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Windows 7 can't connect to public wifi

    Question

  • I am unable to connect to a public unsecured wi fi (public library).  I have a wireless network at home which connects without any trouble.  The public wi fi shows up on my system, but when I try to connect it indicates that it does not have a valid IP.  ipconfig shows the 167.x.x.x address, which indicates that it does not receive a DHCP assigned IP.  I am unable to ping the DHCP server.  Is there a way to determine if the computer is broadcasting a request to the DHCP server?  It is connecting to the home network, and it is being assigned an IP there.  What is the difference in the way it polls the server at home and at the library?  I am using Windows 7 Home Prem. 64 on a Dell Inspiron 2500.  Intel Dual core 2 GHz with 4 GB Ram.  
    Friday, March 04, 2011 3:16 AM

Answers

  • Thanks for the update.

    Do you install any security software? Temporarily disable it to check if it works.

    If the issue still persists. We need further troubleshoot the issue, follow these steps one by one to check the issue:

    1. Check the DHCP and the DNS services. Click Start - input services.msc in the search box, on the right box. Check if the DHCP Client and DNS Client services are running.

    2. Try to flush and register DNS. Run CMD, input ipconfig /flushdns [Enter Key], ipconfig /registerdns, then restart the computer.

    3. If still cannot connect to public wifi, try to reset the winsock. Run CMD, input Netsh Winsock Reset, reboot to check the result.

    4. Try to reset TCP/IP with netsh command. Run CMD, input netsh int ip reset reset.txt 

    5. Reinstall the NIC, go to the Device Manager, on the right pan, find the Network Adapters, right-click the NIC, then uninstall it then reinstall it.

    Regards,

    Miya

     


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    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 5:48 AM

All replies

  • There are no passwords nor encryption.  It's fully open to public.  I can connect with XP machine, just not with Win 7.  I believe the problem is with the way in which Windows 7 requests DHCP assignment.
    Friday, March 04, 2011 3:46 PM
  • Thanks so much for your suggestions.  I appreciate the help.  I ran the file system checker and received the following: "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations."  Any changes I make to my system requires a trip to the local library to determine if I have made any headway.  I have made changes to the firewall settings and AV protection without any improvement.  I have recently installed a couple of network monitoring applications that I hope may shed some light on the problem.  This should not be that difficult.  DHCP is obviously working at home, just not at the public site.  I'm convinced it has to do with Windows 7 settings, just haven't been able to narrow it down.  According to Microsoft, Windows 7 is configured to toggle between a broadcast and unicast setting in order to be more compatible with different systems.  It also appears that it takes a full minute for the flag to toggle between states. Maybe I didn't wait long enough for the toggle.......? Don't know, just guessing.  I'll repost after the next trip to the library.  Thanks again. 
    Saturday, March 05, 2011 9:00 PM
  • Hi,

    How's going now? When you go to the library again, open your computer

    Run CMD as an administrator, input ipconfig /all

    What's the result?

    Since you got the "invalid IP addrss" error message, try to input:

    ipconfig /release

    ipconfig /renew

    Then check if it works.

    Regards,

    Miya


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. | Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Monday, March 07, 2011 7:24 AM
  • Hi Miya,

    Thanks for the reply.  IPconfig/release/renew shows "An error occurred while renewing interface Wireless Network Connection : Unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out."  Today I ran the MS Netork Monitor and logged for about 2 minutes at the library.  It shows broadcasts from the DHCP server and requests from my laptop, but I really don't know how to interpret all the log entries.  Still no connect.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 3:42 AM
  • I've already considered that, but another user with Windows 7 was also unable to connect at the library, same problem.  All users with other OSs seem to connect fine, as do I when I use my XP machine.  If it isn't a Win 7 issue, it must be the way the library is config'd.  I'm about ready to go back to XP on this machine.  
    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:08 AM
  • Yes, it works fine with my home network.  
    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:14 AM
  • That may very well be the case.  I will try to contact the County IT people and see if they have any ideas.  They maintain wi-fi hotspots at all the county libraries.  I spoke with them a couple of weeks ago but they had not encountered this problem at that time.  Will try again.  Thanks for your help.
    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 4:20 AM
  • Thanks for the update.

    Do you install any security software? Temporarily disable it to check if it works.

    If the issue still persists. We need further troubleshoot the issue, follow these steps one by one to check the issue:

    1. Check the DHCP and the DNS services. Click Start - input services.msc in the search box, on the right box. Check if the DHCP Client and DNS Client services are running.

    2. Try to flush and register DNS. Run CMD, input ipconfig /flushdns [Enter Key], ipconfig /registerdns, then restart the computer.

    3. If still cannot connect to public wifi, try to reset the winsock. Run CMD, input Netsh Winsock Reset, reboot to check the result.

