router

A wireless network router has a limited broadcast range. The further the computer is from the router, the weaker the broadcast signal. Solid objects, such as walls, metal furniture, and electrical appliances might interfere with the signal and decrease the usable range.

For testing purposes, move the computer closer to the router and minimize interference from electrical devices. If testing the connection with the computer near to the router proves that the wireless connection is working, you can move the computer to determine the range of the connection. To extend the usable range of the wireless network router, consider purchasing a different antenna from the router manufacturer, or use a signal repeater.

If the test fails with the computer and the router in the same room, continue to the next step to force the device to re-establish all connection values.

Step 8: Make sure that the computer is connected to the right network

When the computer detects a wireless network, if it has been connected to that network in the past, it tries to re-establish the connection. However, the connection might not be to the correct network.

To determine what network the computer is connected to and to select the network you want, do the following:

  1. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area see if any wireless networks are connected.

    If the computer is connected to an incorrect network, click the name of the network, then click Disconnect . Click the name of the correct network, then click Connect .

    Once the computer is connected to the correct network, check for Internet access. If the computer does not have Internet access or has limited access, go to Connect the computer directly to the network router using an Ethernet cable .

Step 9: Manually set up the wireless network

A common problem with a lost connection or poor network connectivity, is accidental connection to the wrong network. It is possible to connect to a network that does not actually exist. For instance, an interruption in the power to a router or a modem, or a momentary loss of signal from the ISP. These types of problems can be resolved by disconnecting from the network router and manually re-estabishing a new connection.

Use the following steps to disconnect from a wireless network, and then search for, and manually re-connect to the desired wireless network.

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 18: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

    Figure 19: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

    Image of the Start menu
  2. In the Network and Sharing Center window, click Set up a new connection or network .

    Figure 20: Set up a new connection or network

    Image of Network and Sharing Center
    NOTE: Do not click Connect to a network . If the problem is an incorrect password or key index, this option reconnects with the wrong information.
  3. In the Choose a connection option window, select Manually connect to a wireless network , and click Next .

    Figure 21: Manually connect to a wireless network

    Image of Set up a Connection or Network window
  4. Type the required wireless network information, and then click Next .
    • Network name

    • Security type - Must be the same security as set in the wireless router.

    • Encryption type

    • Security Key

    • Select Start this connection automatically

    • Select Connect even if the network is not broadcasting

    Figure 22: Network information

    Network information
    NOTE: If the wireless network already exists, when prompted, select Use the existing network . The information just entered replaces the previous values that are causing the connection problem.
  5. Click Close .

    Figure 23: Successfully added network

    Image of Successfully added network window
  6. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area, click the name of the new network, and then click Connect .

Step 10: Connect the computer directly to the network router using an Ethernet cable

Connect the computer directly to the network router using an Ethernet cable to determine if the connection problem lies with the router settings or with the wireless signal. It is not necessary to turn off the computer's wireless network device during the testing.

  1. Move the computer closer to the router (if needed) and connect an Ethernet cable from one of the available ports on the router to the network port on the computer.

  2. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area, and select Network and Sharing Center .

  3. Select Change adapter settings .

    Figure 24: Change adapter settings

    Image of Network and Sharing Center
  4. Check the status of the Local Area Connection .

  5. If the wired network, or the wireless network, is Disabled , right-click the connection, and click Enable . It might take a few seconds for the connection to become enabled.

  6. Click the Back button to return to the Network and Sharing Center.

    • If the Network and Sharing Center window shows connections from the computer to the network router, and from the router to the ISP or DSL modem, click the Internet icon to open a Web browser and view a page on the Web. The router is configured.

    • If the Network and Sharing Center window shows connections from the computer to the network router, but not from the router to the Internet, the router might not be configured correctly. See Reset and reconfigure the router .

    • If the network router cannot connect to the Internet, and you have installed programs that required making changes to the firewall settings, refer to router manufacturer Help files for information on restoring the router to the factory default conditions.

  7. After you have verified the direct wired connection to the Internet, turn on the power to the wireless device, disconnect the Ethernet cable from the computer, and manually setup a new connection to the wireless network (see Manually set up the wireless network ).

