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wireless radio on but no networks found

Posted on 2008-10-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I turned on my Lenovo ThinkPad X41 tablet today and the wireless radio is on, but no networks are found. I have another laptop nearby and there are 9 available networks). The laptop worked fine this morning and I don't recall changing anything.
I don't have wired Net access so I can't uninstall and install anything.
Any thoughts?
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Question by:wmtownsend
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by:Grizzly072000
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Turn it off then back on.

You could try re-installing the drivers, or the card itself (In Device Manager, of course).

What software are you using to connect?
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by:dauman
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here's lenovo's troubleshooting guide.

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/MIGR-63129.html

also check to make sure the wireless is actually on.
FN + F5 turn it off and on.

also under the control panel/network connections make sure it's enabled.
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by:Grizzly072000
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There is only one thing missing from the guide: DO NOT USE the Access Connections Software. :-)
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by:wmtownsend
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I use ThinkPad Access Connections to manage my networks.
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by:Darr247
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> There is only one thing missing from the guide: DO NOT USE the Access Connections Software. :-)

And if you're already using windows Wireless Zero Configuration service, in Network Connections right-click the wireless adapter and choose Properties. In the window that opens look on the Wireless Networks tab, and click the Advanced button. In the small window that opens, if ''Computer-to-computer (ad-hoc) networks only'' is selected, no other type of wireless network will show up in View Available Wireless Networks. i.e. you can be right next to a wireless router and it won't show up in the list (well, unless it's running DD-WRT firmware with the Wireless Mode set to ''Adhoc'').

I have no idea if the Access Connections software has a similar option or not, but if you ARE using that, check in its options for an 'ad-hoc only' option checked somewhere.
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Shedding earned 500 total points
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There are a few thing that could be going wrong - Check them in this order.  I know you said the wireless adapter is on.. but I will still include this in this list.

1 - Most laptops (including the lenovo) have a switch on the side, or on top or it could be a function key+one of the number keys that turns on the wireless device.  Make sure this is turned on.  

2. Go to start->Run and then type in ncpa.cpl  

3. In the network connection screen.  Look for Wireless network connection.  If it says "Disabled" then right click on the icon and click on "enable"

4. If it just says "Not connected" then depending on whether this is windows XP or windows vista.. you can try double clicking on the icon and seeing if the wireless networks appear.  If they don't - Follow the next steps.

5. Right click on the wireless network connection - Click on Properties.  I believe on the second tab there should be something that says "let windows manage wireless connections" or something of the likes.  That should make it so that windows will display the wireless networks.

6.  If all the above does not work.  Go to start--> Run and type in services.msc

Under services, make sure the service zero configuration service is started and running.

That should do it.
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by:Grizzly072000
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Access Connections adds another software layer, and you do not have to use it to connect wirelessly.
When you troubleshoot a problem, the less you have to deal with, the better.

To second shedding, try using the WZC. Just follow steps 5 & 6.

If that fails, go to Device Manager (Start/Run/devmgmt.msc) and uninstall your wireless card.

Close & reboot. It will automatically install at logon.
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by:Darr247
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Everyone has their opinions about 3rd-party connection software versus windows Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) service, but the fact is most of the 3rd party packages provide more options and features than WZC does.

e.g. if you have 2 APs with overlapping coverage and identical SSIDs with one on, say, channel 1 and the other on channel 11, using WZC to manage your wireless connections you CANNOT tell it to always connect to the one on channel 11 (ergo will probably spend quite a bit of time each day waiting for it to reassociate after WZC flip-flops back and forth between them), whereas most 3rd-party connection managers DO provide the option to assign a specific channel to a connection profile.

Those that advocate using ONLY the WZC service typically do so because that's what they're familiar with so they want everyone to use the same thing to make providing support easier. If what you're using works for you, and/or provides a feature WZC doesn't, do not change just because some don't want to (learn how to) support it.
If the same thing worked for everyone there would be only one car/truck manufacturer, one computer company, one operating system, CPU maker, motorcycle, fast food chain, ice cream flavor, et cetera, ad nauseam.
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by:Shedding
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Dar247...  Sometimes 3rd party software does not work as well (or at all).  I've seen it happen many times.  Where good ole windows will do the job.  There is no point in making this more difficult than what it has to be and more so, many of these 3rd party applications have more bells and whistles than most people want.  Some people just want to connect and get on the internet as opposed to finding out the Signal to noise ratio and decibel readout or what channel they are on.
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