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Laptop not connecting to Wifi

A Bit Annoyed

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
PC Experience
Some Experience
I hope someone can help. The laptop in question belongs to my dear old Dad, who causes me sleepless nights with his technical issues.
He has a five year old laptop, which is Windows 10.
Last week, while I was trying to work from home, he rang and said his laptop wouldn't connect to the wifi. The router is merely a few feet away. I had to video call him, so I could see what he was doing on his PC. We managed to get on to the diagnostic tool, which picked up that a driver was missing, it then did the troubleshooter, restarted and the laptop connected to his wifi. All good, so I thought and I was very proud of my 80 year old for managing this.
However, he has rung me today to say it has happened a couple more times since, and somehow he has managed to follow the steps (he thinks) to get it to connect again. He asked me why this keeps happening and my simple answer is I don't know. I assume his network adaptor may be faulty or not updated? It is difficult without seeing it to fully explain, but in a couple of days, I will go over, armed with my anti - bac wipes and lock him in a room while I have a look.
Can anyone advise on this?
I have seen wifi booster dongles that have been recommended by some sites, that may help if his adaptor may be the issue, but don't want to buy anything unnecessarily. Especially since I am the one who will have to install it.

He is also grumbling about a flurry of notifications that show up in the bottom right hand corner when he loads his laptop. He cannot remember what any say, but says some have been in a foreign language. I despair.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Wirral UK
PC Experience
Very Experienced
Hi again :)

The router is merely a few feet away
Does the laptop have a connection for an ethernet cable ?
If it is close to the router this may be an option.

============

In the Search Box [ bottom left of screen ] type ....... devmgmt.msc ..... hit Enter
This takes you to Device Manager

1 . Click on the > next to Network Adapters
Listed should be something that includes the word "Wireless"

1613589391430.png

2. Is there a yellow exclamation mark or red X next to the "Wireless" driver listed ?

3. If not - right click on the "Wireless" driver listed
Then click on "Update Driver"
Select "Search Automatically" - [ you will need an internet connection ]
This will search for a more recent driver for the Wireless Adapter and install it.

================

I assume his network adaptor may be faulty
Even if the adapter is faulty I doubt that the software would be "missing" as you have indicated.

================

Left click on the WiFi icon bottom right of screen
Right click on your dad's WiFi
Click on Properties
Make sure that "Private" is selected and NOT Public.

================

Sometimes the Channel number of the router can conflict with a neighbours wifi / phone / microwave etc. causing it to drop out.
If you can access the Router Software it is possible to change the Channel.
Channels 1 - 6 - 11 are the ones to try. [ if it is set to 6 try either 1 or 11 ]
 
Last edited:

A Bit Annoyed

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hi again :)


Does the laptop have a connection for an ethernet cable ?
If it is close to the router this may be an option.

============

In the Search Box [ bottom left of screen ] type ....... devmgmt.msc ..... hit Enter
This takes you to Device Manager

1 . Click on the > next to Network Adapters
Listed should be something that includes the word "Wireless"

View attachment 2070

2. Is there a yellow exclamation mark or red X next to the "Wireless" driver listed ?

3. If not - right click on the "Wireless" driver listed
Then click on "Update Driver"
Select "Search Automatically" - [ you will need an internet connection ]
This will search for a more recent driver for the Wireless Adapter and install it.

================


Even if the adapter is faulty I doubt that the software would be "missing" as you have indicated.

================

Left click on the WiFi icon bottom right of screen
Right click on your dad's WiFi
Click on Properties
Make sure that "Private" is selected and NOT Public.

================

Sometimes the Channel number of the router can conflict with a neighbours wifi / phone / microwave etc. causing it to drop out.
If you can access the Router Software it is possible to change the Channel.
Channels 1 - 6 - 11 are the ones to try. [ if it is set to 6 try either 1 or 11 ]
Thanks for your reply. I will check all this as soon as I can get over to him.
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Wirral UK
PC Experience
Very Experienced
Let me know how you get on.
The problem with intermittent problems is locating the problem when there isn't one :)
 

A Bit Annoyed

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hi

Went to Dads yesterday. He said that sometimes the laptop freezes too and he has to restart it.
Anyway, I followed your instructions. Nothing next to the wireless adapter at all. In fact, the laptop behaved for me. I cleared his cache and turned off notifications that were bothering him. Turned out to be mainly YouTube. He must have clicked allow notifications at some point. There were a couple of updates waiting to go on, including the 2021-01 version 2004, or something like that, so Updates were put on with no issue. Network was set to Private and his router was on channel 6, but everything seemed to be working.
In other words, I couldn't find anything. I even ran the troubleshooter again just to check.
I await the next call from him with bated breath. Everytime the land-line rings now, I get twitchy.
 

A Bit Annoyed

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
PC Experience
Some Experience
Forgot to mention, I suggested Ethernet cable, but he is currently using the only one he has to connect his laptop to his (supposedly) wireless printer. His printer can be temperamental, but I have never met a printer that wasn't, to be honest.
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Wirral UK
PC Experience
Very Experienced
Let's hope that it was just a glitch :)

You said that his router was set to channel 6 - try 1 or 11 if he has problems again.
 
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