Step 11: Check the router manufacturer's Web site for firmware updates

Outdated firmware can prevent the router from accessing the Internet or certain Web pages.

Step 12: Install updated WLAN Driver and BIOS

If no network connection icon is displayed within 15 to 30 seconds after enabling the wireless network, or if a Windows Device not Found error message displays, the software driver might be missing or corrupt. To fix this, download and install the latest drivers and BIOS from the HP Web site.

To get the updated wireless LAN adapter drivers and latest version of the BIOS for your computer, go to the HP Drivers and Downloads page and search for updated drivers. You must know the exact model number or product number for your computer. Be sure to select the correct operating system.

If the wireless adapter you are using was purchased separately, consult the manufacturer's Web site for the latest software.

NOTE: If the computer cannot connect to the Internet, use another computer to download the files to an external storage device. Install the updated drivers from external storage device.

Step 13: Perform a Microsoft System Restore

If the computer was able to connect to the wireless network in the past, but now cannot connect, perform a Microsoft System Restore .

If you have completed all the steps and still cannot connect to the wireless network, contact HP for support.

Can connect to the wireless network but not to the Internet

If the computer can connect to the wireless network but not to the Internet, the Network Connection icon in the notification area looks like this:

network information in Network and Sharing Center looks like this:

And the network map in the Network and Sharing Center looks like this:

Test the connection after performing each step. If the problem is not fixed, continue to the next step.

For more information on a given step, click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.

Step 1: Make sure that the computer is connected to the right network

When the computer detects a wireless network, if it has been connected to that network in the past, it tries to re-estabish the connection. However, the connection might not be to the correct network.

To determine what network the computer is connected to and to select the network you want, do the following:

  1. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area see if any wireless networks are connected.

    If the computer is connected to an incorrect network, click the name of the network, then click Disconnect . Click the name of the correct network, then click Connect .

    Once the computer is connected to the correct network, check for Internet access.

Step 2: Run Windows Network Diagnostics

Windows 7 monitors the network and Internet connections. If it detects a problem, Windows 7 displays a no connection or limited connection message, and prompts you for permission to diagnose the problem. Click OK to allow Windows 7 to diagnose the problems and restore the connection.

To run the diagnostic tool manually, use one of the following options:

  • No error message is displayed and there is no Internet connection:

    1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Troubleshoot problems from the menu. Windows Network Diagnostics checks for problems.

      Figure 25: Troubleshoot problems

      Image of notification area
  • The Network Connection icon is missing in the notification area:

    1. Click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

      Figure 26: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

      Image of the Start menu
    2. In the Network and Sharing Center, click the yellow exclamation symbol or the red X in the Network status area to run Windows Network Diagnostics.

      Figure 27: Network status

      Image of Network status area

Step 3: Use the Windows 7 Network and Internet Troubleshooter

Windows 7 has a Network and Internet Troubleshooter that tests the network for problems and automatically repairs the software connections if applicable. Use this tool to test and repair the connection:

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 28: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

    Figure 29: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

    Image of the Start menu
  2. Click Troubleshoot problems .

    Figure 30: Troubleshoot problems

    Image of Network and Sharing Center

    The Network and Internet Troubleshooter opens.

  3. Click Internet Connections to test the Internet connection.

    Figure 31: Network and Internet Troubleshooter

    Image of the Network and Internet Troubleshooter
  4. Follow the instructions to check for problems.

  5. If the problem is resolved, you are done.

    If the problem continues, return to the Network and Internet Troubleshooter and click Network Adapter to test the adapter.

Step 4: Reset the power to the network router and the ISP or DSL modem

When a computer establishes a connection with a router or with the Internet, it uses several IP addresses to manage the communication. If the electrical power to the computer, the router, or the Internet service is interrupted momentarily, the IP address might change and disrupt the connections. The indicator lights on the equipment might indicate that a connection exists, but all the IP addresses might not agree. To re-estabish the correct IP addresses, reset the power as follows:

  1. Completely shut down the computer. Click Start , and then click Shut Down .

    Figure 32: Shutting down the computer

    Shutting down the computer
  2. Unplug the power to the network router and to the ISP or DSL modem.

