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HP Pavilion dv7t-4100 CTO Entertainment Notebook PC support

Troubleshooting Your Wireless Network and Internet Connection (Windows 7)

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This document pertains to HP and Compaq PCs using a wireless network (a router) with Windows 7.
The following sections provide detailed troubleshooting steps. Use the steps in the first section to solve most problems with a wireless network and Internet connection. If the steps in that section do not resolve the issue, go to the section that matches the network problem the computer is experiencing.
Follow these steps to solve most problems with a wireless network and Internet connection. Test the connection after performing each step. If the problem is not fixed, continue to the next step.
Most notebooks have a wireless keyboard key, switch, or a button on the case that turns the wireless network device on or off. In some cases, the wireless keyboard key or button might be inadvertantly disabled by an accidental press. The wireless button or switch is usually found as one of the F keys on the keyboard or as an illuminated button above the keyboard.
Figure 1: Example of a wireless keyboard key (yours may be different)
 Photo showing a wireless keyboard key with LED illuminated
An indicator light ( ) glows blue when the Bluetooth or WiFi communication devices are turned on. If the computer has both Bluetooth and WiFi and one of them is turned off or the device is disabled, the light glows amber. The indicator light does not glow at all when power to the device is turned off. Use the HP Wireless Assistant software to enable or disable the individual wireless functions.

Step 2: Reset power to the network router and cable 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 2: Shutting down the computer
    Windows Start menu with Shut Down button highlighted
  2. Unplug the power to the wireless router and to the cable or DSL modem.
    Figure 3: Unplugging the power cord from the back of a router
    A power plug being unplugged
  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. If the modem has indicator lights, wait until the lights indicate a connection.
  5. If using a separate wireless router, reconnect the power to the router and allow it to re-establish the connections to the modem and other components.
  6. After the modem and router have finished making connections, 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: Use Windows 7 diagnostic and troubleshooting tools

Windows 7 includes a network diagnostic tool and a network troubleshooter. Both tools help to identify network problems and provide possible solutions.
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 4: 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 5: 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 6: Network status
      Image of Network status area
The Windows 7 Network and Internet Troubleshooter tests the network for problems and automatically repairs the network connections if applicable. Use this tool to test and repair the connection:
  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. Click Troubleshoot problems .
    Figure 8: Troubleshoot problems
    Image of Network and Sharing Center
    The Network and Internet Troubleshooter opens.
  3. Click Internet Connections to test the Internet connection.
    Figure 9: 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: Manually connect to 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. 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. In the Network and Sharing Center window, click Set up a new connection or network .
    Figure 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 .
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 Internet 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.

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: Make sure the wireless network device is turned on (Notebook computers only)

For the wireless network adapter to operate properly, you must perform two separate actions: turn on the power to the wireless device, and then enable the device to send and receive signals.
There are different ways to check the status of the wireless network and turn the wireless device on and off. If you use one of the methods to turn off your network device, you should use the same method to turn it back on.
For more information on a given step, click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.
Most notebooks have a wireless keyboard key, switch, or a button on the case that turns the wireless network device on or off. In some cases, the wireless keyboard key or button might be inadvertantly disabled by an accidental press. The wireless button or switch is usually found as one of the F keys on the keyboard or as an illuminated button above the keyboard.
Figure 15: Example of a wireless keyboard key (yours may be different)
 Photo showing a wireless keyboard key with LED illuminated
An indicator light ( ) glows blue when the Bluetooth or WiFi communication devices are turned on. If the computer has both Bluetooth and WiFi and one of them is turned off or the device is disabled, the light glows amber. The indicator light does not glow at all when power to the device is turned off. Use the HP Wireless Assistant software when you want to enable only one of the two wireless functions (Wireless LAN or Bluetooth).
Wireless devices can be turned on and off using the HP Wireless Assistant. This tool is designed to control the wireless LAN and Bluetooth devices individually. The wireless LAN can be turned on while the Bluetooth is turned off, or vice versa.
The action of the HP Wireless Assistant control is independent of the wireless device power switch. It is possible for the wireless device LED to glow blue because power is being sent to the device, although the device is turned off. By default, the HP Wireless Assistant is configured to display a wireless icon, either On ( ), or Off ( ) in the Windows notification area. However, the computer can be set to not display in the icons in the notification area.
HP recommends that the HP Wireless Assistant be configured to display the icons as follows.
  1. Click Start , enter wireless assistant into the search field, and then select HP Wireless Assistant from the list.
    If HP Wireless Assistant is not installed, either:
  2. Verify the status of the installed wireless devices. They should all be on.
  3. Click Properties to open the Settings window.
  4. Select the Show Wireless Assistant icon in the notification area option, and then click Apply . The icon displays in the system tray area.
You can now monitor the network at a glance by checking the wireless power LED ( ), the wireless LAN device icon ( ), and the network connection icon ( ).
NOTE:If the HP Wireless Assistant is not installed, it is available in the Network drivers section of the Support & Drivers page on hp.com.
If you do not have HP Wireless Assistant installed on your computer and you do not want to install it, you can use the Windows Mobility Center to turn wireless devices on and off. Windows Mobility Center allows all wireless devices to be turned on or off at the same time—wireless LAN and Bluetooth devices cannot be turned off individually, as they can when using HP Wireless Assistant.
The action of the Windows Mobility Center control is independent of the wireless device power switch. It is possible for the wireless device LED to glow blue because power is being sent to the device, although the device is turned off.
To verify the status of the installed wireless devices, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start , enter mobility into the search field, and then select Windows Mobility Center from the list.
  2. On the Windows Mobility Center window, this graphics shows the Wireless Network is Wireless off . Click Turn wireless on to turn on the device.
    Your wireless network device(s) are now turned on via Windows Mobility Center.

