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Windows 7 suddenly cannot see any wireless networks

    Question

  • Ok gentlemen, riddle me this...

    I have a Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Xa-2528 notebook that I have been running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit on since I got a hold of it through MSDNAA last summer. I have never had any problems (well, at least none that I couldn't fix myself), until now...

    Today, while casually browsing the internet, I suddenly got disconnected from my wireless network. Ever since Windows does not show any wireless network in range. My other laptop in the same room can see every network in the neighborhood just fine. Windows tells me about my wireless card that "This device is functioning properly."

    The wireless card is an Atheros AR5005EG Wireless Network Adapter, driver version is currently 7.7.0.449 (64-bit obviously)

    Things I have tried so far (unsuccessfully):

    • Reboot (har har)
    • Rollback/uninstall/reinstall/update-to-latest-version of my wireless drivers
    • Diagnose the network connection using the Windows Network Diagnostics (came up empty)
    • Google (so far I could not find a problem that was similar to mine)
    • Disable Windows Firewall
    • Disable Microsoft Security Essentials
    • Make sure obvious services like "Network Connection" and "WLAN AutoConfig" are running

    Some more info:

    • Security software: Windows Firewall (default configuration) and Microsoft Security Essentials
    • I have not, in the last few days (even weeks), made any changes to my configuration as far as drivers, software and hardware go
    • The last Windows Updates are a couple of Microsoft Security Essentials Definition Updates, dated a few hours before this problem. The last 'real' Windows Update dates back to March 10

    Currently I'm afraid that my wireless adapter has died, despite what Windows is telling me. I would like to know if there could be an alternate explanation for this, and by this I mean "wireless completely quitting on you from one moment to the next". If not, I would also like to know how I can make a final diagnosis regarding the possible death of my wireless radio.

    Thanks in advance.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 10:46 PM

Answers

  • So guess what... as I turned my laptop on this afternoon wireless was working like a charm again!

    I'm happy but also confused... I've shut down and rebooted several times when I was troubleshooting this problem yesterday, including not one but two reboots since the last change to my configuration (installing new wireless drivers). What could have occurred this time that suddenly fixed the problem? Why did my wireless suddenly quit yesterday in the first place?

    Right now I'm guessing heat was a factor: it's the only thing that has changed between yesterday and now. Yesterday the laptop had been on for a full day and was quite hot when wireless quit. Now that it had a chance to cool down everything is fine again. It has never done this before though.

    I'm going to mark this topic as solved for now (unless wireless starts acting up again), but if anyone has an alternate explanation I'll be happy to hear it.

    • Marked as answer by BartBot Wednesday, March 24, 2010 3:29 PM
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 3:28 PM

All replies

  • I know this might seem dumb, but have you checked if you accidentally hit your hardware wireless switch? I don't know if that specific laptop has one, but you wouldn't believe how many calls I get saying that exact thing has happened and it turns out the user hit the hardware switch.
    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 11:38 PM
  • According to the manual, there is definitely a slider On/Off switch for the Wireless.

    Rich Why can't I be different and original like everybody else? - Vivian Stanshal
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 1:06 AM
  • I know this might seem dumb, but have you checked if you accidentally hit your hardware wireless switch? I don't know if that specific laptop has one, but you wouldn't believe how many calls I get saying that exact thing has happened and it turns out the user hit the hardware switch.
    According to the manual, there is definitely a slider On/Off switch for the Wireless.
    Thanks for the quick replies. I should have mentioned the hardware switch: yes, there is one and yes, I have made sure that it's not in the off position (in fact, I have tried flipping it up and down but the only effect this seems to have is turn my Bluetooth on and off).
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 7:57 AM
  • Bart Ypou can use a third tool to test the wi-fi you can load or use this page.

    http://tools.meraki.com/stumbler

    get the laptop online via a wired connection, load the page doe sit show any networks??

    And if you can use a wired connecion where your wi-fi is  go to where you can get online and just leave the page open until you can test for wi-fi

     

     

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:31 AM
  • So guess what... as I turned my laptop on this afternoon wireless was working like a charm again!

    I'm happy but also confused... I've shut down and rebooted several times when I was troubleshooting this problem yesterday, including not one but two reboots since the last change to my configuration (installing new wireless drivers). What could have occurred this time that suddenly fixed the problem? Why did my wireless suddenly quit yesterday in the first place?

    Right now I'm guessing heat was a factor: it's the only thing that has changed between yesterday and now. Yesterday the laptop had been on for a full day and was quite hot when wireless quit. Now that it had a chance to cool down everything is fine again. It has never done this before though.

    I'm going to mark this topic as solved for now (unless wireless starts acting up again), but if anyone has an alternate explanation I'll be happy to hear it.

    • Marked as answer by BartBot Wednesday, March 24, 2010 3:29 PM
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 3:28 PM
  • Check to see if maybe the wi-fi card needs to be reseated
    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 5:53 PM
  • I had a similar issue with my netbook running Windows 7 would stop seeing all wireless networks.  Luckily my netbook dual booted. I had the same results when I booted to XP or Windows 7. This told me it was hardware. I would suggest booting to another OS, like Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows or Ubuntu live CD, and see if you have the issue. My netbook was still under warranty so I returned it.
    Thursday, March 25, 2010 2:30 AM
  • I know some computers have hard switch for the wireless NIC; if the issue reoccurs, please also check it.

     

    In addition, I would like to share the following with you for your reference:

     

    Troubleshoot problems finding wireless networks

     

    Thanks.


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Thursday, March 25, 2010 8:26 AM
    Moderator