Windows XP Wireless Internet Troubleshooting FAQs

I’ve installed the wireless card, but how do I access the program to configure it?

The wireless icon in the system tray (located at the far right side of the Windows task bar) is distinguishable from the Ethernet connection icon. The wireless icon will be a single PC monitor with radio waves to the right while the Ethernet icon is represented by two PC monitors. Double-click the wireless icon to begin the connection process.

How do I configure my wireless card to get connected to the Internet?

First, double-click the wireless card icon in the system tray. If you are within range of one of the university’s Access Points, you should see swosuair appear in the Wireless Connection window. Highlight swosuair and click Connect. A text bubble should appear above the wireless card icon in the system tray informing you that the card has connected to swosuair and will also give you the speed and signal strength of the connection.

I see two swosuair networks in the Wireless Connection window. Which one should I connect to?

This is a common occurrence in places where many computers are connected to an access point. Each swosuair network should have a different icon. One should resemble a radio tower and the other should be shaped like a rectangle. You must always connect to the swosuair network with the radio tower icon. If you select the rectangle icon then you are establishing a peer-to-peer connection with another computer. This type of connection will not grant you access to the Internet.

How can I know if I am currently connected to swosuair or peer-to-peer?

Your first clue is if you can access the Internet or not. If so, then you are connected to swosuair. If not, it is possible you are connected peer-to-peer. To know if you are currently connected peer-to-peer, run your mouse pointer over the wireless card icon in the system tray and the text bubble will inform you in parentheses which signal you are connected to. For example, if associated with a peer-to-peer signal, the first line of text should be similar to Wireless Network Connection (peer-to-peer).

How do I disconnect from peer-to-peer and connect to swosuair?

  1. Right-click the wireless card icon in the system tray and select View Available Networks. Click the Disconnect button, then highlight swosuair with the radio tower icon and click the Connect button.
  2. If the above technique fails then disable and re-enable the wireless card. To do this, click Start – Control Panel – Network Connections, then right-click the Wireless Connection icon and select Disable.
    • Wait about 30 seconds then right-click the icon again and select Enable. Click the icon in the system tray and connect to the appropriate swosuair signal.

Every time I restart my computer the wireless card automatically connects to the peer-to-peer signal. How can I prevent this from happening?

Follow these steps:

  • Right-click the wireless network icon in the system tray and select Status.
  • Click the Properties button, then click the Wireless Networks tab.
  • Click the Advanced button in the lower right-hand corner.
  • In the Networks to Access window, select the Access point (infrastructure) networks only radio button and click Close.
  • Click OK on the Wireless Connection Properties window. This should prevent your wireless card from connecting automatically to peer-to-peer signals in the future.
  • Connect to swosuair by following the steps in question 5.

Swosuair doesn’t appear in my View Available Networks Window. What should I do?

Follow these steps:

  • Disable and re-enable your wireless card as explained in "How do I disconnect from peer-to-peer and connect to swosuair?"
  • If swosuair doesn’t appear, then reboot your computer.
  • If swosuair still does not show up, call ITS (ext. 7070), and we will check to see if the access points in your area are functioning properly.

I can’t make a connection to swosuair even after selecting it and clicking Connect. It only informs me that wireless networks are available. What should I do?

Follow these Steps:

  • First, disable and re-enable the wireless card as explained in How do I disconnect from peer-to-peer and connect to swosuair?
  • If you still cannot connect, please make sure you are attempting to connect to the swosuair signal with the radio tower icon and not the one with the rectangle icon.
  • If all these steps fail, call ITS (ext. 7070) to setup an appointment with the PC support technician.

I am connected to swosuair but am unable to access the Internet. What should I do?

 Follow these steps:

  • First, confirm that your card is connected to the access point by running your mouse pointer over the wireless card icon in the system tray. The text bubble will inform you in parentheses if you are connected to swosuair or peer-to-peer. For example, the first line of text should be similar to Wireless Network Connection (swosuair). If the text bubble is similar to this you are connected properly. If not, please reference "How do I disconnect from peer-to-peer and connect to swosuair?"
  • Next, double-click the wireless card icon in the system tray. In the Network status window click the Support tab. To the right of the text IP address, you should have a 10.40.xx.xxx address. If you do not, then click the Repair button.
  • If this does not work, then go to Start-Control Panel and click on Network Connections.
  • Right-click your wireless card icon and select properties.
  • In the General tab under the text This connection uses the following items, scroll down to Internet Protocol and click the Properties button. Make sure the Obtain an IP address automatically radio button is selected.
  • Click OK.
  • If you still cannot obtain a valid IP address, then contact ITS (ext. 7070) to setup an appointment with the PC support technician.

