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HP Notebook PCs - Troubleshoot a Lost Internet Connection on a Wireless Network (Windows XP)
This document pertains the HP Notebook PCs with Windows XP.
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.
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.
If there is no network connection
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.
If there is a network connection
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 there is a problem with the network 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.
Manually connect to the network
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.
Update the WLAN drivers
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:
If there is no adapter listed and the unit has wireless capabilities, try the following:
Is the network at the right IP address?
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.
Are there too many electronic devices?
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.