Microsoft Windows XP
Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) / Wireless Network Troubleshooting Checklist
First version: 10.31.2004 | This revision: 02.26.2005 (GMT+8)
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computers with built-in wireless adapters often come with a
hardware switch that turns on/off the radio of the adapter in
order to save battery power.
Make sure this switch has been turned on before you attempt other checklist items - or there will be no power to the radio and you will not be able to detect any wireless network.
Management option is available to your wireless adapter entry in
Device Manager (see below of an example on a wired
network adapter), you may turn off the power saving function if
you plan to have a wireless network connected all the time to
avoid connection issues when Windows turns off the adapter to
This is totally optional as turning off the function will no doubt shorten battery life.
your encryption Key has been entered properly on each computer.
There have been cases where the wrong Key is used and WZC still reports a connection but without a network being established.
Packet Scheduler under Wireless Network Connection's Properties.
You need to re-establish
connection for the change to take effect.
802.1x Authentication if enabled (if available).
For a more detailed instruction,
your wireless network is the only entry or is at the top of the
Preferred network entries.
different wireless channel on the router.
Disconnection can be caused by another radio source (such as microwave oven, household cordless phones, etc.) or wireless networks operating near or on the same frequency as your network.
If your router has one of those auto channel selection, turn it off and try one channel at a time.
To speed up the testing process, and if your wireless adapter is bundled with an application to that can tell you what channels are being occupied by other wireless networks, use it to identify the channels which are the least occupied and with the furthest separation from other occupied channels, and try these channels first. Please see Wi-Fi Wireless Networks FAQ for a detailed explanation.
|Change to a
unique router SSID.
SSID identifies your wireless network to your devices. Think of it as a radio station identifier.
Make sure your router's identification is unique in your neighborhood. It is recommended to avoid using spaces and symbols if possible, although this may not have a significant effect.
This is not a security feature since it can be sniffed from the data packet in plain text form, and can affect connectivity when disabled - see http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=811427 from Microsoft for more details.
wireless configuration is available on the router, check or
change the following settings if they are present on your
|Try using a
lower form of wireless encryption, e.g., switch from WPA-PSK
Do bear in mind the possible increase in security risk.
|If the router
has MAC Address Filtering enabled, make sure the MAC
Address (also known as Physical Address) of your wireless
adapter is listed, or has not been excluded depending on the
Filtering mode in use.
location or placement of the router. Make sure it is not hidden
under a desk or in a shelf. Place it as high up and as centre of
the area to be covered as possible.
|If there is a
firewall on the wireless client, see whether the firewall is
causing disconnection by disabling it.
Don't worry about losing firewall protection - the router should still provide sufficient protection to your network.
computer is using Windows XP with more than one network adapter
present and it has establish a network bridge, remove or
disable the bridge.
|Additional Reading (may open in a new window)|
|Step-by-step Setup Guide To A Secure Home Wi-Fi Network|
|Connect To An Encrypted Wi-Fi Network With A Hidden ESSID/SSID|
|Wi-Fi Wireless Networks FAQ|
|Wireless Networking Overview|
|Connect to an available wireless network|
|Configuring Wireless Network Clients|
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