Windows Vista and Wifi Problems

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Sat, May 26 - 11:06 am EDT | 11 years ago by
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More information on Windows Vista.

Have you encountered Wifi problems with your Windows Vista?

I was connected in the internet through Wifi when I transferred location, unfortunately I lost signal which probably means I am out of the Wifi range. To get signal again, I went back to Wifi range but unfortunately Windows Vista could not detect any wifi network in the area. I turned the wifi on and off but to no avail. Last resort, I restarted Windows Vista and the wifi network was located.

That was a real pain considering all the opened applications I have.

More information on Windows Vista.

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  • ben

    i’ve been using a desktop up until today, and i bought an hp vista laptop, along with the router (no point in a laptop without wifi). first i tried setting up internet, with a few problems. at first, it wasn’t recognizing the internet at all. then i had a “diagnose and repair” option, so i did that. it fixed the problem, and then i set up the router. i haven’t had any problems all day.

  • Milo

    Thanks, I made a post on that based on your solution!

  • Viktor Németh

    I have this same problem I was connected in the internet through Wifi when I transferred location, unfortunately I lost signal which probably means I am out of the Wifi range. To get signal again, I went back to Wifi range but unfortunately Windows Vista could not detect any wifi network in the area. I turned the wifi on and off but to no avail. Last resort, I restarted Windows Vista and the wifi network was located.

    That was a real pain considering all the opened applications I have.

  • Anissa

    I have tried using wifi on my brand new gateway with wifi and I have not been able to connect, i ran a diagnoses and it was not able to recognize an interent connection when everyone around me has had no problem, even the computers geeks did not understand why i have been unable to connect, i think I bought a dud for a laptop and should go back to xp

  • Karen

    I have nearly the same problem, except that my 4 week old Toshiba laptop was doing fine with our wifi network and after we had to replace the wireless router for unrelated reasons, I have the only laptop of 4 in our house that cannot recognize ANY wifi networks. I get the same message that you do and nno one seems to have any idea what to do except reinstall VISTA completely.

  • Anissa

    I went to all the computer geeks, even the geek squad at Bestbuy, finally I played and played around with my laptop determined to find an answer. Then I went to:
    Internet options and
    set the network you are trying to use as your homepage and finally it works and I get right on.
    If I am at the Library I set the Libraries network as my homepage or at the school or whereever. I have to set it as my homepage and it works beautifully.
    Hopefully this is your problem too

  • Joe

    Anyone get movement on this? I got a new Gateway laptop today and NO wireless networks will show up in the list…!!! All afternoon I have been looking for an answer beyond the basic troubleshooting crap from Microsoft.

    MIght as well go back to XP…. the other XP laptops with wireless have no problems…

  • Kitty

    I have a different issue: my laptop connects to my home secured wifi but it doesn’t let me configure it in any way to connect to the internet via wifi. I have no problems connecting at the internet via the network cable. anyone has solution for this, please?

  • Kim

    I have had similar wifi problems with a new toshiba laptop,,,, Vista doesn’t like unsecured wifi systems and definitely does not like to access any bridged routers,,,, it’s all something to do with vista’s wifi security….. just my experience…. had to unbridge the router to get it to connect at all


  • Porglast

    I have had similar problems. Wifi will drop out and then I experiencing horrible problems reconnecting. After several attempts the wifi card will ultimately disable itself. Diagnosing and repairing NEVER fixes the problem. Once the card disables, no networks are visible and the only solution is to reboot, which seems to work every time. The downside is Vista takes forever to reboot. I really miss XP’s ability to “repair” itself.

  • Antonio

    Also have same reconnection problems with Windows VIsta Home Basic on my Acer 5573 AWXMi. If i restart my computer donwstairs, it cannot recongize the network. Unnamed network. I have to restart my notebook, restart DSL modem and router and place the notebook beside router to get connection again. Acer replaced the wireless internal antenna but the problem still remained. They told me to reinstall WIndows Vista Home Basic but I would want to as this is no assurance of a better signal (I always get 3 out of 5 bars signal whether i’m beside the router or downstairs). Hope Microsoft has a solution for the wifi connectivity problem. My wife has a generic notebook running Win XP Home, she gets excellent signal downstairs and no connection/disconnection problems at all.

