Introduction Wireless connection problems can be incredibly frustrating, but many Wi-Fi problems often can be fixed rather easily.
Disclaimer #1 This basic tutorial for librarians is not intended to provide full wireless connection support. Its purpose is to give librarians simple talking points with customers who experience connection problems – to determine if the customer can implement a quick fix.* *It is the customer’s responsibility to learn to use Windows Troubleshooting wizards and the Networking & Sharing Center.
Disclaimer #2 Librarians may offer suggestions, saying, for example, “You may want to try…” However, a customer’s laptop is her own responsibility. WARNING: Do not assume control over a customer’s keyboard, mouse pointer, or hardware.
Quiet Study Room If there are other customers in the Quiet Study Room, it may be necessary to relocate to the laptop stations in the public area.
CONNECTING WIRELESSLY Windows (XP, Vista, 7) and Mac OS X
WINDOWS Connecting wirelessly Instructions for the Customer: Turn on your laptop, allowing it to start up completely. In the taskbar, you will see a wireless connections icon. Right-click the icon (screen shots on next slide). You may see "wireless networks available.” You can click connect or go to the Network Sharing Center from these choices. Choose the connection named “BCPL-PUBLIC-WIFI.” Double-click on Internet Explorer (Firefox, Safari, or Chrome) to ensure you can connect to a website and the Internet, and agree to the BCPL Acceptable Use Statement.
Wireless Network Icon Connecting wirelessly
MAC OS X Most Macs should recognize the network connection automatically. Connecting wirelessly
Removable wireless cards *If your laptop or other wireless device uses a removable wireless card, make sure it is installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Depending on what type of wireless device you have, how recent its operating system is, and how you have it configured, it may be able to connect to the BCPL wireless network automatically. If it does not, use your device's wireless setup software to configure the following: Network Name (SSID): BCPL-PUBLIC-WIFI Network Mode: Infrastructure WEP: Disabled TCP/IP or Network Settings: DHCP enabled (sometimes called "Obtain IP address automatically") DNS: Automatic Gateway: Automatic Your wireless setup software may not require all of the above. You are responsible for understanding how to configure your own wireless device. Because there are many different types of wireless devices requiring many different configuration methods, Technology Support staff are not able to assist you with the configuration of your wireless device. *This information page comes from the Staff Help Desk Wiki. It may work best to print this page and give it to the customer to configure himself.
How to tell if… …there is a problem with your wireless connection.
WINDOWS Windows 7: a yellow exclamation mark appears over the wireless connection icon in the taskbar. Windows Vista and XP: a red X appears over the wireless connection icon in the taskbar. If you hover your mouse over it or click on it, Windows will indicate it has no Internet access. How to tell if…
Mac OS X OS X gives you an alert if there is no Internet connection. How to tell if…
Quick Fix #1 Check the wireless switch, or complete a Power Cycle.
Wireless Switch Look for a physical switch on the laptop that can turn the wireless network adaptor on or off -- it may have accidentally been turned off. Ask the customer to flip the switch to test if this is the case. There is usually an indicator light on the laptop that shows if the wireless network adapter is enabled. Quick fix #1
Power Cycle Quick fix #1 The customer can power cycle the computer by shutting down her laptop and by waiting at least 30 seconds before switching it back on. Sometimes this fixes problems with Windows.
Quick Fix #2 Let Windows or OS X try to repair the connection.
Let Windows Do the Repair Windows can try to repair wireless issues for you. Ask the customer to right-click on the Network Connections icon in the taskbar and select either "Repair" (Windows XP) or "Diagnose and Repair" (Vista/Windows 7). Quick fix #2
Let OS X Do the Repair OS X can try to repair wireless issues for you. Ask the customer to click the wireless status icon in the menu bar and then choose ‘Turn AirPort Off.’ Then have him click the icon again and choose ‘Turn AirPort On.’ The laptop will attempt to connect again. Quick fix #2
Quick Fix #3 Reset the Internet browser.
Windows Sometimes the browser bypasses BCPL’s Acceptable Use Statement page, thus preventing access to the Internet. To fix this: Ask the customer to close all open Internet browser windows (X out the browser, rather than simply minimizing the window). Then have her reopen the browser by clicking START Programs Internet Explorer (or, Firefox or Chrome) Quick fix #3
Mac OS X Quick fix #3 NOTE: Closing just the browser window on a Mac will not cause you to exit the browser. Customer instructions: Go to the menu at the top of the screen, click “Safari” (or other browser) and select “Quit Safari.” Shortcut keystroke: Command key + Q. On the task bar (dock) located at the bottom of the screen, select your browser of choice and click on the icon.
Final Step Referral and Search.
Referral Final step If the customer is encountering a problem that Quick Fixes 1-3 cannot repair, then his problem lies outside the scope of this tutorial. At this point, it may be helpful to say something like: “It looks like there may be a more serious issue with your connection or your laptop. You may want to have a professional take a look at your computer.”
Research Final step If the customer feels comfortable researching the problem on her own, you may offer the use of a public computer to do a Google search on the problem. The customer can find out if other people have had the same problem, and what, if any, fixes are available or advised. Warning: At this point, the customer is responsible for any further steps to fix the problem. Do not offer further suggestions as to the reason for the problem. This could open a Pandora’s box of questions we are unqualified to answer.
Beyond the Scope This section lists problems that are widespread with customers’ laptops, but they are beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Nothing we can do… Beyond the scope The customer’s network card drivers and Windows/OS X need to be updated. Many customers “right-click & delete” connections, programsand networks from their computers. This can create a serious problem in Windows. The customer’s network card does not automatically obtain IP and gateway settings. The customer’s network adaptor is malfunctioning. If our network does not appear in the customer’s list of available networks. If the customer’s Windows OS is corrupted.
Link to the Help Desk Wiki http://wikis.bcpl.net/helpdesk/index.php/Wireless