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Old 05-26-2006, 10:44 AM   #1
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WiFi Question

Got a computer question for any "computer smart" folks on the forum.

I have an older (late 2002) Dell laptop. My laptop is equiped with a Pentium chip. I recently installed a WiFi card and was told that the computer would automatically configure itself to connect at any WiFi hotspot.

I took the laptop with me this morning to a local coffee shop with a free WiFi hotspot and could not get it to connect to the internet.

What am I doing wrong and/or overlooking?

Thanks,
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:46 AM   #2
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Did your computer say it was unable to connect or did nothing happen. When I turn on my computer it has a pop up that tells me it is searching for a connection.
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:09 AM   #3
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Sometimes I have to go to the control panel network connections, disable then enable the wireless network connection. It can also be as simple as making sure the radio function is turned on, look for a little blue tower on your keypad(Function + F2 key) I have had issues as well and sometimes you have to call the support for the WIFI card and make sure you have the most up to date downloads. Not and expert but this has worked for me.
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Heywood
Got a computer question for any "computer smart" folks on the forum.

I have an older (late 2002) Dell laptop. My laptop is equiped with a Pentium chip. I recently installed a WiFi card and was told that the computer would automatically configure itself to connect at any WiFi hotspot.

I took the laptop with me this morning to a local coffee shop with a free WiFi hotspot and could not get it to connect to the internet.

What am I doing wrong and/or overlooking?

Thanks,
Steve you need to check that the antenna is enabled. If it's not on, then you won't see anything. Then dependent upon the wireless software you have set up, you may have to scan for wireless networks and then select the network for the coffee shop.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of wireless signals out there and sometimes your antenna may not be connected to the one that you think. We support wireless here at the convention center and we spend a lot of time showing folks how to connect to the proper wireless access point. A lot of folks just think it's plug and play. We call it plug and pray here.

Jack
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:18 AM   #5
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When I purchased a wifi card for my laptop, it came with a drivers CD to install. That gave me some software that would configure the card and scan for available wifi networks.

So there might be some software you have to run to configure it.

I also had to disable the built in network port to force the laptop to use the wifi one for the internet. Otherwise when I opened a browser, nothing happened.
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:31 PM   #6
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Thanks to all for your input.

Here's what it does: My WiFi card is working fine, it shows between 4-6 wireless networks in my neighborhood when I enable it. It connected to the network at the coffee shop this morning but when I tried to get online it acted like it wasn't connected to the internet, like when the network cable is disconnected at home or my cable modem is down.

Disabling my network connection sounds like something worth trying. Any other suggestions?
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:45 PM   #7
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A thought

I have to tell my land-line connection to "Never dial" or mine keeps trying the modem and not getting a connection. As soon as I tell it not to dial, it goes right to the WiFi connection.
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Old 05-26-2006, 01:50 PM   #8
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I have had laptops that don't like having 2 network adapters enabled. A Compaq Armada E500 I had would not connect via the Orinoco 802.11b card, unless I disabled the on board ethernet adaptor. Also check your firewall connection too. You may have to diable it.
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Old 05-26-2006, 02:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Heywood
Thanks to all for your input.

Here's what it does: My WiFi card is working fine, it shows between 4-6 wireless networks in my neighborhood when I enable it. It connected to the network at the coffee shop this morning but when I tried to get online it acted like it wasn't connected to the internet, like when the network cable is disconnected at home or my cable modem is down.

Disabling my network connection sounds like something worth trying. Any other suggestions?
Steve,

It sounds like your browser is configured to use a dial-up or land line. If so, you may need to make some changes the get it to 'SEE' the wireless connection.

It would be helpful for us to know the OS (Operating System) and Internet Browser (name and version). Most people use Microsoft's Internet Explorer, of which there are many versions, but there are many other browsers out there.

Calvin
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Spiffy Gem
It would be helpful for us to know the OS (Operating System) and Internet Browser (name and version). Most people use Microsoft's Internet Explorer, of which there are many versions, but there are many other browsers out there.
Windows XP with MS Internet Explorer.
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Old 05-27-2006, 11:02 AM   #11
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Do you have a static IP address assigned the WLAN adapter? You can get into the command line (Start->Run->type CMD and press enter) and run an IPCONFIG /all command. It will tell you all IP address related info for all adapters, including if DHCP is set, Ip address, gatway, DNS servers. Also, if you are truly connect to a network are are set for DHCP, there should be an address in there, probably in the 10.x.x.x range, or the 192.168.x.x ranges. You should be able to run a PING command to the gateway server and get a response <e.g. ping 192.168.1.1>. If you are seeing a 169.x.x.x address, your are not getting an address assigned by the address servers.

God bless Windows.
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Old 05-27-2006, 01:10 PM   #12
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Wow...

Westfalia's instructions are a little complicated, even for long time Windows users...

Let me offer something simpler to try...

The card and the lighted LED and the software utility that came with it are showing a "physical" connection to the WiFi antenna in the park, so there is a link of radio signals.

The second step is often to get the WiFi transmitter to enable you to go through it to the internet... In many locations, this means starting MS Explorer (and going through Options/Internet Connections to disable proxy server temporarily) and getting to the log-in screen for the local WiFi provider. Some systems want a password, some want room numbers (hotels) or maybe just acceptance of policies and no liability to let you log through and connect. From there, you have both physical connection to antenna, and then open line to Internet..

John McG
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