  • xcoder

    actually i m facing the same problem regarding windows vista basic, i also have acer aspire and i have the same problem in fact i have excellent signal but no connection at all!
    weird thing, i m switching back to windows xp :)

  • Milos

    I have Vista Business on Sony Vaio TZ11XN. I can connect to Wifi network with CISCO Access points but during few seconds the whole windows freezes and completely stops. After many trials the system healed itself step by step up to standard work during one week time of daly trials.
    After reinstallation of new version wifi card driver the problems restarted and I cannot find solution.
    During all the time wifi has been working correctly each day at home or many other places with different access points. The same problems were found on 2 different wifi networks wth Cisco access points.
    Can someone advice?

  • David Briscoe

    I have the same problem with vista, it will not connect to my wireless router, and yet my laptop with xp on works fine, with vista i get limmited or no connectivity, does anyone have any solutions?

  • Brian Grimwade

    I have problems currently with Vista Wifi – Icon says I am not connected – “Connect to network” says I am connected but limited to no Internet – I have internet connection and it is working well – running diagnostics tells me to connect to a cable system!
    Any ideas

  • Gabriella Nining

    I have Acer 4520 laptop with vista ultimate in it. I can connect to the network but can’t connect to internet, it’s weird because the signal strength is excelent. it said that my acces type is local only. i’ve followed the steps on windows vista wifi troubleshooting but still didn’t work…
    any ideas what to do?

  • Roque

    Why dosent any one at microsoft step u and fix this problem. They are just as bad as mac with thier logic boards.

  • Brandon

    Im having the exact same problem but its only at my house anywhere else it works, and it cannot be my router because i have a nintendo wii and it reads it easily

  • molly

    my prob is… i went out with my toshiba laptop (vista 32bit) in a place where there is a wifi connection, it can detect an internet connection, but when i press the connect button, it says “cannot connect to the network”

  • Mike B

    I’ve got a Toshiba A100 that was working flawlessly with the WIFI until just a couple of days ago and now I’m getting the ‘local only’ even though I’m running my desktop off of the router. I’m also able to connect to the router fine with my Wii so I know it’s an issue with the laptop. I’ve disabled all security I had and removed Norton 360 which hasn’t made any difference. My signal strength is also excellent. The laptop is running Vista Home. Any suggestions?

  • Antonio

    Bottom line is Microsoft must refund the money we spent on our laptops with Vista installed. Horrible software. If I hadn’t installed so much software in my Acer Aspire, I would definitely go back to Windows XP

  • needhelp

    I have wi-fi on my laptop and connect with excellent signal strength but for some reason it will not connect from the router to the internet!

    I have vista, and on the network connection box the pictures at the top are like this:

    (my comp)—-connected—–router/modem——X——–(Internet)

    PLEASE HELP! I paid enough for this, I wanted wireless, not to have to sit beside the router everytime i need to go online!

  • Hemis

    Yes, I noticed the problem. When vista was booting up i was using 900MB of the 1GB ram , so the wireless interface and internal wifi card could not detect any networks, although you see the icon of the network. I had to take some programs of my startup list as well as windows defender.

  • Doug

    My brother had the same issue as you all, and Gateway told him to do a factory restore. He did that, it worked properly until he installed the windows updates, and then no connection. I told him to disable the windows defender service, and he’s since not had a problem. So, perhaps there’s some configuration that needs to happen in defender to get wifi to work properly…. Just a thought.

  • David

    I had the same problem as needhelp above. It seems Vista somehow changes the signal type it looks for. Go into the options to look for the a/b/g signals and select the type for your router. My only problem is that when I do this, it doesn’t stick and I have to do it every time I boot.

  • Erica

    I am having problems with my new Sony Vaio that has Vista and I cannot connect at all to any network. I did for a few seconds and couldn’t get any wireless networks back ever since. I have manually put in my wireless router info and still doesn’t want to work. I am only like 5 feet away from the router. Any advice? I want to go to Best Buy to see if it will work with them.

  • John

    I have been throught KCI, DFW AND ATL airports with my Vista loaded HP pavillion laptop and It wont even so much detect a wirless network any one know why?

  • Jane

    I changed four computers thinking they were dud, but it’s the f’ing windows vista. I think becauswe I chose the recommended installation that I now have problems, I am going to try to uninstall and reinstall with the minimal windows vista componants and see how I go… XP worked and I’m not enjoying Vista at all!

  • Doug

    I also had this issue on 2 different gateway laptops. What I did to resolve it was open device manager, expand the ‘network adapters’ list, right click on the Wifi card and select uninstall. When prompted, I chose to just remove the device, but keep the drivers present. The system immediately redetected the card, reinstalled the drivers, and on both laptops, I haven’t had any additional problems connecting and reconnecting to various APs. Give it a shot, it might work for you as well.

