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I booted my almost brand new laptop running Windows 7 this morning and noticed a red X through the wireless networking icon in the system tray. At first I thought something was wrong, but clicking on it shows a good connection to my wireless network. I had no problem getting here to post this question. I'm very new to Windows 7 so I have no idea how to troubleshoot this myself. Is there an actual problem here? Can I fix the icon so it doesn't falsely display an error (I assume that's what the red X means)?

Here's what I know:

  • I can get here to post this question.
  • There's at least one unsecured network available that I'm not connected to.
  • I can see a bunch of wireless networks, presumably from my neighbors' houses.
  • There are no other computers turned on in my house right now.
  • The device manager shows no problems with any devices.
  • I can ping my default gateway, DNS, and yahoo.com with no problem.
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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Some laptops come with their own wireless network connection utility which is probably what is controlling your connection. The network icon (I'm guessing it's the built-in Windows utility) has a cross through it because it hasn't been used to make the connection.

To fix it, you could try uninstalling the manufacturer's utility and then set up the connection using the windows utility

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I have something called HP Wireless Assistant that pops up whenever I connect to the internet. I was going to classify it as "crap that the manufacturer thought I needed" and uninstall it, but I haven't taken the time to figure out what it does. –  Kristo Dec 31 '10 at 15:04
    
Tog's answer is correct. My only advice is to retreive the network keys before uninstalling the software, as it can be a pain to get them all back –  CamronBute Dec 31 '10 at 16:05
    
@Camron, by "network keys" do you mean ssid and passphrase? –  Kristo Dec 31 '10 at 17:01
    
Yup! Saves headaches down the road –  CamronBute Dec 31 '10 at 18:54

Uninstall the driver in Device Manager. Then, in Action, choose Scan for hardware changes. This fixed it for me.

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Tog, I've never seen an instance where a WiFi utility stops the built in windows connection status box to not display at all. At very least it tells you that it's being managed by another service, similar to Antivirus.

Kristo, I think your issue is similar to mine with this one, all network / internet access is fine it just 'seems' to be the icon that is wrong. I've done ALOT of research into this one, and each persons fault (however seemingly similar) seems to be caused by COMPLETELY different things. I've tried lots of these already. Gauging from your level of experience, I don't think you'd easily run through fixes for this problem and would advise one of the following:

Call the manufacturer to log a support ticket (we all know its a long process) Rebuild the machine using the disks (if you have them) that came from the box. Pay a professional to look into the problem.

By my previous comment, I don't mean to be funny. I have worked in IT for several years and have relevant qualifications, I work for a large company that deals with huge infrastructure and desktop issues and I am always one to keep going on a problem until I find a solution. But this one, has got the better of me my friend. And it will save me more time to just rebuild the damn things that waste more time and man hours on it. If you want to still troubleshoot, I am happy to run through these things ive found, but its complex so ill try my best to explain it. Otherwise, good luck! I hope you find a solution!

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It was the HP Wireless Assistant getting in the way of the Windows utility. After uninstalling the HP one, everything was fine. –  Kristo Apr 26 '13 at 12:50

protected by Community Sep 2 '13 at 23:45

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