DIY Computer Repair – Will Not Connect to Internet

Page not found messageOne moment you’re streaming Netflix or checking Facebook, maybe sending an email or just getting lost on Wikipedia. Out of nowhere you get a “No network connection” error.

No matter when or where you are it can happen. When it does questions like “Did the internet go out?”, “Did my computer break”, or “Did I get a virus” all come to mind.

The answer to all of those is probably no. But what did happen? I’ll show you how to find out. First of all, check your connection status on the lower right hand corner of the screen by the clock on your taskbar. Look for the wired or wireless network status. “Internet access” means you’re connected and online. If you get this and you still can’t connect to whatever you were doing, the first thing to do is check to see if anything else fails to connect. Pick something nice and safe like Google, MSN, NASA, Wikipedia, Ebay, whatever you’re not already trying to look at. If you can connect to another website then it may have been a momentary site outage – try again in a few minutes.

If you can’t connect to anything else, you should see “Connected, no internet” which means you’re on a network but there’s something keeping you from getting online. This is where it gets interesting. Try the simplest solutions first. Check if anything else on the network is having issues. It’s an easy way to see if the network or internet connection is having problems. If your device is the only one having issues try disconnecting and reconnecting to whatever network you are on. If that doesn’t work try another network if possible. If you are on a wireless connection and a wired connection is available then connect that way.

If you can connect via ethernet but not wifi you’ll want to disable the wifi adapter you are trying to connect with. After that, install a USB wireless adapter and try to connect to the same wifi network with it. If that solves it you either have a faulty or an improperly configured adapter.

The same applies with an ethernet connection. Disable the onboard and plug in a USB ethernet adapter. USB wireless adapters are an excellent workaround since replacing ethernet in a laptop typically means replacing the motherboard. For desktops, you may also be able to add an internal replacement adapter to work around the onboard failure.

If switching networks and/or switching adapters doesn’t resolve the problem, you are looking at either a windows networking configuration issue or a network problem. We do not recommend attempting to change your networking configuration on your own except for resetting settings to defaults. Beyond that we recommend seeking help from professionals. To troubleshoot a network issue simply reboot each piece of network hardware; modem, router, switch (may all be the same piece of hardware) and the machine you are trying to connect with. If that does not resolve it, you may consider either troubleshooting the individual hardware or consulting a professional.