Troubleshooting information

This guide provides a variety of things you can try if you are experiencing problems with the wireless service. It is best to follow the steps in the order listed on this page. If you get stuck or need further assistance, contact the IT Service Desk.


Basics

  1. Check that you are in a location with good coverage. The wireless signal is usually strong in areas where wireless posters are displayed.
  2. Check the wireless network status and wireless blog to see if the network is experiencing any problems.
  3. See if your problem been addressed in the Wireless FAQs.

Turn on your laptop’s wireless adapter/card

Many laptops need you to flip a switch, press a button, or hold down a combination of keys (e.g. Fn + F2) to turn on wireless. Search your computer’s keyboard and side casing for an icon with rings of radio waves or a radio tower. If you can’t find anything, check your computer’s manual.


Try to connect to the “Bristol-WiFi-Setup” network

Windows:

  1. Click Start
  2. Type ncpa.cpl in the search box
  3. Press Enter
  4. Right click Wireless Network Connection and click Enable (if the option is available.
  5. Right click Wireless Network Connection and click Remove from Bridge (if available)
  6. Right click Wireless Network Connection again and click Connect / Disconnect (Vista/Win7) or View Available Wireless Networks (XP)
  7. Select Bristol-WiFi-Setup from the list and click Connect

Apple:

  1. Click the Airport icon in the top right corner of the screen
  2. Select Turn Airport On (if available)
  3. Select Bristol-WiFi-Setup from the list of networks

If you can connect, go to the Wireless website and follow the on screen guidance.


Static IP address

Your computer may have a static IP address from a previous network. To configure your computer to get it’s IP address automatically do this:

Windows:

  1. Click Start. Type ncpa.cpl in the search box press Enter.
  2. Right-click Wireless Network Connection and click Properties.
  3. Select TCP/IP v4 or TCP/IP from the list and click the Properties button.
  4. Set IP Address to Obtain an IP address automatically.
  5. Set DNS to Obtain DNS server address automatically.
  6. Click OK, then OK.

Apple:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Click Network.
  3. Double click on AirPort.
  4. Open the TCP/IP tab.
  5. Set Configure IPv4 to Using DHCP.
  6. Click Apply Now.

Web proxy settings

Bristol’s wireless services don’t require any special proxy settings, but old settings left over from other networks may cause problems.

Internet Explorer (Windows):

  1. Click the Tools menu and select Internet Options. You may have to press Alt on your keyboard to make the menu appear.
  2. Open the Connections tab.
  3. Click LAN Settings.
    • Automatically detect settings: should be ticked.
    • Use automatic configuration script: should generally not be ticked, but an address of http://wwwcache.bris.ac.uk/autoconfig can be left alone.
    • Use a proxy server for your LAN: should not be ticked.
  4. Click OK.

Firefox (Windows):

  1. Click the Tools menu and select Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab and open the Network section.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Leave the settings alone if No proxy, Auto-detect proxy settings for this network, or Automatic proxy configuration URL: http://wwwcache.bris.ac.uk/autoconfig is selected.
  5. Otherwise, click No proxy, then OK.

Apple (all web browsers):

  1. Click the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Click Network.
  3. Double click on AirPort.
  4. Open the Proxies tab.
  5. Choose Configure Proxies: Manually and make sure that no boxes are ticked. However, a PAC File with the URL http://wwwcache.bris.ac.uk/autoconfig can be left alone.
  6. Click Apply Now.

Web browser working offline

These instructions work with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

  1. Click the File menu. In Internet Explorer, you may have to press Alt on your keyboard to make the menu appear.
  2. If there is a tick next to Work Offline then click on Work Offline.
  3. Otherwise, go on to the next section.

Turn on Windows’ wireless utility (Windows)

It’s best to use Windows’ built-in wireless utility to connect, rather than a program specific to your wireless card.

Windows:

  1. Open your existing wireless utility. It will probably have an icon in the system tray in the bottom right corner of your screen. If you’re already using Windows’ wireless utility (found in the Control Panel) go on to the next section.
  2. Try and find an option to turn off the utility, or to switch to Windows’ version (often called Wireless Zero Configuration).
  3. If you’re having trouble turning off your existing wireless utility, the IT Service Desk can provide advice.

Patch your operating system

Use an alternative Internet connection to install updates for your operating system.

Windows:

  1. Go to Windows Update in Internet Explorer and install all High Priority or Important updates.
  2. Repeat step one until no more High Priority updates are offered.