  3. Wait at least 30 seconds before continuing.

  4. Reconnect the power to the modem and allow it to re-establish a connection to the ISP.

  5. Reconnect the power to the router and allow it to re-establish the connections to the modem and other components.

  6. Turn on the computer.

  7. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Connect next to the name of the wireless network.

    If the network name is not displayed, click the Refresh button to scan for wireless network signals.

Step 5: Verify and update computer security

The computer might have become infected with spyware and viruses, which can happen if the firewall or antivirus software is turned off or configured incorrectly. See Resolving and Preventing Viruses on Your Computer for more information on how to protect your computer from these threats.

Additionally, make sure that the firewall settings allow you to access the Internet. Refer to your firewall's Help file for more information on its settings.

Step 6: Manually set up the wireless network

A common problem with a lost connection or poor network connectivity, is accidental connection to the wrong network. It is possible to connect to a network that does not actually exist. For instance, an interruption in the power to a router or a modem, or a momentary loss of signal from the ISP. These types of problems can be resolved by disconnecting from the network router and manually re-establishing a new connection.

Use the following steps to disconnect from a wireless network, and then search for, and manually re-connect to the desired wireless network.

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 33: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

    Figure 34: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

    Image of the Start menu
  2. In the Network and Sharing Center window, click Set up a new connection or network .

    Figure 35: Set up a new connection or network

    Image of Network and Sharing Center
    NOTE: Do not click Connect to a network . If the problem is an incorrect password or key index, this option reconnects with the wrong information.
  3. In the Choose a connection option window, select Manually connect to a wireless network , and click Next .

    Figure 36: Manually connect to a wireless network

    Image of Set up a Connection or Network window
  4. Type the required wireless network information, and then click Next .
    • Network name

    • Security type - Must be the same security as set in the wireless router.

    • Encryption type

    • Security Key

    • Select Start this connection automatically

    • Select Connect even if the network is not broadcasting

    Figure 37: Network information

    Network information
    NOTE: If the wireless network already exists, when prompted, select Use the existing network . The information just entered replaces the previous values that are causing the connection problem.
  5. Click Close .

    Figure 38: Successfully added network

    Image of Successfully added network window
  6. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area, click the name of the new network, and then click Connect .

Step 7: Connect the computer directly to the ISP or DSL modem using an Ethernet cable

By connecting the computer directly to the ISP or DSL modem using an Ethernet cable, you can determine if a signal is being received from the Internet Service Provider.

  1. Using an Ethernet cable, connect the computer directly to the ISP or DSL modem.

  2. Open a Web browser such as Internet Explorer and access any Web site.

  3. If another computer is available, connect it directly to the modem to verify whether it can connect.
    • If neither computer can connect to the Internet, contact your Internet Service Provider for technical assistance.

    • If one computer can connect but the other cannot connect using a direct connection, the problem is specific to that computer. Continue with the next step.

Step 8: Reset and reconfigure the router

If you have installed a new router or made changes to the router settings while trying to fix connection problems, reset the router to its factory settings, Then run the manufacturer set up program to configure the router.

Use the following steps as a general guideline, but see the User Guide for the router for model specific information.

  1. Enter the default IP addresses for the router into the URL address field on the browser. The following list provides default IP addresses for several routers.

    • 3Com : http://192.168.1.1

    • D-Link : http://192.168.0.1

    • Linksys : http://192.168.1.1

    • Netgear : http://192.168.0.1

    NOTE: These IP addresses are provided for informational purposes only.
  2. When the home page for the router displays, you might need to type a password to perform configuration tasks. See the User Guide for model specific information.

    NOTE: Most manufacturers allow you to reset the router to a default factory condition and then opens router configuration screens.
  3. When you have administrator access to the router, change the router's default name, sometimes called an SSID, to a name that is different from other routers in your area.

  4. Set up wireless encryption (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), to prevent other computers from connecting to your home network.

  5. Enter a network access password, sometimes called a passphrase. Make sure to pick a password that is easy to remember, such as a phone number that you dial often or a phrase that is easy to remember.

