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HP Notebook PCs - Installing and Using HP Wireless Assistant

This document pertains to HP and Compaq Notebook PCs with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows XP.

The HP Wireless Assistant manages and monitors the connections to the notebook's wireless card or cards. The HP Wireless Assistant allows you to:
  • Apply power to activate all the wireless network devices.

  • Enable the devices to send and receive a wireless signal.

Learn how to download and install the latest version of HP Wireless Assistant .

Benefits of using HP Wireless Assistant

The Windows operating system has multiple programs that can control the wireless devices; however, the HP Wireless Assistant has a single graphical interface to:
  • recognize individual WLAN, WWAN, and Bluetooth wireless devices.

  • display the power state of each wireless device, and turn the power on or off (most models).

  • display the status of each wireless device, and change the status to enable or disable each device.

  • display an alert when the status of a device changes.

  • control each integrated wireless device separately, or control all the devices at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions about wireless devices

Does my PC have a wireless device?
Wireless network cards are installed on most HP and Compaq notebooks built since 2004 or earlier. If you have any questions, see the product specification sheet for your model. For older notebooks and desktop computers, there are external wireless network card that plug into an express card slot or a USB port.
Is there only one type of wireless card?
Depending on the model, a notebook may have a wireless WLAN, WWAN, and or a Bluetooth card. The WLAN ad Bluetooth service may be combined on the same card. The HP Wireless Assistant will recognize and manage all the wireless cards that are installed.
Should I use the wireless power switch on the outside of my case?
There is a power switch on the outside of the case or above the keyboard to physically turn the power to the card on and off, however some power switches can also be controlled by software. The most common cause of a lost wireless connection is accidentally turning off the wireless power switch.
Should I leave the wireless turned on at all times?
The wireless cards can be turned off when they are not in use to reduce the power consumption when operating on battery power.
Can I connect to any wireless network?
To use your computer's wireless network card, you must know the name of the wireless network (SSID), and the security password.
For security of your data, never connect to an open network that does not have security. See Solve Setup and Internet Connection Issues on a Wireless Network with Windows 7 .
For Bluetooth connections, even connections to headsets or speakers, you will need to set paring to provide some security. See HP Notebook PCs - Setting Up Bluetooth Connections with Windows 7 .

Check status of wireless network devices

The HP Wireless Assistant icons in the toolbar notification area indicate the status of all the wireless devices.
Icon indicates that all the devices are turned on and enabled. The wireless devices should be working properly.
Icon indicates the devices are turned off or disabled. Move the mouse over the icon to check the status.
Open Wireless Assistant
Right-click either icon and select this option to open the HP Wireless Assistant graphical User Interface.
Status message displays for several seconds when the wireless power switch is turned on or off.

Configure the HP Wireless Assistant

The HP Wireless Assistant status icons can be displayed in the toolbar.

Icon is displayed - To open the HP Wireless Assistant, right-click the icon, and then select Open Wireless Assistant option.

Icon not displayed - If the HP Wireless Assistant application is installed but the icons are not displayed, change the settings by performing the following steps.

  1. Click Start , select Control Panel , and then select Network and Internet .

  2. Click HP Wireless Assistant to open a window that lists all the installed wireless devices. The status of each device is displayed.

  3. Click Properties , and then select the Show HP Wireless Assistant icon in the notification area option.

  4. Click Apply to accept the setting and display the icon in toolbar.

If the HP Wireless Assistant is not listed in Control Panel, see the section on Installing HP Wireless Assistant .

Download and install the HP Wireless Assistant

The HP Wireless Assistant is pre-installed as part of the standard HP image for both Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating system, and is available for Windows XP. If it was removed or the operating system was changed, HP recommends that it be reinstalled along with the latest version of the wireless network device drivers for your model and OS.

Install from Recovery Manager

To install the HP Wireless Assistant on a notebook with an original HP image of the Vista or Windows 7 operating system, do the following steps.

  1. Click Start , type recovery in the search field, and then select Recovery Manager from the listing.

  2. Select Software Program Reinstallation option, and follow the on-screen instructions.

  3. Select HP Wireless Assistant , and click Next to begin the installation.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

After restarting the computer, the HP Wireless Assistant should be active and icons should display in the toolbar.

Install from HP Support web site

If you have upgraded to Vista or Windows 7, or are using the XP operating system, click this link to Download HP Wireless Assistant directly to your desktop, or do the following steps.

  1. Go to the HP Drivers and Downloads page for your model.

  2. Follow the on-screen instructions. You may be prompted to enter your region and language, model number or product number, and the installed operating system.

  3. Click your operating system under Select operating system .

  4. After clicking the operating system, locate and select HP Wireless Assistant .

  5. Click Download , and then Save the file to convenient location on your hard drive, such as the desktop on the computer.

  6. Double-click the downloaded file and follow the instructions to install the HP Wireless Assistant.

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