Windows Legacy OS forum


Can't connect to wireless, signal strength is strong

by dkennedy101 / February 25, 2012 2:49 AM PST

Hi guys,
Just installed XP on an old laptop and am unable to connect to the internet. I can see the wireless networks available, signal strength is strong but unable to connect.

I have 2 other computer in my house that are accessing the Internet through the same router (1 direct connected, 1 wireless) so no issues there.

ipconfig/all output:

E:\Documents and Settings\David>ipconfig/all

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : david-ee8ad9b80
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcast
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Networ
k Connection
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-18-DE-CC-C5-C8

Hope someone can help, thanks

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All Answers

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Tell us more
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 2:56 AM PST

about this XP install on the laptop.

The general cause for the problem you have is drivers. Did you install all the drivers this laptop needs to run XP? The XP Setup CD doesn't have those and doesn't do it for you, and neither does Microsoft through Windows Device Manager.


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Where are the drivers?
by dkennedy101 / February 25, 2012 5:13 AM PST
In reply to: Tell us more

Thanks for your reply, where would i get the correct drivers or how do i check the drivers i need to have?

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This is exactly what MY XP LAPTOP DID.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 5:08 AM PST

It had a great signal but would not connect until I installed all the Service Packs and a wifi driver from my laptop's maker.

Since this is a fresh install, it should not connect yet.

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by dkennedy101 / February 25, 2012 5:15 AM PST

I installed the drivers from the disk that came with the laptop, maybe i need to update to service pack 2, not sure how to check if its already installed.

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Service Pack 2 and 3 add
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 5:17 AM PST
In reply to: Drivers

WPA and WPA2 capability and more.

Since you know that XP knew so little about wifi and wifi changed over the years, a fresh install means for most of us no Wifi.

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PS. Some restores include NORTON
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 5:25 AM PST

And since it's very old, it will expire just after install and shutdown internet access. Be sure you have removed that and installed something current.

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Service pack 2 and 3
by dkennedy101 / February 25, 2012 5:50 PM PST

Service pack 2 and 3 are already installed on my system so its up to date. I have also installed the latest version drivers for my Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG NA but still unable to connect.

Any other ideas? I think its a simple solution but i'm not very experienced with using windows so not sure what to check. or look for.

There is no anti-virus software on my system so no issues there either.

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Let's say the install was XP (i have to guess this)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 6:52 PM PST
In reply to: Service pack 2 and 3

And if your next step was not an antivirus there are too many pests that can crawl on and make trouble.

I also have to guess that you are not blocking your own machine with MAC FILTERS at the router.

Keep telling more and we might find it. But I can't ask the over 100 questions to find what it is. But if you told more, we might see it.

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More details
by dkennedy101 / February 25, 2012 7:51 PM PST

As my op stated "Just installed XP", so yes its XP Happy

Not sure what information you want me to give you. All drivers updated using driver disk that came with the laptop. I can see the signal but can't connect. I have tried connecting using a cable and the lights on the router indicate the connection is live but still no Internet access.

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It could be as simple as WEP.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 26, 2012 1:39 AM PST
In reply to: More details

But looking up this discussion is dieing for information.

For now, go try a hotspot like Panera Bread.

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Unable to connect.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 7:46 PM PST
In reply to: Service pack 2 and 3

Are you sure you have entered the right password?

If you say "I am unable to connect" interpret it as "I'm trying to connect but there's some error". That's quite something else than "I'm not connected". .
Does it say something about "limited or no connectivity" if you hover the mouse over the wireless icon in the task bar?
What exactly happens if you do a "ipconfig /renew"?


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Yep, i'm sure
by dkennedy101 / February 25, 2012 7:57 PM PST
In reply to: Unable to connect.

Password is correct. It does not say "limited or no connectivity".

Wireless networks found, shows a list of networks, i choose my network and it tries to connect, then "unable to connect..."

Tried ipconfig /renew. Error message "No operation can be performed on Wireless Network Connection while it has its media disconnected". Not sure what that means.

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Re: media disconnected
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 8:05 PM PST
In reply to: Yep, i'm sure seems to have a lot of useful hits. Some are even marked "solved".

Just as a diagnostic, did you try that laptop elsewhere, for example a public WiFi at Starbucks or whatever public WiFi you have around? Or the wireless of a friend or family member?

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And ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 25, 2012 8:10 PM PST
In reply to: Re: media disconnected

I read the first hit that mentioned "solved". This was the way it was done:

"Thank turns out that it is a much simpler problem. The WLAN switch was turned off somehow by accident. It is on the front of the laptop beneath the card reader drive. Works like a charm, now."

Would be somewhat embarrassing, wouldn't it, if that turned out to be your issue. It makes sense to use that switch in an airplane ("turn off WiFi") and to make your battery last somewhat longer if you don't need it. But it should be turned to "on" again for the wireless to work.
Of course, there might be other causes.


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Wish it was such a stupid solution
by dkennedy101 / February 25, 2012 8:55 PM PST
In reply to: And ...

however, its not. No switch turned off. I'll go through the list of tips on other sites and look on some technical forums.

You must work in IT with questions like "is it switched on" and "Are you sure you have entered the right password?" lol

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I'm still thinking..
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 26, 2012 3:41 AM PST


It's just your initial information in your top post, viz;

Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection:

Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected

{My underlining}

Can you look at your Device Manager and tell us what it says for this device? I think it is disconnected because there is no driver installed for it.


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Same here
by AXISOFWHO / September 9, 2013 3:48 AM PDT
In reply to: I'm still thinking..

My Win XP laptop is experiencing almost the same issue. I CAN connect to my own wireless network and certain others but when I get to my brother's house, I am unable to connect to his network; despite it showing a very strong signal. Whenever I enter his wifi credentials, it attempts to connect but then says unable to connect to network. The password entered is correct, because I temporarily enable the feature where you can see the password you're entering, but still no dice. My XP system has been updated to SP 3 and I have recently upgraded all drivers available for ethernet and wireless. Of course, I am able to connect to his network, using a wired connection.

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Good clues.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 9, 2013 3:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Same here

At the office we have one last XP laptop. Yes it is XP! The one with no service packs. If we reload the XP from the maker, it will not connect to any WiFi that is WPA or WPA2 protected.

Even with service packs it won't connect.

If we use Microsoft's driver update it won't connect.

It will only connect after we install the latest driver from the maker's web site.

-> This seems to be must too hard for most users to get done. Maybe it's time for XP to go away?

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Check Authentication settings.
by SlamX / September 17, 2013 7:07 AM PDT

Go into wireless network connections properties. Open change order of networks. Highlight your network and click properties. Click on authentication tab and make sure it is unchecked.

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by LondonSky993884 / January 20, 2016 4:17 PM PST

Log into your modem by typing in into the search bar.
User name: admin Password: password
Basic Setup > Security Mode > WPA/WPA2 (TKIP/AES) (Most Compatible)
Apply Changes > Logout
Refresh wireless list and connect.

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