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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Refreshing, Restarting, and Rebooting Your Wi-Fi

Networking problems can — and probably will — occur at some point. You've probably been there before; you try to log on and you can't download email, print a picture, or copy files over the network.

When you contact a software company for technical support, often the first thing they tell you to do is restart your computer. You do this first because it's easy, and (more often than not) it works. Network problems are also sometimes solved by restarting a connection or the router.

Refreshing a PC's wireless connection

To refresh a PC's wireless connection, follow these steps:

1. Double-click the system tray icon for the computer's wireless connection manager utility to open it.

2. In the resulting dialog box, click the Repair button to disable the wireless connection.

If you use the Windows wireless connection manager, simply right-click the wireless connection icon in the system tray (the area in the lower-right corner next to the clock) and choose Repair. Windows will automatically disable and then reconnect the wireless connection.

If refreshing the wireless connection doesn't restore your wireless connectivity, try restarting the computer. If that doesn't work, your next step is to restart DHCP or reboot the access point.

Refreshing a Pocket PC's wireless connection

Follow these steps to refresh a Pocket PC's wireless connection:

1. Tap the Wi-Fi icon in the lower-right corner of the Today screen to open the WLAN utility.

2. Tap Turn Off.

3. Wait about five seconds and then tap Turn On to reactivate the wireless connection.

If your wireless connection icon shows green, it isn't necessary to refresh the connection. Green suggests an active and successful wireless connection, and that your connectivity problem is caused by something else.

Restarting DHCP service

Use the following steps to restart DHCP service:

1. Log in to your router or wireless access point (WAP) using a Web browser.

2. Click the DHCP button or tab (depending on your router) to open the DHCP server controls.

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Control Protocol, and is what assigns unique IP addresses to every computer on the network. Restarting DHCP can help resolve IP conflicts or other DHCP problems.

3. Select the Disabled radio button for the DHCP server, and then click OK or Apply to turn off the DHCP server.

4. Return to the DHCP controls, choose the Enabled radio button, and click OK or Apply again to re-activate DHCP.

You may need to reboot other computers on your network to complete the re-assigning of IP addresses.

Rebooting the access point

Follow these steps to reboot the access point:

1. Log in to your router/WAP using a Web browser.

2. Locate the control for rebooting the WAP, and click it to reboot the WAP.

If you are unable to locate a control for rebooting the WAP, simply unplug the WAP's power cord, wait about five seconds, and then plug the power back in

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