Windows XP / Networking

My computer does not detect my network adapter

Windows should automatically detect a PCMCIA or USB adapter when you connect the adapter to the computer or when you turn on the computer with the adapter already connected. If you are using a PC Card, you should hear a boo-deep sound when the PCMCIA controller detects it, and the system tray (next to the clock) should show a PC Card icon.

If Windows does not detect a PC Card or USB device, try removing and replacing the card or unplugging and reconnecting the USB connector. If it is a PC Card, make sure the card is firmly seated in its socket. If it is a USB adapter, disconnect any other USB devices that are connected to the same computer and try connecting the wireless adapter again. If the adapter works, connect the other USB devices one at a time; if connecting another USB device kills the wireless adapter, the two devices are competing with each other for the same resources.

Try connecting a USB adapter to a different USB connector. The problem might be a bad internal connection to the first USB socket.

If Windows does not automatically recognize your network adapter, it probably can't find the right driver, either for your PCMCIA socket or for the adapter itself. The Device Manager will display an icon with a yellow exclamation point or a red X for any device that is currently not working properly. Right-click the listing with the exclamation point or X, and choose Properties from the menu to restore the device or reinstall the driver.

If there is no listing for the PCMCIA socket or the network adapter, install a driver from the disk that was supplied with the adapter, or download a new driver from the manufacturer's website.

In Linux, the PC Card requires PCMCIA services and Wireless Extensions. In Unix, you must install the specific driver for your network adapter. After connecting your device, use dmesg to view the kernel logs, which will indicate whether or not the device was properly detected. For CardBus cards (but not PCMCIA cards), lspci should show the device and information about the type of drivers it needs. For USB cards, lsusb will display all detected USB devices and provide information about them.

If you are using a laptop computer, confirm that wireless operation is turned on. Check both the hardware switch and the software controls in your wireless configuration and control program.

I am having trouble connecting to my VPN

If you can't connect to your LAN through a VPN, the problem could be either in the VPN settings on your computer or at the VPN host. Either way, your best bet is to telephone or email the network manager or help desk staff who are responsible for the network. They will have the exact codes and settings necessary to make your connection work properly.

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