This document pertains the HP Notebook PCs with Windows XP.
If the computer is not using the Windows XP operating system, see
If you use your notebook on multiple wireless networks, you may occasionally have trouble establishing a wireless connection. This document presents a list of problem symptoms and quick tips on tasks you can use to re-establish a connection. This document assumes that your computer has been set up properly and has been connected to one or more wireless networks recently.
- If the computer has not been set up to a wireless network previously, or you are having trouble establishing the initial wireless connection on your home network, see HP Notebook PCs - Using the HP Network Assistant to Setup your Home Network in Windows XP .
- For a comprehensive, detailed list of tasks to be performed to reset a wired or wireless internet connection, see HP Notebook PCs - Solve Setup and Internet Connection Issues on a Wireless Network with XP .
Do this first
To troubleshoot a problem, consider what is happening on your home network. For instance, yesterday you were connected to your email and favorite web site, but today there is a browser error message that says cannot display the web page , or dns_unresolved_hostname , or other error message. Your first task is to determine if the wireless network or the internet connection is not working. Look at the network connection icon in the system tray and identify it with one of the following conditions.
The power to the wireless network and bluetooth devices is controlled by a switch or button on most computers. It is quite common to accidentally bump the button and turn off the wireless service. You should turn off—and then turn on—the power to the wireless device power switch on the computer, and then disable—and then enable—the wireless network connection. On most HP notebook computers, there is an LED light that glows blue when there is a wireless device is turned on and enabled.
Also, the wireless LED lights on the computer will glow when the power for the wireless device is turned on.
Most routers and modems have lights that indicate specific network conditions. A quick glance at the steadily glowing and blinking lights will indicate if the service from the internet service provider (ISP) through the modem to the router is working. If there is a problem with the connection, you should turn off—and then turn on—the power to the router and the modem to reset the connection to the internet service provider (ISP).
Also, the LED lights on the modem and router will glow to indicate the condition of the connection.
If the network icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen shows a problem with the network connection, click the links for any automated tests and repair actions. If you have multiple problems, you may want to connect the computer temporarily to the network with a network cable to run a Microsoft Update to install all available updated drivers and programs.
XP has several diagnostic tools that can repair network connection problems if the Windows and the HP programs are kept up-to-date. To check the network and internet connections, right-click the network icon in the System tray and select the View Available Wireless Networks option to open the Wireless Network Connection window.
If the issue is not resolved, use the following for more specific troubleshooting.
The computer retains a list of all of the networks to which it has been connected, and it tries to connect to the first wireless network it discovers in the physical area. You must determine if that is the network you want and if the connection is using the current IP address and password.
- Right-click the network icon and select the View Available Wireless Networks option. The graphic display indicates if there is or is not a connection.
- If there is no list of available wireless network connections, click the red X icon of diagnostic help. Follow the recommendation to either Turn on the wireless device by pressing the wireless button on the PC, or click Refresh network list to View the available networks.
- If a list of available wireless networks is displayed, highlight any active connection and then select the option to Disconnect the computer from all of the networks.
- Now that all wireless networks are disconnected, manually set up a new wireless connection.Do not click Connect to refresh a connection. If there was a problem with that connection, just clicking Connect will refresh the same wrong information.
- On the Wireless Network Connection Properties window, click Change advanced settings , click the Advanced tab, and then click Network Setup Wizard and follow the on-screen instructions.
- When prompted, enter the required network information, and then click Next .
- Network Name (SSID)
- Security type
- Encryption type
- Security key or passphrase .
If there is no network icon in the system tray, or if the Wireless Network Connection window does not list both a wired ethernet connection and a wireless connection, you should check for a problem with the network drivers in the Device Manager.
NOTE:If you do not have a wireless internet connection, you can connect the computer temporarily to the network with a network cable. And if you do not have a wired internet connection, use another computer to access the hp.com web site to find the drivers for the wireless device and the ethernet chipset. Download the drivers to a thumb drive and install them on the computer with the connection problem.
To verify the network devices and drivers, do the following:
- Open the Device Manager and expand the list of Network Adapters .There should be a wireless WiFi Adapter, and a 10/100 Mbps wired Network Controller.
- If a network device is missing, you should reinstall the original device drivers.
- If a device has an icon (yellow exclamation point) indicating a problem with the driver, right-click the device and select Uninstall . When you have an internet connection, perform a Scan for hardware changes and allow it to automatically search the internet for the latest driver software, and then reinstall the device drivers.
- Alternatively, you can manually search for the latest wireless network adapter drivers at the hp.com website and then download and install them if the drivers on your notebook are out of date or incorrect. See Locate and Install Updated BIOS, Drivers, and Software for more information.
If there is no adapter listed and the unit has wireless capabilities, try the following:
- Reseat the wireless network adapter inside your notebook. In some cases, the wireless network adapter may have come loose or may be improperly connected. You can attempt to correct this by removing the wireless network adapter and then reinstalling it. For more detailed instructions, see Remove and Replace the Wireless LAN Network Card in Windows XP .
- Perform a system recovery. If a critical system file (such as the wireless network adapter device driver) is up-to-date but it has potentially become corrupted or nonfunctional, you may need to perform a system recovery to restore it. For more information, see Overview of Recovering the OS or Reinstalling the Operating System .
- Obtain service for the notebook. If all else fails, it is recommended that you contact an authorized HP service center to see if this is an issue that can be repaired under warranty. See Using a Certified HP Service Center to Repair a Notebook PC for more.
Periodically, internet service providers (ISPs) reset their Domain Name Server (DNS) addresses. If there is a power fluctuation in the cable or telephone system, the IP address of the DNS may change unintentionally. If the DNS was entered manually—as it probably was during the initial setup of service with a cable company—the icon for the internet connection will appear to be connected, but it is pointing to the wrong addresses.
If the icons indicate there is a Wireless Network Connection available but you cannot see any web pages, do the following to verify the correct, current DNS IP address is selected.
- Right-click the network icon, and select View Available Wireless Networks .
- Click Change advanced settings to open the Wireless Network Connection Properties window.
- On the Properties page, select the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) option, and select Properties .
- Select the Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically options, and then click OK .
- Returning to the Wireless Network Connection Properties page, on the Wireless Networks tab, select Configure .If there is a Power Management tab for this device, de-select the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option.
- Restart the computer.
Many times the performance of your wireless network can be affected by environmental factors. These factors will not always cause interference, but must be considered at some point during your wireless network troubleshooting.
- 2.4 GHz cordless phones
- Microwave ovens
- Electrical parameter fences
- Electrical transformers near the router
- Security systems
- Other wireless network transmitters near the router