  • Recent Comment

    Hi I had this problem (needhelp previous comment) I no nothing about computers and wish i could explain this more but what was wrong with my computer was that it was set to the wrong IP adrress (I think its just a common defult setting) – instead of automatically searching for the new one it would stay on a preset one. I had to tick the other box which made it search for the new one. I cant remember how I did it but will try and muck around then post it.

  • Recent Comment-I think this is how it worked for me! TRY IT

    Open Network Connects
    Click on “INTERNET OPTIONS” In the left had corner of the page
    Click on the CONNECTION tab
    Click on LAN Settings
    SELECT “Automatically Detect Settings”

    -I hope this helps. Mine was on Automatic Configuration I think.

  • Chris

    Same problem on win vista home greek edition! i have 2 laptops in my home same win vista home the can conect the other cant…:(

  • harish hasija

    I have purchase acer 5573 laptop so, can i install vista in my laptop.

  • ritesh

    y wifi s nt workin in vista bt workin in xp

  • http://notcompletedyet Tony (Virtual Strategies)

    It is my determination after talking with all of the support teams involved, from the manufacturer of the modem itself to the ISP and microsofts help center, THAT WINDOWS VISTA IS DEFINETELY the WORST operationg system ever created, and will not not advise any clients to buy anything with vista on it. all wifi network computers work very well except those running VISTA. Leave it to microsoft to F— up a good thing.

  • rachel

    i’m connected to wifi but i can’t used the windows internet explorer.

  • jeremy

    I dont know if this is the place but i just bought a HP pavilion d981 Laptop and everytime i log on to wifi the IE program doesnt respond if i try to change any of the characteristics it freezes up, any suggestions?

  • graeme

    everytime i log on to bebo, my wireless connection keeps disconnecting. i then have to restart my laptop to get the wireless back on….PLEASE HELP

  • Ikaros

    I installed windows vista on my LG laptop and everything was working fine until i installed the Service Pack 1(SP1). After this it wouldn’t connect to the wireless network and it only gives me limited access without internet. Total crap, i getting back to the tested and great Windows XP(SP3).

  • Andy D

    I have two laptops in the house both with vista home premium. The HP model works as if it has a cable connection and is excellent. The Sony Vaio is set up the same but has the same sort of problems others are experiencing.It will connect up when restarted but drops out frequently. I have timed it but it follows no set pattern. my Sony is next to my router and sometimes claims to have no wireless networks available.I have tried many different settings including maximum power but I think this is a Vista issue.

  • laxmansingh


    our institute campus is wi-fi- but lot problem
    many student use laptop winxp -win-vista

    problem in vista wi-fi – network connect seussfully message but cannot open any sites

  • Jen

    I have a similar problem. My wifi gets stuck detecting networks. IE the coffee shop’s network gets detected while I’m there. I leave, so 20 miles home and it’s still trying to detect the coffee shop, and in order to get it to find home I have to reboot. It’s a total PAIN! I’m going to try disconnecting Defender and see if that makes a difference. I hate that there’s no solutions posted for this anywhere! We can’t be the only people on the planet with this trouble.

  • H@x0r

    { i hav used my neighbors netgear connection for 2 years and had a few problems but fixed them quickly } I also use Vista**
    recently hurricane ike hit and we lost power for 3 days. when it came back i got on MY wifi server which sux so i was like ok i will just use my neighbors.
    I connect to netgear and i get the famous LOCAL ONLY / Indentifying sign
    I have tried everything except for rebooting vista, the signal is a bit weaker than usual but it should still work.

  • Hamish

    I have had problems with Vista and my wifi too. It used to work. I used to have proper connections. But now Vista enables and then disables the card repeatedly.

    I’ve been through the hardware and the connection settings; there’s nothing wrong with the router, the card or the driver. Vista just enables the card, connects while displaying limited access, and then disables the card.

  • dave

    I’ve been talking to AT&T, Toshiba and Microsoft. AT&T finally said it’s Microsoft, Microsoft said they won’t fix this “LOCAL ONLY” Network because Toshiba is contracted to install Vista Service Pack 1. This is a BIG SCAM because Microsoft wants to charge me to fix it. This is a Brand New Computer, Toshiba say’s it’s Microsoft problem. Can you see how the Consumer get Screwed. I swear I’m buying myself a MAC for Christmas….

  • William

    I see alot of the same questions on here, but no real answer on how to fix the problem.

    My problem is similar: I have a Dell Insprion 1505 laptop with Vista Home Premium. I have wireless broadband service through Sprint, which works fine. (though I want to get rid of the service due to the price $61 per mo.)