  6. If the router is connected to the ISP or DSL modem, open the browser and verify that the computer has access to the Internet.

Step 9: Perform a Microsoft System Restore

If the wireless connection worked previously, but now is unable to connect, perform a Microsoft System Restore to undo configuration settings that have caused connection problems.

Slow or dropped wireless connections

Complete the following steps to resolve slow or dropped wireless connections:

For more information on a given step, click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.

Step 1: Move the computer closer to the router

A wireless network router has a limited broadcast range. The further the computer is from the router, the weaker the broadcast signal. Solid objects, such as walls, metal furniture, and electrical appliances might interfere with the signal and decrease the usable range.

For testing purposes, move the computer closer to the router and minimize interference from electrical devices. If testing the connection with the computer near to the router proves that the wireless connection is working, you can move the computer to determine the range of the connection. To extend the usable range of the wireless network router, consider purchasing a different antenna from the router manufacturer, or use a signal repeater.

If the test fails with the computer and the router in the same room, continue to the next step to force the device to re-establish all connection values.

Step 2: Manually set up the wireless network

A common problem with a lost connection or poor network connectivity, is accidental connection to the wrong network. It is possible to connect to a network that does not actually exist. For instance, an interruption in the power to a router or a modem, or a momentary loss of signal from the ISP. These types of problems can be resolved by disconnecting from the network router and manually re-establishing a new connection.

Use the following steps to disconnect from a wireless network, and then search for, and manually re-connect to the desired wireless network.

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 39: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

    Figure 40: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

    Image of the Start menu
  2. In the Network and Sharing Center window, click Set up a new connection or network .

    Figure 41: Set up a new connection or network

    Image of Network and Sharing Center
    NOTE: Do not click Connect to a network . If the problem is an incorrect password or key index, this option reconnects with the wrong information.
  3. In the Choose a connection option window, select Manually connect to a wireless network , and click Next .

    Figure 42: Manually connect to a wireless network

    Image of Set up a Connection or Network window
  4. Type the required wireless network information, and then click Next .
    • Network name

    • Security type - Must be the same security as set in the wireless router.

    • Encryption type

    • Security Key

    • Select Start this connection automatically

    • Select Connect even if the network is not broadcasting

    Figure 43: Network information

    Network information
    NOTE: If the wireless network already exists, when prompted, select Use the existing network . The information just entered replaces the previous values that are causing the connection problem.
  5. Click Close .

    Figure 44: Successfully added network

    Image of Successfully added network window
  6. Click the Network Connection icon in the notification area, click the name of the new network, and then click Connect .

Step 3: Use the Windows 7 Network and Internet Troubleshooter

Windows 7 has a Network and Internet Troubleshooter that tests the network for problems and automatically repairs the software connections if applicable. Use this tool to test and repair the connection:

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 45: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

    Figure 46: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

    Image of the Start menu
  2. Click Troubleshoot problems .

    Figure 47: Troubleshoot problems

    Image of Network and Sharing Center

    The Network and Internet Troubleshooter opens.

  3. Click Internet Connections to test the Internet connection.

    Figure 48: Network and Internet Troubleshooter

    Image of the Network and Internet Troubleshooter
  4. Follow the instructions to check for problems.

  5. If the problem is resolved, you are done.

    If the problem continues, return to the Network and Internet Troubleshooter and click Network Adapter to test the adapter.

Step 4: Adjust Windows 7 performance settings

Viewing live TV over a wireless connection takes significant processing power. Live TV can skip (drop frames) when other software programs are active. Close any open software programs and try viewing again.

For even better performance, prevent unwanted software programs from opening with Windows and adjust Windows 7 performance settings. For more helpful tips on how you can increase performance, see Increasing System Performance Without Adding Memory in Windows 7 .

Wireless network is working but you cannot share files with another computer

The wireless network is working correctly but you cannot access files on another computer on the network.

If all of the computers on the network are running Windows 7, you can use a HomeGroup to share files between the computers. For more information, see the Microsoft support article HomeGroup from start to finish Non-HP site .