Apple:

  1. Click Apple menu and select Software Update…
  2. Install all available updates.
  3. You will have to enter your Administrator password and may need to restart your computer.

Update your wireless drivers (Windows)

Drivers are small bits of software that tell Windows how to talk to your computer’s hardware. If your wireless adapter/card has wrong or out-of-date drivers then your wireless may not work or will only work intermittently.

Identifying your wireless card:

  1. Click the Start menu. Right-click on My Computer and select Properties.
  2. Open the Hardware tab and click on Device Manager.
  3. Open the Network adapters section.
  4. Your wireless card should be listed. The adapter’s name may contain 802.11 and will NOT usually contain Ethernet or 1394.
  5. If your adapter is not shown then look for a section called Other devices, or for entries with yellow question or exclamation marks. These are pieces of hardware Windows cannot identify. Installing the correct drivers should fix the problem.
  6. If you can’t find your card’s name, look in your computer’s manual or do a web search to track down which adapter your laptop uses.

Where to get drivers:

Windows Update may have drivers for your wireless card. In Windows 7 and later, visit Windows Update, click View available updates, and look for an update for your wireless card in the Windows Vista/Win7 section.

However, it is best to download the latest drivers from your wireless card’s manufacturer’s website. Go to their website, and search for your wireless card (the name from Device Manager, above). Drivers are often located in websites’ Support or Download areas. Generally, you need to download and run an installation program and follow the instructions on screen. The IT Service Desk can advise if you get stuck.


Check for WPA2-Enterprise capability

The wireless service uses a technology called WPA2-Enterprise. Most new wireless adapters/cards can use it, but you may need to update your drivers (above) to enable support.

Windows:

  1. Click Start, type cmd in the Start Search box, and press Enter.
  2. Type netsh wlan show drivers and press Enter.
  3. If there is a line that says says WPA2-Enterprise CCMP in the infrastructure list then your computer is capable of connecting.

Apple:

  1. Click the Apple menu, then About this Mac.
  2. Click More info…
  3. Click Network in the left hand list and select Airport Card.
  4. If Wireless card type mentions Extreme then your computer is capable of connecting.

Reset your computer’s networking stack (Windows)

The next two sections make your computer forget about any incorrect network settings.

Windows:

  • Go to the Start Menu, type cmd and right click or (Ctrl + Shift and hit Enter), and select “Run As Administrator”
  • Type the following commands, each followed by pressing enter.
    1. ipconfig /flushdns
    2. nbtstat -R
    3. nbtstat -RR
    4. netsh int reset all
    5. netsh int ip reset
    6. netsh winsock reset
  • Shutdown and restart your computer.

Uninstall your wireless adapter from Device Manager (Windows)

  1. Click the Start menu. Right-click on My Computer and select Properties.
  2. Open the Hardware tab and click on Device Manager.
  3. Open the Network adapters section.
  4. Right click on your wireless adapter and select Uninstall. The adapter’s name may contain 802.11 or WLAN and will NOT usually contain the words Ethernet or 1394 or LAN.
  5. Click OK. After a few seconds the adapter will disappear from the list. This is normal.
  6. If asked, do NOT delete/remove any driver files
  7. Restart your computer.
  8. When it starts up again, your computer will detect the wireless adapter and install it as though it was new – You may get a popup window and have to click ‘Next’ several times.

Reset Internet Explorer (Windows)

If you are able to connect to the Bristol-WiFi-Setup network but can’t see web pages, try resetting Internet Explorer. You can also use another computer to save Firefox, an alternative web browser, to a USB stick and use it instead.

  1. Click the File menu. You may have to press Alt on your keyboard to make the menu appear.
  2. Click About Internet Explorer.
  3. If you have Version 7 or higher, continue with these instructions. Otherwise, go on to the next section.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click the Tools menu. You may have to press Alt on your keyboard to make the menu appear.
  6. Click Internet Options.
  7. Open the Advanced tab and click Reset…
  8. Click Reset and follow the instructions on screen.

Turn your computer off, wait for a minute, then turn it back on, and try to connect again

It’s important that you leave your computer off for at least a minute so that the wireless network forgets about previous failed attempts to connect.


If it still doesn’t work…

  1. If you’re stuck even after following this guide, contact the IT Service Desk.
IPv6 ready!
91.121.79.180 at 04:40, 22 Nov 18