This is rarely a local issue with a users computer. Standard troubleshooting can determine where the source of the issue is... IF you are able to connect to other wireless networks
OR other computers are unable to connect to the wireless network
THEN it's an issue with the wireless network/Access-Point. ELSE it's a local issue with your computer. IF It's deemed an issue with your computer check the following:
- Check to see if you are receiving a valid IP Address - 192.168.*.*: Windows Key + R (Run) -> CMD (Command Prompt) -> ipconfig (Windows IP Configuration).
IF Yes: Unless you have a static IP configured, you are communicating with the router and are being assigned an IP lease from DHCP.
- Do not pay anyone to work on your computer or replace a component - Your wireless NIC is functioning. It's a matter of pin-pointing a software-level issue that's conflicting.
ELSE No (IE: 169.254.*.*, 0.0.0.0, Etc...): You are not obtaining an IP lease from the Access-Point via DHCP.
- While highly unlikely, it is possible that their could be an issue beyond a simple software level fix. Bare in mind, you were able to find broadcasted networks so your wireless NIC is functioning in that respect.
- Ensure you do not have a Proxy enabled: Windows Key + R (Run) -> inetcpl.cpl (Internet Properties) -> Connections -> LAN settings.
The only box that can be checked is 'Automatically detect settings
- Ensure no other browser specific variables are conflicting: Internet Properties -> Advanced -> Reset...
Make sure 'Delete personal settings
' is checked when Resetting. This will restore Internet Explorer is using it's stock default settings. Start up Internet Explorer and Test connectivity.
- Disable any inactive adapters: Windows Key + R (Run) -> ncpa.cpl (Network Connections). Right-Click -> Disable
- Verify a Static-IP is not configured: Network Connections -> Right-Click Wireless Adapter -> Properties -> Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) -> Properties.
The radio buttons for Obtain automatically should be selected. If not, change selection, OK Changes, and test connectivity.
- Reset TCP/IP, Winsock, and Flush DNS by performing the following commands in Command Prompt (CMD): netsh i i r r
(Resets TCP/IP - Essentially the same as IPCONFIG /RELEASE and IPCONFIG /RENEW) ipconfig /flushdns
(Flushes resolved DNS cache) ipconfig /registerdns
(Re-Registers DNS) netsh winsock reset catalog
(Resets the Windows Socket Catalog which stores the Layered Service Provider and other crucial settings pertaining to the Windows Socket API)
After performing the specified commands, reboot, connect to the wireless network and test connectivity.
- Re-Install the network adapter driver: Windows Key + R (Run) -> devmgmt.msc (Device Manager).
Expand the Network Adapters selection and Right-Click -> Uninstall
the wireless adapter (Most wireless adapters will contain the word WiFi or Wireless in it).
After it uninstalls the Device Manager listing will refresh and the adapter will disappear from the listing. Right-Click on Network Adapters and select 'Scan for Hardware Changes
'. The listing will refresh again with your adapter listed.
Attempt to connect to the wireless network again and test connectivity.
- If you are still facing issues, boot into Safe-Mode with Networking: Reboot and press F8 continuously immediately after POST.
Disable any Anti-Virus client that is currently running (This can be done using the Tray-Icon for the A/V client, via Task-Manager, and/or Services [services.msc]). Attempt to connect to the wireless network again and test connectivity.
If you are able to connect then it's most likely an Anti-Virus or other program conflicting with your connection. If you still face issues despite the above mentioned you probably fall into one of the following categories:
- Failing wireless NIC
- Wireless NIC requires special drivers
- Compatibility issue with your wireless NIC and the Access-Point (Router)
- Malware Infection
- Conflicting software component (System Restore may be ideal) IF It's deemed an issue with the Access-Point(Router):
- Ensure your router's firmware is up-to-date.
- Verify connectivity strength is good and there is no interference - It's best to try connecting right next to the router when doing this.
- When "connected" to the wireless network, attempt to ping the Gateway (Access-Point).
To find the Gateway IP do the following: Windows Key + R (Run) -> CMD (Command Prompt) -> ipconfig (Windows IP Configuration)
If no Gateway shows for your Wireless Network Connection then continue on. If it does show run the following command - ping [GATEWAY IP]
(IE: ping 192.168.0.1). If you can ping the Gateway then you are successfully communicating with the router
- Power-Cycle the wireless router
Reboot the device - Disconnect Power and reconnect
- Reset to factory default
Every router should have a SMALL reset button. Locate it and press it down for at least 5 seconds. After doing such you may need to log back into your router and re-configure your wireless network. Another alternative to this is to login to your router and verify all wireless network settings (This differs from router to router)
- Test connectivity to the router via ethernet.
If can't even connect to the router via ethernet then it's most likely a problematic router that needs to be replaced. If you are still facing issues despite the above mentioned then you probably fall into one of the following categories:
- Router is bad and requires replacement
- Wireless network is misconfigured on the routers-side
I was motivated to register and make this rather lengthy post after dealing with three clients facing this exact same issue and looking at some of the misguided "recommendations" made. Hopefully this is comprehensive enough to prove useful to others.