    I want to use WiFi, it can find networks and connect, signal is excellent, but internet explorer won’t work. Anyone know why that is and how to fix it??? explorer works fine with the wireless broadband.

  • Pete

    I have spent a week trying to get my laptop to work through my router. HP Pavilion DV2000. The above posts have finally drew my attention to the real problem,thank you all. My laptop was working fine till I downloaded the upgrades from Microsoft. I will attempt to uninstall the downloads of reinstall the computer system. That I think is my only hope. One thing for sure, I will never download any more upgrades form Microsoft. Can’t understand how this company has survived so long, especially with this latest junk, Vista.

  • Brian

    I have a S–Y laptop with Vista and Wi-Fi. I installed an access point with my DSL broadband. My HP with Vista connects fine (Im typing this on it now). My S–Y however, connects and says “local only” and cannot get internet. I further found the WiFi LAN card is not taking an IP address from the DHCP router. What can I do to get this connected?

  • babji

    Screw Vista

  • cheryl

    Help! I have the Windows Vista on my HP computer I purchased weeks ago, and have been working on bugs three weeks now trying to get it to work as well as my Windows XP did! I see the WIFI certification sticker on this computer, and was told it had WIFI access, but I cannot find it anywhere. I have looked everywhere in the driver section and elsewhere, and i am not seeing that it even installed. The computer is telling me that I do not have a Network Adapter installed. I have this on my XP but am afraid to copy it and load it to Vista because of the numerous incompatability problems. I have not found the network adapter download anywhere online for my HP computer that the Vista is on. Anyone know anyway I can get the adaptor installed without having to call the HP people and reorder that part? It is in warrenty, but it should be accessible I would think. This seems to be an internal problem. Any help would be appreciated. Cheryl

  • narod

    i have an acer aspire series 4715. it has an xp and vista os. the vista can detect the wireless connections available, but i cannot browse the internet using either ie or firefox. in the xp, that little icon thingy on the bar which indicates presence of wi fi connection does not even exist.

  • waptek

    caused by 2 settings

    Start > run > regedit.exe
    2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{GUID}
    3. {GUID} sub-key refers to the network adapter that is having the issue.
    4. Add a new DWORD (32bit) value and rename it to DhcpConnDisableBcastFlagToggle.
    5. Modify the DhcpConnDisableBcastFlagToggle key and change the value to 1?.
    6. Modify the DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag key and change the value to 0?.
    7. Reboot and test the connection again with DHCP.

  • john

    I have read in a Windows Vista book that the closest WIFI router will demand the connection and force you connect to that access point. I have the same issue with losing all WIFI connections then having to reboot. If I log into the closest router, disconnect then try to log in into another access point, all of them will appear. Sometimes, the one that I want to log into won’t allow me to, which forces me to log into the closest WIFI router. Then I will be able to log into the access point that I want. This clearly is a Windows Vista issue.

  • Ed B

    My problem (also only with Vista), was that it would take 2 to 20 minutes before the internet was connected, though I had immeadiate good local connection. What seems to have improved this to 3 sec to max 3 min now is a de-selected setting ‘çonnect to a more preferred network if available’. This can be found in < Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > View status (from Wireless Network Connection)> Wireless Properties>.

  • Eureka

    I purchased an Acer Aspire 4530 last December 15, 2008 with the following specs:
    a. Processor: Turion X2 Ultra ZM80 (2MB L2 Cache)
    b. OS: Windows Vista SP1 32 bits
    c. WLAN Card: Atheros AR5B91 (driver

    I connect thru our CISCO wireless access point which is connected to a PIX 501 firewall. The disconnection problem started when I installed the Windows Vista Updates. I tried the following to correct the problem but to no avail:
    1. Disabled IPV6 (did not work)
    2. Installed WLAN optimizer (did not work)
    3. Used various netsh commands as I read from
    forums (did not work)
    4. Disabled Bit Defender Trial Version (did not work)
    5. Disabled Windows firewall, Windows Defender
    (also did not work)

    As a last resort, I reinstalled Windows Vista SP1 from the DVD (did not connect to LAN to prevent getting Windows Updates). Without the Windows Vista updates, I installed the Atheros driver and Odyssey Client for Vista. The network name is hidden so I had to “Manually set-up a network connection”. I selected the Unnamed Network (Security-enabled Network) and gave it our SSID name. Windows asked for more information so I supplied our networks’ username and password. Eureka! My wireless connection is working perfectly again!

