Troubleshooting wireless networking issues - ThinkPad

Purpose of this guide, the term Access Point is used for whatever wireless connectivity device is being used. This can be a wireless home gateway or an actual Access Point. Some of these steps may not apply to your computer. Test for network connectivity after performing each step.
  1. Verify that the network adapter is being seen by the operating system.
  2. Verify that the radio is enabled.
  3. Check the SSID (the Network name of the wireless network you are trying to connect to) and security settings.
  4. Verify that the most recent driver for the adapter is installed.
  5. Check for interference/low strength to the wireless signal.
  6. Verify the wireless router/Access Point firmware is up to date.
  7. Verify that TCP/IP (or other appropriate protocol) is properly installed.
  8. Verify the TCP/IP address.
  9. Ping the loopback address.
  10. Verify that the hardware is functioning using diagnostics.
  11. Install latest Service Packs for Operating System or Network Client.

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1. Verify that the network adapter is being seen by the operating system.

Check Microsoft Windows Device Manager and look for an icon that appears as Network Adapters and see if the network card listed in Mini-PCI information table is installed:

  • Right-click the Computer on the desktop or from the Startbutton, and select Manage.
  • Click the on Device Manager in the left pane. Click on the plus sign beside Network adapters to expand the list. Your network card should appear under Network Adapters.
    Note: If the card has a exclamation mark over a yellow background or is not listed, then this is an indication that the card is experiencing a problem and may need to be re-installed. Go to Driver download in step 4.
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2. Verify that the radio is enabled.

It is possible to disable the transmitter of the wireless card without Device Manager showing any problems.
Note: Follow the instructions provided to enable wireless card.

  • Most systems come with a Wireless Radio switch to disable the wireless radios. The wireless radio switch is usually located on the front or side of the machine. If you are having difficulties with wireless connections, make sure the Wireless Radio switch is set in the On position.
    Wireless Radio Switch
  • Other systems do not have a physical hardware switch, but instead have a software switch. Press Fn+F5 together and a menu should appear, make sure that the Master Control is set to On and expand the individual controls and ensure that the 802.11/WiFi is turned

  • Some wireless cards will put an icon in the system tray (the line of icons in the lower right corner of your screen). Right click this icon and it may have a menu option to enable/turn on the wireless radio.

3. Check the SSID (the Network name of the wireless network you are trying to connect to) and security settings.

Note: The SSID and WEP key are case sensitive.

  • The connection will fail if the SSID is incorrect.
  • The most common security setting is the use of a WEP or WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK key. This involves using a alphanumeric key to create a secure connection. This key must match exactly from what is entered into the wireless router/Access Point as the wireless profile in the computer. If your SSID/Network name has special characters, try removing those to see if you can then connect.

    Note: It may also be necessary to temporarily remove the security settings in order to check for basic connectivity. (i.e. set your wireless router/Access Point to no encryption)

4. Verify that the most recent driver for the adapter is installed.

Note: Follow the installation instructions provided with the driver to ensure proper function. Also, it maybe necessary to uninstall the current driver (Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features), reboot, and then install the latest driver package.

  • Check the web site, http://www.lenovo.com/support for the latest driver and/or firmware update for the card.
  • If you are using a card from a different manufacturer, please check the card's documentation for the proper web site to visit.

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5. Check for interference/low strength to the wireless signal.

Most wireless management programs have a form of graph that shows relative signal strength. If this graph is low (usually colored yellow or red and only 1-2 bars out of 4-5 bars) this could be a sign of low signal strength.  It may be necessary to either relocate the wireless router/Access Point or the wireless system itself in order to achieve an acceptable connection.
Also, other radio sources can interfere with the wireless connection, causing connection drops or poor performance. For example, interference can be caused by 2.4GHz cordless phones, other wireless routers/Access Points in the area, and physical structures such as load bearing walls or metal partitions.  If possible, try changing the channel used by the wireless router/Access Point to a different one and see if that helps.
Additionally, if possible, try connecting at a WiFi hotspot, such as a coffee house or book store and see if the same problem exists.

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 6. Verify the wireless router/Access Point firmware is up to date.

    There are often new firmware updates to an wireless router/Access Point that may solve some issues. This is especially true of equipment more than a few years old running original firmware.  Consult the equipment manufacturer’s product documentation or website for details and instructions of how to perform an update.
    Often, vendors of wireless router/Access Points will add features to improve their product. Unfortunately, these extra features are not always compatible with all wireless hardware. Consult the product documentation or manufacturer’s website for the wireless router/Access Point about the possible need to disable these features.

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    7.  Verify that TCP/IP (or other appropriate protocol) is properly installed.

    1. Open Control Panel and open Network Connections or Network and Sharing Center, then click Change adapter settings. The wireless card should be present as Wireless Network Connection.
    2. Right-click the appropriate Wireless Network Connection and select Properties. In the Properties window, make sure that the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) or Internet Protocol Version (TCP/IPv4) is installed.
    3. If TCP/IP is not installed, click Install, click Protocol, and then click TCP/IP.
    4. Once installed make sure that Obtain an IP address automatically, and Obtain DNS server address automatically are checked (if using DHCP). To verify this, highlight the TCP/IP protocol, and select Properties.

         Note: Only use a Static IP Address if your network/Service Provider requires one.

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     8. Verify the TCP/IP address.

    1. Click Start, select All Programs, select Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
    2. Type the command, ipconfig. This will list the IP address for the local machine.
    3. If this returns a 169.x.x.x or 0.0.0.0 address, then type the following commands;
      ipconfig /release    and then
      ipconfig /renew.

      You should then receive a TCP/IP address appropriate to your network, along with a Default Gateway address.
    4. Try to communicate with it by typing this command ping x.x.x.x where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the Default Gateway. (i.e. ping 192.168.1.1)
    5. If this does not give a reply (see the example in step 9) or you did not receive a TCP/IP address, go to the next step.
    6. If you are connecting wirelessly, but receiving an IP address, your wireless router/Access Point might need to be reset (unplug power for a minute, then plug back in), or maybe defective.  Please consult your wireless router/Access Point manufacturer for further assistance.

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      9. Ping the loopback address.

      • Click Start, select All Programs, select Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
      • Type the command, ping 127.0.0.1. This will send a message to the internal network stack on the machine. You should see a response like this:

        Pinging 127.0.0.1 with 32 bytes of data:

        Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
        Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
        Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128
        Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=128

        Ping statistics for 127.0.0.1:
        Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
        Approximate round trip times in milliseconds:
        Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

      • If instead, you receive errors, then there maybe system corruption or malware installed preventing networking from functioning properly.
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      10. Verify that the hardware is functioning using diagnostics.

      • Check the web site, http://support.lenovo.com.  Choose Download Drivers and Software and enter your particular system. Then under Diagnostic choose the download for your system. If diagnostics fail, please contact warranty support for resolution.
      • Run diagnostics for third party wireless card.
        Note: If using another manufacturer's product, then consult it's documentation on how to run the diagnostics for the wireless card.
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      11. Install latest Service Packs for Operating System or Network Client.

                It may be necessary to install Service Packs for either the operating system or for any additional network clients that may be installed. Contact the software vendor for these
                updates which are usually free downloads  

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      Documento de identidad : HT080266
      Legacy Document ID : TS000495
      Última actualización : 22 Nov 2013
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