Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Wireless Troubleshooting - What to Do For Limited Or No Connectivity on an XP Laptop.

Networking allows computers to interact, or share data, between themselves. Although they became easy to use over the years, issues such as "Limited or No connectivity" on Windows machines especially still occur. It prevents the computer, laptop, or any other device running Microsoft windows system from any network connection.
This would be very frustrating for a user who fails to solve the connectivity issue after several attempts. The "Limited or no connectivity" message tells the user that a problem has occur and needs troubleshooting. Below are some causes that may need looking at.
Physical causes and What to Do...

  • Network card could be faulty or malfunctioning, or the port on the card itself. Make sure lights show on the card and if they don't, replace with another one that works.
  • Check that your router or the server is turned on so that the laptop can acquire a valid IP address.
  • Double check to make sure the wireless card on the laptop is turned on. Do not assume it is on by default, do it yourself.

Logical or Software causes and solutions
  • Many of us are online buyers. Items sold on the internet, especially used items, are not in their default settings. Previous owners do not always reset them before sale, and this causes a lot of issues and unwanted beheaviours. Below are some of the common settings found on Routers:
    • ISP user name and password. If you want to connect to the internet check with your ISP to get your own User name and password, if not ignore this step.
    • Looking at the security options, make sure:
      • MAC address Filtering is not enable. If it is, remove all the MAC addresses on the MAC address table, and enter your Laptop's network card MAC address. With MAC Filtering On, do not forget to enter the MAC addresses of all you wireless devices on to its table.
      • Wireless key settings. Disable the wireless key settings and configure it to meet your requirements.

  • A Laptop to Laptop connection, please make sure the wireless settings on both laptops are the same.
  • Inconsistent wireless Keys. The key on the laptop has to match the one configured on the router.
  • Drivers out of date, update your wireless adapter drivers or your router firmware by checking the manufacturer web site.
  • Wireless not enable on the router. If wireless is not enable on the router, there is no Wi-Fi signal at all. some Router would have wireless turned off by default, and it is the administrator decision to use it or not.
  • DHCP Server misconfiguration. Make sure the DHCP (Dynamic Hosts Configuration) server is properly configured:
    • Enough IP address lease for your network devices
    • The server itself is not down
Some simple troubleshooting methods are:
  • Repair the connection. On Windows, click start - Control panel and then Network connections; chose the right connection icon, right then select repair. Windows will, temporarily, disable and re-enable your network adapter to attempt a connection.
  • Reset the IP stack. Click start then Run. At the command prompt type "command" or cmd for short, you are then presented with the command prompt window. Type "netsh int ip reset resetlog", and then restart your Laptop. This applies to desktop computers as well.
  • Reset the router to its factory default. Most routers we use at home are fitted with a reset button, by pressing and hold it for few seconds will bring the router to its factory default. This method solves a lot of the issues mentioned earlier, in one go.


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