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How to make my wireless computer see the wireless network?

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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hey -

This one is baffling to me.

I have 3 computers in the house:

New HP Desktop that I use as a network hub
6-month HP notebook that I travel with
Dell Vostro notebook that is my wife's computer

The two HPs are Windows 7 and the Dell is XP Pro.

I set up a wireless network and I have a wired Ethernet network in the house too.

The wireless works great on the HPs. (Networking on Windows 7 still a little shaky, but that's in another thread).

It did work fine on the Dell when originally installed. But now, the Dell doesn't even see the wireless network. It's almost like a switch has been hit to turn off the card. But it hasn't. When I take the notebook elsewhere, I can see the wireless networks that are available, but not connect.

So, I think I broke it by copying the Network setup to my jump drive (as windows recommends) and trying to install to the XP machine. Of course, I copied from my Windows 7 machine.

How do I reset the Dell wireless card to original settings - or something - to get the wireless ability back.

BTW, I've downloaded and reinstalled the card driver too.

Thanks,

David
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Commented:
Try using the Dell (or Intell, whichever you have) wifi utility and treat it like a hidden SSID.
If you ran the network setup on the windows 7 machine and copied the file to a jump drive then imported into windows xp, try starting the network setup on the windows xp machine instead. Also, if you have system restore enabled, try giving that a go and see what you get.

Author

Commented:
Yep - tried system restore. Although we have restore points available, none worked back two weeks (or before.)

Not sure I understand how to start up the network on XP machine. What do you mean?

d
ok... I'l ask the stupid question. After spending a couple of hours on the phone with my wife's cousin (Dell Notebook) on the same issue, I ended up slapping my forehead many times. It turned out that although the physical switch on the Notebook was turned on for wireless operation, the Function Key that enabled or disabled and actually switched it between wifi and bluetooth was not set. It toggled the selection and was set for Bluetooth instead. It apparently remembers the last setting. She had hit the function key by mistake while doing something else and turned off the wifi.

I know... probably not the answer, but worth checking just in case.

Author

Commented:
Actually - sounds like something I'd do :)

So, there is no physical switch on the computer. I've looked. But I did find the function key and toggled it a couple of times to make sure it was on...

Not the case, although it is very confusing.

dp

Author

Commented:
I'm seriously thinking about wiping this computer and installing Windows 7 32 bit to start from scratch and make it match the rest of my computers... BTW.

Crazy?

dp
There's a Network setup Wizard in network connections in windows xp.
Also, try resetting the wireless router and see if that helps any.

If you're willing to go thru the reinstall process go on right ahead.
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Commented:
Try deleting the wireless profile on the XP machine and see if it then appears in View Available Wireless Networks.

Author

Commented:
Not sure I understand the "wireless profile" - you mean the network profile. It's not there at all. Doesn't see it.
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Commented:
Start>run>services.msc
All the way at the bottom, is the Wireless Zero Config service running, and set to Automatic?
 
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Commented:
Or, are you using the WIFI utility to detect and join the WIFI network?

Author

Commented:
Hey John - thanks. The wireless network is not showing. I've already done the steps you outlined several times. And I've tried both the WIFI utility and the Windows wifi tool.

I've decided to load Windows 7 to make all computers the same in the house. I'll let you know if that cures it.

dp
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Commented:
If you would have said the Wireless Networks tab was not present, we could have told you that means the WZC service is not running.
Sounds very familiar to an incompatible security protocol to me. You did not by any chance change any WPA/WEP settings on your wireless access point around the time that it happened did you?

Furthermore, you may want to attempt to uninstall all your drivers and software for the wireless card and then reinstall it with JUST the drivers if you have not done so already. I have found that wireless NIC software can be more bother than bonus.

Good luck,
Sheik
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