No wireless networks in Vista

Posted on 2011-09-26
Last Modified: 2013-12-09
I have a problem on a Toshiba laptop computer with the wireless networking. The wireless networking will not locate any wireless networks though they exist. I have reinstalled the driver and the driver indicates that it's working properly. The wireless networking indicator light is on. I have started the computer with a Linux disk and have successfully used the wireless network through Linux. The WLAN autoconfiguration service is started. I have stopped and restarted the service as well as restarting the computer after every change.

The one strange thing that I see that I think may be the issue is the the properties for the wireless network adapter does not have a Wireless tab. Also the system doesn't ever tell me that there are wireless networks available. The only network available is the std. ethernet connection.

I have also done a repair on the Winsock settings by doing the following:

netsh winsock reset
netsh int ipv4 reset
netsh int ipv6 reset

We're not using ipv6 but I did that anyway.

I have uninstalled the Toshiba configfree tool so that I can use the Windows configuration tool. No difference.

I have tried configuring it with the Ethernet cable plugged both in and out.

I've checked all over the internet but haven't come up with anything. I hope someone out there can help cuz I'm completely out of ideas.

Thanks in advance for the assist.


Bill Marquardt
Question by:w_marquardt
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Expert Comment

ID: 36602256
Boot to a live CD like Ubuntu. try from their if it works then its a windows issue, if not then its hard ware issue with your NIC

Author Comment

ID: 36602482
I did that and mentioned it in the text. Used Puppy Linux though...

It did work with Linux so it is and issue with Windows Vista.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 36697908
Have you verified that the wireless radio is enabled in Windows? The connection software that comes with some wireless cards allows you to enable and disable the radio.
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Expert Comment

ID: 36708951
No Norton  / third party Firewall involved?

In addition to what willcomp suggests, there is often a radio enable/disable setting in properties of the device in device manager.

Sometimes disabling ip6 protocol protocol helps.

Have you tried setting a static router ip on the adapter?  See if the router can see the laptop as a client.

Cordless phones around?  Try different channels / temporarily turning off cordless phones or other wireless devices that could interfere?

Have you tried a WiFi Scanner such as inSSIDer 2 by MetaGeeks (Free)

Author Comment

ID: 36709110
Willcomp - The places I've checked to see that the radio is enabled is 1) the indicator light on the computer itself (active) and 2) device manager (it shows the adapter as enabled.) If there are any other places to check, please let me know.

Jim-r: We're running Microsoft Security essentials and Windows firewall. I don't think that av/firewall is the issue here. I'll try the other items you suggested and will be back to you shortly.

Accepted Solution

mxrider_420 earned 500 total points
ID: 36714042
when in doubt OS reload. that will fix the software issues.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 36714067
Check Network Connections in Control Panel to ensure wireless adapter is enabled. You have to drill down a ways in Control Panel to get to Network Connections. If you have difficulty, search Help for network connections and you should have instructions along with a link.

Author Comment

ID: 36892910
Still no joy...

Jim-r: adapter is definitely enabled. Disabling ip6 didn't change anything. Tried static ip. Still not finding a network. Pulled the battery on all cordless devices and unplugged, no diff. WIFI scanner didn't show any wireless networks though it did show that it was trying to use the wireless adapter in the computer.

willcomp - I checked the adapter as you said. It is showing enabled.

One thing I noticed that I hadn't picked up on before was that if I do an ipconfig /all, the wireless adapter isn't listed at all. It doesn't show it as disconnected. I just doesn't appear. I find that unusual.

I installed the device driver from both windows update and Realtek. Both installed okay but made no difference in performance.

Any other ideas before I do an OS reload? Seems a shame for 1 little problem...
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 36893964
If it is not showing at all in IPconfig, the system isn't seeing it and until it does, you'll get nowhere fast.

The WiFi scanner only has the wireless adapter as a sensor to find any wireless networks, so no working adapter, no networks.

All I can think of trying is disabling all network adapters including the wireless adapter in BIOS, uninstalling ALL network adapters and reboot.  Check Device Manager enabling "view hidden devices" to make sure they are all gone, the reboot again, re enable the wireless first in BIOS and let Windows find it again and re install it.  Check your properties settings for protocols etc when they reinstall and try IPconfig /all to see if your wireless adapter is seen by the system again.  This should keep the other network adapter(s) in the system from interfering with the wireless.  You can re enable and re install the other adapter(s) once you get your wireless to show in IPconfig.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37026759
While I hate to accept a reinstall to fix a single problem, nothing else seemed to resolve it. We finally bit the bullet and rebuilt it.

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