Step 3: Make sure the wireless network connection and network adapters are enabled

If the wireless network connection or network adapters are disabled, the computer cannot connect to the network. Follow the steps in both of the following sections to check the status of the network connection and adapters.
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. Click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.
    Figure 16: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu
    Image of the Start menu
  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 17: Enable network
    Image of Wireless Network Connection right-click menu
    It might take a few seconds to enable the connection.
Follow these steps to open Device Manager and check the status of the network adapter:
  1. Click Start , and then type Device Manager in the Search box. Click Device Manager in the results.
    Figure 18: Opening Device Manager from the Start menu
    Opening Device Manager from the Start Menu
  2. Double-click Network adapters .
    Figure 19: 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 20: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 21: 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 cable 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 connect to the wireless network ).

Step 7: 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 open 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 familiar.

Step 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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.
Complete the following steps to resolve slow or dropped wireless connections:

Step 1: Manually connect to 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. Click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.
    Figure 22: 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 23: 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 24: 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 25: 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 26: 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 2: 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 3: Adjust Windows 7 performance settings

Watching streaming video over a wireless connection takes significant processing power. The video 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 .
If your wireless connection suddenly stops working when your notebook is operating on battery power, you may want to disable some of the power saver settings.
Notebooks use power settings to balance performance and battery life for users. If the power option is set to lower power setting to maximize battery life, it will reduce power to the network adapter. You should set the Power Output settings to 100% (maximum performance) for both battery power and when plugged into the AC power adapter. Follow the steps below to verify the correct settings:
  1. Click Start , enter power into the search field, and then select Power Options from the list.
  2. Select the recommended High Performance or Balanced power plan.
Close the Device Manager, restart the notebook PC and attempt to reconnect to the wireless network.
Most wireless devices can be configured to turn off power to reduce the power drain on the battery. This is usually not a problem when the notebook is connected to an AC power adapter. However, when operating on battery power, the adapter can be turned off to save power. To disable this power setting, do the following steps.
  1. Click Start , enter device into the search field, and then select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Double-click Network Adapters to expand the list, right-click the wireless (WiFi) adapter in the list, and then select Properties .
  3. On the properties window for the adapter, select the Power Management tab, and then de-select the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power option.
Close the Device Manager, restart the notebook PC, and attempt to reconnect to the wireless network.
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 .
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:

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. Click Start , and then type network and sharing in the Search box. Click Network and Sharing Center in the results.
    Figure 27: Opening the Network and Sharing Center from the Start menu
    Image of the Start menu
  2. Click Change advanced sharing settings .
    Figure 28: Change advanced sharing settings
    Image of Network and Sharing Center
  3. Check the settings for each item listed.
    Figure 29: 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: Set up drive, folder, and file sharing

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 30: 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 31: 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 32: 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 33: Username and password prompt
    Image of User name and password  window

Step 4: 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. 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. Click Troubleshoot problems .
    Figure 35: Troubleshoot problems
    Image of Network and Sharing Center
    The Network and Internet Troubleshooter opens.
  3. Click Shared Folders .
    Figure 36: Network and Internet Troubleshooter
    Image of the Network and Internet Troubleshooter
  4. Follow the instructions to check for problems.
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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