It's a typical day in computer hell. This time, it's a new Gateway NX560 laptop. The owner did a rather decent job of updating Windoze and removing all the garbage that came pre-installed on the laptop. The Intel Centrino Pro something a/b/g internal wireless was working perfectly.
However, after a few hours to updates, uninstalls, utility installs, verbal abuse, and such, the wireless elected to suddenly quit. The "show available networks" didn't show the nearby wireless router, or any of the neighbors routers. The icon in the system tray showed that the wireless device was enabled. Repair connection did nothing useful. My laptop worked just fine with the wireless so router, so it wasn't a router failure. I was stumped.
Most such laptops have 3 to 7 different ways to turn the wireless on and off. So, I systematically went through the list of potential culprits.
- Hidden on/off switch: Nope.
- Added connection manager to manage or replace WZC: Nope.
- Vendor supplied drivers and management application such as Intel Proset: Nope.
- WZC enable/disable: Nope.
- Disabled driver in Device Manager: Nope.
- Disable wireless services in Control Panel -> Administration -> Services: Nope.
- Keyboard function key combination: Yep.
Hit on the keyboard and the wireless turns on and off. Nowhere on the desktop, system tray, or in any application could I find an indication that the wireless is enabled or disabled when is invoked. I guess one has to do it blindly and try to remember the current state. Also, it in the middle of a session and you get disconnected.
So, if your Gateway laptop apparently looses all wireless connectivity, just blindly pound on to recover. Yech.