If one or more of the computers on the network is not running Windows 7, The easiest way to share files on your network is to place them in the Public folder. Any file or folder you put in the Public folder is automatically shared with the people connected to your network. To turn on Public folder sharing, follow these steps:

For more information on a given step, click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.

Step 1: Turn on network discovery and file sharing

Turn on Network discovery and file sharing on each computer that you want to access on the network.

Any file or folder you put in the Public folder is automatically shared with the people connected to your network. To turn on Public folder sharing in Windows 7, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 49: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

    Figure 50: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

    Image of the Start menu
  2. Click Change advanced sharing settings .

    Figure 51: Change advanced sharing settings

    Image of Network and Sharing Center
  3. Check the settings for each item listed.

    Figure 52: Advanced sharing settings

    Image of Advanced sharing settings window

    Network discovery and File and printer sharing must always be turned on or computers will not be able to detect each other on the network.

Step 2: Sharing drives, folders, and files

To share non-public folders, do the following:

  1. Click Start , and then click Computer .

  2. Browse to the folder you want to share.

  3. Right-click the folder, select Share with , and then click Homegroup (Read) , Homegroup (Read/Write) , or Specific people .

    Figure 53: Share with

    Share with Homegroup
  4. If you chose Specific people , the File Sharing window displays.

  5. Click the down arrow and select the user you want to share with and click Add .

    NOTE: You may be prompted several times by User Account Control for permission to continue. You must accept these Windows to make the necessary changes.

    Figure 54: File Sharing window

    File Sharing window
  6. Click an arrow under Permission Level to set the permission level for each user or group.

  7. Click Share .

Step 3: Accessing shared files and directories

Do the following to access shared files and directories:

  1. Click Start , and select Network .

    The Network window opens and displays computers with shared folders that are detected on local networks.

    Figure 55: Network window

    Image of Network window
  2. Double-click the computer name you want to access.

    NOTE: If you cannot access the computer, go to Using the Windows 7 Shared Folders troubleshooter .

    If Password Protection is enabled for the shared computer, a Windows Security window opens. Type in the user name and password of the account on the shared computer.

    Figure 56: Username and password prompt

    Image of User name and password  window

Using the Windows 7 Shared Folders troubleshooter

Windows 7 has a Shared Folders Troubleshooter that tests for problems accessing shared files and folders on other computers. Follow these steps to use this tool to check for problems with shared folders:

  1. Right-click the Network Connection icon in the notification area and click Open Network and Sharing Center in the menu.

    Figure 57: Open Network and Sharing Center

    Image of notification area
    NOTE: If the Network Connection icon is missing, click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.

    Figure 58: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu

    Image of the Start menu
  2. Click Troubleshoot problems .

    Figure 59: Troubleshoot problems

    Image of Network and Sharing Center

    The Network and Internet Troubleshooter opens.

  3. Click Shared Folders .

    Figure 60: Network and Internet Troubleshooter

    Image of the Network and Internet Troubleshooter
  4. Follow the instructions to check for problems.

Make sure your computer has wireless networking capability

Not all computers come with a wireless LAN hardware. To check if your computer came with wireless LAN hardware, check the product specifications. In the Search fields at the top of this page, enter the product name for your computer and type specifications in the Questions or keywords field. On the Product Specifications page, check the Networking section for wireless hardware.

If the specifications do not show wireless hardware but you believe the computer has wireless haredware, you can also check Device Manager.

  1. Click Start , and then type Device Manager in the Search box. Click Device Manager in the results.

    Figure 61: Opening Device Manager from the Start menu

    Opening Device Manager from the Start Menu
  2. Double-click Network adapters .

    Figure 62: Device Manager

    Image of Device Manager
  3. Check for wireless LAN hardware.

    NOTE: If no wireless LAN hardware is listed, click Action , then click Scan for hardware changes . If the hardware is still not listed, restart the computer, then return to Device Manager. Windows 7 automatically detects hardware and installs drivers upon system startup. If no wireless LAN hardware is listed after restarting, no hardware is installed.

    If no wireless LAN hardware is installed and you want to connect to a wireless network, you can purchase and install a PCI (internal) or USB (external) wireless LAN adapter.

NOTE: One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside the HP Web site.

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