I am connected to swosuair, but when I open my Internet browser a dial-up properties window pops-up asking for my username and password. How can I get rid of this window and get on the Internet?

You have an alternate Internet connection setup. For example, you may already have an AOL dial-up account setup that you used to connect the computer to the Internet at home. To correct this problem:

  • Open Internet Explorer and in the menu bar click Tools – Internet options.
  • Click the Connections tab and select the Never dial a connection radio button in the center of the Internet options window.
  • Click the Lan Settings… button in the lower right-hand corner.
  • In the LAN Settings window checkmark Automatically detect settings. Please make sure the other checkboxes remain unchecked.
  • Click OK.

I am connected to swosuair and have a 10.1xx.xx.xxx address, but every time I open my Web browser, I get a “page cannot be displayed” message. What can I do to get on the Internet?

It is possible that another software program is interfering with your computer’s ability to access the Internet. If you have a firewall program installed such as McAfee or Norton Internet Security, or ZoneLab’s ZoneAlarm, please check the settings to see if it is blocking Internet access. A quick way to test if firewall software is causing the problem is to disable it by right-clicking the program’s icon in the system tray and selecting disable or exit. Try to access the Internet while the program is disabled. If you can get to the Internet, you know that you need to adjust the firewall’s settings. If the problem persists, please contact ITS (ext. 7070) to setup an appointment with the PC support technician.

Help! I have viruses on my computer! How can I get rid of them?

Installing and updating virus protection on your computer is essential:

  • If you own an antivirus software program such as Norton or McAfee:
    • Download the latest virus definitions using Autoupdate or Liveupdate depending on which virus scanner you are using.
    • Scan the entire hard drive (usually labeled c:\).
    • Clean or delete any viruses found. When a virus is discovered clean, delete, and quarantine are the usual options offered. First try to clean the file. If unsuccessful, delete it. If you are unable to delete it, quarantine the virus.
    • Schedule your antivirus program to regularly download virus definitions and scan the hard drive. Configure Liveupdate or Autoupdate to download new virus definitions on a weekly basis. Configure your antivirus software to scan the entire hard drive (usually labeled c:\) also on a weekly basis.
  • If you do not own an antivirus program, we recommend that you purchase one. If you are not able to front the cash for an antivirus program, there are several free antivirus programs you can download free from the Internet:
  • Another free and simple to use virus removal tool is Stinger from McAfee. It has a database of the most recent and dangerous viruses. Once initiated it will automatically detect and remove these viruses.

What is spyware, and how can I know if I have it on my computer?

Spyware is also known as "adware" or “malware”. It is a hidden software program that transmits user information via the Internet to advertisers often in exchange for free downloaded software. Symptoms of system infection may include:

  • Excessive number of pop-up ads, sometimes appearing even when no browser windows are open.
  • Web browser home page has been altered, often rerouted to obscure search engine Web sites.
  • The addition of Search toolbars to your Internet Explorer browser.
  • Program icons showing up in the system tray and Add/Remove Programs list that you don’t recall ever installing.
  • Sluggish system performance and slow Internet connectivity.

How can I get rid of spyware on my computer?

Spyware is notoriously difficult to remove so prevention is your best defense. Typically, spyware cannot be installed without your permission so be wary of so-called “free” downloads such as several popular file-sharing programs. These often come loaded with various spyware programs that you give permission to be installed when you agree to the End-User License Agreement. Another method used to dupe people into installing spyware is called drive-by downloads. When visiting certain Web pages, misleading dialogue boxes may appear urging you to install a necessary plug-in or program. Unless you are familiar with the application, never click “Yes”. If your computer becomes infected there are a couple of effective spyware removal tools available for free on the Internet. Download either Ad-Aware SE or Spybot’s Search & Destroy. Ad-Aware is more user-friendly, but Spybot may be more effective in eliminating spyware. Run these utilities often and update the reference files to stay on top of the newest spyware programs.