Wifi for Dummies, or I Have a Little Netbook
January 23, 2013 12:57 PM   Subscribe

I have a small netbook (Samsung NC10), running Windows XP, that I very much like for travel. But in some places, it doesn't connect to the internet over wifi. I've never tried to figure out why, or fix it: it's so far always been somewhere I could either skip being connected for a few days or plug directly into a router. But for an upcoming trip I'd like some help with a better plan and some tools and resources.

To get ready so far, I've uninstalled/removed everything I didn't need, including an old VPN connection, deleted a lot of old wireless networks, and collected as much information as I was able to find about Windows XP not connecting to wifi. But it wasn't much, and some of it doesn't seem to apply to my netbook. I do have information finding and changing various wifi settings, restarting Wireless Zero Configuration and resetting Winsock. I also have copies of winsockxpfix.exe and MicrosoftFixit050203.msi that I will try running if I have a problem.

My question is - is there more information I should have? A good step-by-step guide somewhere I haven't found? A way to upgrade my netbook's networking to be mroe like Windows 7's (if that's any better)? I'd appreciate any suggestions.

(I guess a last resort option would be trying to upgrade the whole netbook OS to Windows 7, but I haven't had much success with OS upgrades in the past, and if the upgrade didn't work, I'm not sure I could reinstall XP. But if that's the best idea, I'd at least like to know that, then I could make up my mind.)
posted by still_wears_a_hat to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How old is it? It could be a hardware thing.
posted by J. Wilson at 1:25 PM on January 23, 2013

I have an NC10 and have never had this problem. I'm betting hardware issues. Get a USB wifi card as a backup plan.
posted by zug at 1:28 PM on January 23, 2013

I would just pick up a USB WiFi receiver. Bypass the potential problem entirely.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:02 PM on January 23, 2013

What do you mean by "it doesn't connect"? Do you mean that it can see the networks but not connect to them, even when you have the password or they are unprotected? Or do you mean it can't see the networks that you know should be visible? Or are you getting an error message?
posted by lollusc at 11:20 PM on January 23, 2013

I meant - it can see the networks, but doesn't connect, even when I have the password. No error message. I do have a suggestion of trying the password in hex that I'll try if I need it; something about passwords of some length not being hashed right. The connection problem has only happened in Europe, but I'm not sure that means anything other than that's where I've tried to use the netbook the most.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:21 AM on January 24, 2013

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