When setting up wireless hardware for a Windows 8 OS, the process should be fairly painless, but some will hit a few snags. This guide covers the most common hangups with wireless connections, but is by no means extensive. If the solutions presented here do not work, do an internet search containing the make and model of the device, as well as the specific problem for more targeted solutions.
1) Check all Physical Connections and Switches
It’s very easy to make mistakes in this step so do not skip it. First, check the Windows Compatibility Center on the Microsoft website for your device. Then, double check all instructions to ensure the wires are plugged in properly. Look at the router itself to be certain that all the on switches are on, and that the lights, are glowing or blinking as indicated by the user manual. If devices are correctly connected, but aren’t receiving power, the product itself may be defective. If the router is getting power, but not connecting, try resetting it as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
2) Using Device Manager to View Connections
Search for “Network connections”, by moving the mouse to the right side of the screen, clicking the search bar, and typing “Network Connections”, then clicking “Settings”. Click “View Network connections”. From here, a list of network adapters will appear. If not, reinstall the drivers for the adapter. If the adapter isn’t already enabled, right click the network adapter, and click “Enable”. If there are many network adapters, check that the proper one is set to default, shown by a check mark next to it. If not, select the correct default adapter, right click it, and select “Set to Default”.
3) Using the Troubleshooter
To access the troubleshooter, bring up Search from the start screen by hovering the mouse cursor over the left side of the screen, and clicking in the search text box when it appears. Type “Network Troubleshooting” into the box, and then click “Settings”. When it pops up, click “Identify and repair network problems”. The troubleshooter will take the user through a series of steps to help diagnose the problem. Be sure to follow each of them, and provide the proper feedback when prompted to ensure that the problem is resolved as quickly as possible.
4) Contact the Device’s Manufacturer
Some of the problems with wireless devices simply aren’t things that Microsoft has any control over. If the troubleshooting guide did not resolve the problem, it’s time to contact the device’s manufacturer. The troubles may be as varied as the device lacking a Windows 8 compatible driver, the device requiring additional set up steps, or enabling specific system options. Most companies’ Tech Support divisions are able to iron out any difficulties, but there is the small chance the device is simply infeasible, and a new one will need to be purchased before proceeding.
Considering the hundreds of makes and models available for wireless equipment, getting into the specifics of each one is well beyond the scope of this article, and would likely fill a volume the size of a phone book. These steps will fix 99% of wireless connection problems, but there will always be a few problems which require intricate technical knowledge and should be handled by a professional.