Troubleshooting Wireless network connection on windows XP

jim Wireless Network connection

It is easy to troubleshoot wireless network connection on Windows XP operating system than any other operating system.

My name is Jim and I will give you some useful tips about troubleshooting wireless network connections on Windows XP computer. We will discuss about some easy ways to fix the errors which you may get while joining WiFi at home or office network.

I was working as a Senior technical support Executive for more than 5 years and I have answered thousands of tech-support calls. I would like to share my experience with you. I have troubleshooted almost all the brands of wireless router. Windows XP is my favorite operating system because it is very easy to troubleshoot. May be because I am using it on my old laptop.

Let’s start Fixing your wireless network connection issue.

What do you need before connecting to the WiFi on windows XP?

Make sure that you have all the correct settings of your network. You will need the name of your network also called as SSID. If it is a secured connection then you will need the security key or password. If Wireless MAC filter is enabled then you will need to enter the MAC address of your adapter in the list.

All these settings will be found on the setup page of the router. If you are not sure about the settings then you can open the setup page and check the settings.

See how to check wireless settings on the router.

Below, I will give you some information about common errors and troubleshooting steps on windows XP. If you want, you can skip this explanation and start connecting your windows XP computer to the wireless network by clicking this link

First of all, I will suggest you to check the status of wireless adapter on your computer. Make sure that it is working properly.

Open Device Manager: Right click on My computer icon and go to properties. Click on Hardware tab and then click on Device Manager.

In the list you will find Network adapters. Under network adapters, search for a wireless network adapter. There must be one in the list if it is a wireless computer. Right click on it and go to properties. Check the device status must be “This device is working properly.” If it is disabled then enable it.

What if the WiFi adapter is not listed under Network adapters?

Look for the option “other devices “. There might be a device which is not installed properly. Sometimes it is listed as Network controller. The drivers of the device might not be working or you may need to reinstall it.

See the list of error codes in Device Manager.

If the adapter is not listed under Network adapters or other devices then your wireless adapter is not working or it is not detected by the computer. In this case you will need to contact the manufacturer of your computer or the local vendor.

Wireless network connection on Windows XP

Step 1: Find Wireless network connection icon on your computer.

On your computer screen, you will find wireless network connection icon, in the botto0m right corner, in the system tray. It looks like a single computer monitor.  2 computer monitor is the icon for Local area connection and single computer monitor is for wireless.

Or you can go to Start => Control Panel => Click on Switch to Classic View in the left panel =>  Network connections => and you will see Wireless network connection icon in the list.

What if the icon is not there? Again you will need to check the Adapter properties by opening device manager (as explained above).

Step 2: Search for the networks in the range.

Right Click on Wireless network connection icon and you will see the option ” View available wireless networks “. Select this option. Now you will see the list of available networks in that area.

Wireless network connections on Windows XP
View the list of available networks

What if your network is not in the list?

You will need to check the router settings. Make sure that router is broadcasting the SSID. Try changing wireless channel on the router. If you are not able to see any networks in the list then you may get following error.

Windows can not configure this wireless network: This error means there is another program or utility on your computer which is managing the WiFi connection. Lets consider, you are using a Dell laptop and there is Dell adapter installed on your computer. Then there are chances that DELL utility is managing your WiFi. In this case you need to connect using DELL utility or you can switch to Windows utility.

No Wireless networks are found in the range: This means your computer is not getting wireless signal. If you are using a laptop then make sure that wireless switch on your laptop is turned on. For example, on DEL computer, you can turn on wireless switch by using Fn + F2 buttons.

Step 3: Connect to the network.

Once you see your WiFi in the available WiFi list, select your network and click connect at the bottom.

If your wireless network is secured then it will ask you for the password or the security key. Enter the correct network key. If you are using WEP security then make sure that security key is a 10 or 26 digit hexadecimal number.

Once you enter the correct security key, it will connect you to the network and you will be able to access internet on your computer.

You may get following errors while joining WiFi on your Windows XP computer.

Limited or connectivity: This error means your computer is not getting IP address from the router. You may be entering incorrect security password or your router is not functioning properly. You will need to check settings of the router.

Waiting for network to be ready: You can try to remove your network from the preferred networks list and then add it manually.

Network may no longer be i the range: Try changing wireless channel on the router. Or you can try to uninstall and reinstall the WiFi adapter on your computer.

I will suggest you to use Fix Home Network’s Easy setup Guide and fix all the network related issues within minutes.

I hope, I have tried to explain you few error and troubleshooting steps for Wireless network connections on Windows XP.



8 comments on “Troubleshooting Wireless network connection on windows XP

  1. Getting error limited or no connectivity. I have my XP laptop connected with the wire as of now and I can access Internet but when I try to join wifi, I get error. I have the correct security key and I have also open the setup page of my router. I tried to assign static IP address but that did not work either. Other laptop is connected without any problem. Can it be a problem with this laptop only?

  2. Crossing the limits of frustration. I have been trying to connect old XP laptop to WiFi for last 3 hours and not able to do so far. I get error Network may no longer be in the range. The laptop is approximately 10 feet away from the router so as the other windows 7 laptop. Windows 7 is connected without any problem. I am using Netgear router.

  3. I have been using Windows XP on my desktop for a long time and I never had any WiFi issues. But now it seems that it is dropping Internet. The other new Windows 7 and MAC laptops are working without any drop. So I think it is time to upgrade. What do you think, what could be the reason?

  4. Thanks for great support. I was trying to connect to the old XP desktop and was having trouble connecting to the new N router. Your support is really good. I think your 5 Years experience is helping you.

  5. I can see Linksys adapter icon in the system tray which looks like a white square. I can right click on it and it gives me option to choose my SSID. And there is another option also “Use windows to configure my wireless..”
    Can I choose this option because when I use Linksys to connect, it does not work.

    1. Sure you can click on Use Windows XP to manage your connection. That will let Windows to connect to the WiFi.

  6. Thanks for your help. I was trying to connect my old XP laptop. My old laptop was not able to find the SSID. I changed the channel on the router and got it connected.

  7. You are right. Windows XP is very good wvwn if it is old. I never had any issues with XP but the connection always drops on my new windows 7 laptop. I changed all the settings on the router and reconfigured the router. XP laptop is still working and 7 is still facing the dropping issue.

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