Chapter 29. What to Do When Your Network or Internet Connection Starts Acting Up
IN THIS CHAPTER
Think about all the problems you can encounter on your personal computer. Now imagine connecting two computers together—the number of potential problems increase
That's not entirely true, of course. But there are a lot of problems that can occur when you connect your computer to a network or to the Internet. This chapter examines both types of problems and how to troubleshoot them.
Dealing with Network Problems
Just a few short years ago, setting up a network was an extremely complicated procedure that required a technical degree and
That said, even small networks can sometimes pose large problems. Read on to learn about the most common problems and how to fix them.
Problem: You Can't Find Another Computer on Your Network
First, try looking a little harder. Click the View Workgroup Computers link in the Network Tasks panel. This should display all connected computers.
If the missing computer isn't there, click the Search button in the My Network Places toolbar. When the Search Companion appears, enter the name of the computer, and then click Search. If you don't know the
If you still can't see the missing computer, it's time to check the obvious. Is the other computer turned on? (Sleeping computers don't show up on the network.) Is it connected to the network? (Double-check both ends of the cable.) If you're on an Ethernet network, are both your computers connected to the hub, and does the hub have power? You should also check the ends of the network cables; if the connection is working, there should be a blinking light where the cable connects to the PC.
Here's another simple thing to try—reboot your computer. For whatever reason, "lost" computers on a network will often get found when you reboot the computer that can't see them. (I have to reboot my main computer a few times a week for this very problem.)
It doesn't hurt to check the cable itself at this point—
: If you're running Windows XP, have you run the Network Setup Wizard on the second computer? If not, run it now, from the Windows installation CD. (And don't assume that because your network worked pre-XP everything will show up after you install XP on your main PC. You'll probably have to run the XP Network Setup Wizard on all your networked PCs.) Try running the wizard again. (Sometimes it takes two
Now for some serious troubleshooting. Open the Help and Support Center, click the Fixing Problem link, click Networking Problems, and then run the Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter. Chances are this will fix most simple networking problems.
You might have a bad network connection on either one of the two computers. To repair a host of connection problems, open the Network Connections utility from the Control Panel. Right-click the problem connection, and then select Repair from the pop-up menu.
Problem: Your PC Doesn't Recognize Your Network
Let's assume you've run the setup software and your PC still doesn't think your network exists. If you're running a wired network, make sure you have all the cables connected to your computer's Ethernet port, not to the modem port. Try rebooting the problem computer. If that doesn't work, try rebooting the network's gateway computer, and then rebooting the problem computer again.
At this point, you should run the Windows Home and Small Office Networking Troubleshooter. You can also try repairing the connection via the Network Connections utility. Then, if you have to, rerun the Network Setup Wizard.
Problem: Your PC Can't Connect to Your Wireless Network
The most common cause for this problem is a weak wireless signal. Check the signal strength on the problem PC—if it's poor, that's your problem. You might need to reposition the wireless network adapter or your wireless base station to improve the signal strength.
You might also be experiencing interference with another wireless device, such as a wireless mouse or keyboard, or a cordless phone—or even a microwave oven! (Yep,