    Hope this helps.

  • Rob

    I had the same problems for a while. I found out that “right clicking” on the wireless adapter and choosing properties. unselecting IPV6 fixes the “no connect” and “slow issues”. Vista seems to be trying to negotiate through IPV6, which at this point is not needed.

  • Mi42789

    I’ve been having similar problems recently. I have vista, and while I am at home I have a HORRIBLE time trying to connect my laptop to the internet, meanwhile the desktop in the living room is working fine. Because the desktop is going great, I doubt the router itself is a fault, so I’m at a loss as to what the problem could be. When I’m at friends houses, my internet connects flawlessly, so is my house just a cursed? I don’t know what’s going on…


    I am using acer laptop w/ windows xp while my older sis uses Sony vaio windows vista. I got disconnected on WiFi whenever she turns on her SONy vaio laptop. I got dc twice (when she turn on the pc and when she log in). After i dc twice, The connection returns normally. But can anyone help me about this? what should i do to not get dc on wifi when she turns on her sony vaio laptop? Pls help. thanks.

  • Jeffouille La Fripouille

    Thank you very much Rob.
    Your solution seems to be working.

    I’ve had trouble connecting through wi-fi for the last couple of days.
    The laptop runing on XP is doing fine.

    It all started when windows vista downloaded some updates for internet explorer.
    Then more updates followed and wifi started to work again until the last pack of updates and we had to connect through the cable(what the point of having a wireless connection then?)
    Disabling IPV6 seems to do the trick for now…

  • Twine

    Umm… If vista’s so crappy, why not download Ubuntu? – It’s quite a good replacement if you ask me, and any problems can *actually* be solved. But if you aren’t the person who will fix problems yourself, don’t download it. It’s not for n00bs.

  • Quicksilvr44

    The issue is with VISTA. This is established, looking at some of the post, some are of differing origin, but if you have a laptop that has internet at one time and then loses the connection and can’t find a wireless network, then here is what you need to do.
    Microsoft hasn’t made a patch for said issue and even sending it in to them the charge will be around $115.00 and there won’t be a resolution and they will promptly refund your money. You need to go hard on the maker of the system (i.e. Gateway etc.)
    Once you have leaned on them hard enough and jump through the hoops of updating the drivers and re-installing the factory settings and OS then they will set up a repair service and you just pay one way shipping in most cases. With Dell if you have a business contract they will send a tech out to repair it in the next business day.

  • DarKnight

    Vista is just crap all round, my wifi always cuts out when using vista, but I’ve been using ubuntu for ages and not had a single problem with the wifi on my laptop.

  • Ronya

    I agree VISTA is without a doubt the problem. I have an XP laptop works fine, had an old XP desktop and it worked fine, I have a wifi radio that works fine, I have wifi on my mobile phone and it also works fine. I was even so foolish as to get a new wifi router but still the vista keeps dropping the connection.

    I’m working on transfering to open source software because I do not have the time to continually deal with microsoft errors and watch as they ignore the problem.

  • Andy Swarbrick

    What worked for me was to create a wireless profile for my router. This was created by going to “Control Panel\Network and Sharing Center” and then clicking on Manage Wireless Connections and clicking the Add button and then creating a profile suitable for my router.

  • Borge

    I have the same problem, try this guide and tool, it might help.

  • kaushik

    i have sony vaio with vista operating system, the porblem is that when my laptop is turn on the WLAN light is enable, but after desktop setting is complete the light is going off, and the wifi connection is diasabel ( error code 22). after enable the devise again the computer off then on the same problem is remain same.

    please suggert me


  • waptek

    Its me again waptek from Dec19,2008
    i just tried to fix a customers computer by;

    restart router
    = nogo

    DhcpConnDisableBcastFlagToggle = 1
    DhcpConnForceBroadcastFlag = 0

    Power Options,WirelessAdapterSettings,Power Saving Mode,


    [start] [programs] [accesories] right click [cmd] “run as administrator”
    ipconfig /flushdns
    netsh winsock reset catalog
    netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log
    netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log
    = local only
    am I missing something now what should i try

    cmd = netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

    shoot bill gates! :-)

  • samantha

    i went to mcdonalds to get free wifi and it comes up but won’t work plz help

  • morbious

    I also have a freind that is having similer issues –WIFI dc Frequentlty–

    have tryed many router setting
    and a new router
    restoring the computer to factory default
    and none of the above has worked although it seemed to be less often when new router was installed but is slowly becoming more often

    will try abov soulotions and post back thanxs everyonre for your input


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