Networking & Wireless

Question

Windows cannot use wireless network adaptors

by evildead6661666 / February 25, 2013 3:12 AM PST

Hi all!

I have a weird issue with my daughter's laptop. It will connect to the wired network, and give internet access, but it won't allow any connections via a wireless network adaptor.

The laptop is on Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.

In device manager it says the wireless adaptor is working properly. The drivers are the latest. Down in the notification area it says "not connected - no connections are available". She has a wifi switch (Fn+F3) on the laptop, but switching it makes no difference.

I have an old desktop pc that connects via a USB wifi dongle, so I plugged the dongle into the laptop. It installed without problems, but in the notification area it says the same thing, "not connected - no connections available"

So now I'm thinking, "what sits between the network adaptors and Windows? How come it will connect on wired, but not wireless?"

This all started when I updated her Atheros wifi driver. From that moment on it wouldn't connect using wifi. I thought I had somehow physically broken the wifi adaptor hardware, so I bought a new one (a Killer n1202), but installing it made no difference. It's as though I have somehow altered the way that Windows communicates with any wireless adaptor.

When I go to the command line and type "ipconfig /all", there is no entry for "wireless LAN adaptor wireless network connection", as there is on my other laptop.

She doesn't have any system restore points set.

I'm a bit stuck. I've been in touch with both the company I bought the new wireless network adaptor from and the manufacturer, but they are really slow to respond, so I thought I'd try my luck here.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Clarification Request
I read most of that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 5:50 AM PST

But could not find the make and model.

Dell for instance will do that if the user forgot to install Dell's Quickset. My Toshiba does that if my WiFi switch is to the right.
Bob

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Make and model
by evildead6661666 / February 25, 2013 7:19 AM PST
In reply to: I read most of that.

It's an Acer Aspire 5552.

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And Acer has some app to turn on/off WiFi.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 7:23 AM PST
In reply to: Make and model

Your statement about the OS makes me think it's not Acer's version of Windows. I can't tell you all the drivers and APPS you need to install.

It's an interesting issue about Windows. Makes you think there's got to be a better way.

In short, install Acer's version from the restore media and it should work again.
Bob

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Restoration
by evildead6661666 / February 25, 2013 8:06 AM PST

I don't have any system restore, and Acer didn't ship any backup disks, but I did download the original driver from their support site. That didn't work. The problem was the same, "the device is working properly", but no connection.

Now that I have new hardware installed, I have installed the latest of its drivers too. But that hasn't made any difference either.

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You found the cause.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 8:15 AM PST
In reply to: Restoration

You need Acer's management apps to turn on the WiFi. And no, I don't have those or which ones. They should be at Acer.com for your model. And again, that's no driver. It's the control app to turn it on and off.

As to your comment about disks. We make those when we unpack the machine. Folk often ignore that and now you see folk take a road trip without a spare.
Bob

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Read another Acer model.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 7:43 AM PST
In reply to: Make and model
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/31782-43-solved-help-wireless-issue-hell is very interesting.

Makes you wonder how they got there. In other words I never see that issue but can re-create it. I can only guess folk are trying to enable bluetooth and in their tinkering, broke it.

Is there a series of buttons above the keyboard? The WiFi one to the very left. looks sort of like a dish antenna; a dot and an oval.
Bob
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Buttons
by evildead6661666 / February 25, 2013 8:08 AM PST

Hi again Bob. Thanks for your help with this.

Above the keyboard is the power button (top left) and beside it, two lights. One for HDD and one for Wifi. I thought they might be touch buttons, but they're not, I checked.

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Those won't work.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 8:16 AM PST
In reply to: Buttons

Until the helper app is installed.

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Clarification Request
In the future. Tell the little things.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 8:20 AM PST

Now that we know it's not the supplied OS, we can begin to see why it doesn't work.

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No helper app
by evildead6661666 / February 26, 2013 5:38 AM PST

She had a HDD failure about 2 months ago and never reinstalled the Acer helper apps. The wifi worked after this reinstall, but was a bit unreliable; it kept dropping out every so often.

I'm installing the helper apps now and will let you know what happens.

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So it's not the ACER supplied OS.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 5:42 AM PST
In reply to: No helper app

All bets are off. I'd order the restore media. Interesting it worked without the helper app. My encounters are always where it doesn't work and we have to install such.
bob

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Installed apps
by evildead6661666 / February 26, 2013 6:08 AM PST

Hi Bob,

We've installed all of the apps from Acer's support page for this model laptop. It made no discernible difference.

Just out of curiosity, I went to network and sharing centre, then clicked on manage wireless networks, then clicked on Add, manually, then it said "an unexpected error occurred".

Alec

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Could be a hardware failure.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2013 7:42 AM PST
In reply to: Installed apps

But we are not using the Acer supplied restore media or OS. Try an Ubuntu OS as it works without driver hunts. If that fails, try some USB WiFi stick.
Bob

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Unbuntu and USB stick
by evildead6661666 / February 27, 2013 4:10 AM PST

Hi Bob,

I want to get this working on her Windows installation. I have never used Unbuntu and don't really have any interest in changing to it and I'm pretty sure my daughter will want to stick with Windows too.

As I mentioned in the original post, I've tried using a USB wifi stick, and it gives me the same error as the internal wifi adaptor (Windows shows that the device is working properly, but say "no connections available"), that's what made me think it was a problem with whatever layer sits between wifi adaptors and Windows, rather than a driver issue.

Alec

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All that tells me is there
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 28, 2013 7:51 AM PST
In reply to: Unbuntu and USB stick

Is either an OS issue or a hardware issue. Ubuntu is not hard to use to see if the hardware works.

Since you (a) don't have the Acer OS and (b) don't want to test the hardware I fear a repair counter is next unless you find a cure or another idea such as the date/ time/ expired Antivirus issues.
Bob

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Ubuntu it is
by evildead6661666 / March 1, 2013 2:43 AM PST

I'll install Ubuntu tomorrow and see if the wifi works. Will I need to find drivers?

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Why are you installing Ubuntu?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 1, 2013 2:49 AM PST
In reply to: Ubuntu it is

I have booted off the LiveCDs for years to do this test. Today I can boot from USB sticks.

Why? Because I don't want to bother the installed OS.

Here's a link to many LiveCDs.

http://livecdlist.com/

Bob

PS. About drivers. I find these LiveCDs to have all I need 99% of the time.

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