So, I get a call from my wife, who is at my in-laws’, that my mother-in-law’s new computer (one of those neato netbooks with the flippy-do screen that turns into a tablet) suddenly couldn’t get online.
My first question was whether or not Windows was managing the wireless connection. As critical as I am of Microsoft and their bonus baby I’m also not very trustful of 3rd party wireless card managers. You know — the bloated ones you install on that (almost) useless CD you get with any card you buy.
Anyway, the question was more of a stall than anything. That’s how we techs get a little extra time to think. We ask a question which is a longshot but could be useful.
My wife, like most people, had no idea on that score but that didn’t matter as much as what she did know. She’s a computer programmer with a degree in electrical engineering so problems tend to get fixed a tad faster than with the average computer user. She said she was trying to start the wireless service and it was giving her an error. Specifically: Error 1747 : The Authentication Service is Unknown.
An error with a service indicates some problem in the deep, dark caverns of Windows. Windows 7 in this case.
Fortunately there’s a slew of “netsh” commands which began with XP and carry on into Vista and 7.
This error is what’s known as a Winsock2 Corruption and its fix is (drumroll please):
Click on the Start button.
Click in the search box and type in “cmd”.
Right-click on “cmd.exe”.
Select “Run as administrator.”
It will ask for your permission — click on “Yes.”
You’ll get a nice little black box which hearkens back to old DOS days and it’ll say “Administrator:” somewhere on the top. This is good. :)
In that box you’ll want to type (without quotes): “netsh winsock reset”.
Let it do its thing and it should tell you to reboot.
Your Winsock2 is now reset to fresh and clean. If the wireless service doesn’t start up automatically after the reboot you still won’t be online, however.
Let’s fix that too, shall we? ;)
Click the Start button.
Right-click on Computer.
Double-click on “Services and Applications.”
Double-click on “Services.”
Scroll through the list until you find “WLAN AutoConfig.”
This is the service you want to start. It probably says “Stopped.” Start it. Also if it says “Manual” on the right side then you’ll want to right-click on it and select “Properties.”
Here you want to use the dropdown box in the middle and set it for “Automatic.”
Click “Apply” then “OK.”
Selecting “File” then “Exit” will close out the window. Or the normal “get outta my face” red X on the upper right. :D
You may have to turn the wireless card back on on the computer. That’s usually a button which is fairly easy to find.
Viola! You should be back online!
If not, you should at least have a whole different error and I’d love to hear what it is. ;)