    4. Try to reset TCP/IP with netsh command. Run CMD, input netsh int ip reset reset.txt 

    5. Reinstall the NIC, go to the Device Manager, on the right pan, find the Network Adapters, right-click the NIC, then uninstall it then reinstall it.

    Regards,

    Miya

     


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. | Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 5:48 AM
  • Dear Miya,

    I have the same problem with my recent Acer m/c AC3820T come pre-install Win7 and McAfee Internet Security Suite, I frequent Shenzhen(China) international airport and has no problem connecting to the airport free Wifi internet with my old XP m/c, but not this Win7 m/c 3 days ago. Normally once it is connected the IE home page will display the airport welcome screen for me to select acceptance of the airport free Wifi internet service.

    The Wifi icon at the task bar indicated connection with problem, when I open the network and sharing center it indicated Wifi is connected to the router but no internet connection (  "X" is indicated between router and internet diagram). 

    I appreciate your instruction above, but for layman I dare not try those command in CMD as any mistake can create bigger problem. A standard update program from Microsoft would be appreciated.

    Like shelocke, I am convinced it is a Win7 unique problem with public unsecure network because I have no problem connecting to my home network as well as my work place network with the same setting, and I see people at airport next to me connecting well with XP.

    A friend told me may be it was due to IE8 that come with Win7 had a default security feature at IE=>tool=>internet option=>security tab, turn off the "enable protected mode". Unfortunately I am not at airport to test this feature.

    But I find funny result when I tested this protected mode at my home network. Internet connection was ok when this mode was at default "ON",  when I set it to "OFF" IE8 can no longer connect to internet. Do you think this feature has something to do with Win7 intelligent security detection of Home/Work/Public environment?

    Thanks for your help.

    Peter

     

    Monday, March 21, 2011 3:47 AM
  • Hi Peter,

    I also have a Windows 7 laptop and works fine when connect to public wifi, so I cannot reproduce this issue.

    How about running IE8 in compatibility mode? Click Tools, choose Compatibility View.

    Windows 7 and Internet Explorer indeed enhance the security than before, for the protected mode, please check the details here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb250462(v=vs.85).aspx

    Meanwhile, I recommend you start your own thread about this issue.  It will involve more communites to help you.

    Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

    Regards,

    Miya


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. | Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Monday, March 21, 2011 9:14 AM
  • Thank you so much

    I was also having a problem connecting to open wifi and resetting the winsock did just the trick!

    Saturday, June 30, 2012 10:56 PM
  • hi,

    i have been investigating this issue for a while and i  must say it is NOT a problem with the library, airport or coffee shop. Here is the real scenario: as long as you have to type any sort of password or access key it WILL work.

    It DOES NOT Work (connect) when it is totally open, unsecured. i took the time to go to different coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, airports and hotels in different countries (as i constantly travel for work, that's not difficult).

    The only time it does not connect is when there is not a password, code, access key to enter. The icon on the system tray will display "connected" and it is indeed connected as you can double check from the Network And Sharing Center but that is in fact between your computer and the router. It does not go out to the web.

    It is not hardware related: i have tried on more than one laptop - same thing

    It is not browser related either: same happens on IE, Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

    It has to be something with the protocol stak as someone already mentioned or possibly the network adapter settings.

    Friday, May 02, 2014 2:37 PM
  • hey Peter!

    i tried the "enable protected mode" and i have to say ..nop, that's not where it's coming from! it not even browser related!

    hi,

    i have been investigating this issue for a while and i  must say it is NOT a problem with the library, airport or coffee shop. Here is the real scenario: as long as you have to type any sort of password or access key it WILL work.

    It DOES NOT Work (connect) when it is totally open, unsecured. i took the time to go to different coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, airports and hotels in different countries (as i constantly travel for work, that's not difficult).

    The only time it does not connect is when there is not a password, code, access key to enter. The icon on the system tray will display "connected" and it is indeed connected as you can double check from the Network And Sharing Center but that is in fact between your computer and the router. It does not go out to the web.

    It is not hardware related: i have tried on more than one laptop - same thing

    It is not browser related either: same happens on IE, Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

    It has to be something with the protocol stak as someone already mentioned or possibly the network adapter settings.

    Friday, May 02, 2014 2:40 PM
  • guys!!

    it is not browser related!!!

    it doesn't matter what browser or what version of it you are using!! it is not hardware and it is not browser..

    we should focus on protocol stacks and network adapters..

    Friday, May 02, 2014 2:42 PM
  • I have the same problem. My laptop with win 7 installed cannot connect to a public wifi, while my android cell phone can. To work around, I set my android cell phone to be on wireless connection, and I am tethering through my android cell phone to my laptop. MS, it is your win 7's problem, not the public wifi.
    Wednesday, June 04, 2014 1:51 PM