Windows 7 intermittently drops wired Internet/LAN connection

Wireless Network Adapter not Working Windows 7

Adapter / April 12, 2022

If you would like to read the other parts in this series please go to


In my previous article, I explained that for some reason or other, Windows 7 did not want to maintain a connection to my wireless network even though computers running Windows XP and Vista didn’t seem to have any trouble. Ultimately, I discovered that if I unplugged one of my wireless access points, my connectivity problems went away.

Prior to solving my own Windows 7 wireless connectivity issues, I did quite a bit of research into possible causes of the problems. What I discovered was that there are a lot of people who have wireless connectivity problems with Windows 7, and that the solution is not always as simple as unplugging a redundant access point. That being the case, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some of the diagnostic techniques that can be used to diagnose Windows 7 wireless connectivity problems.

Before I Begin

Before I get started, I need to point out that I am making a few assumptions. First, I am assuming that your wireless network is functional, and that the problem exists with Windows 7. If you are having trouble with a first time wireless deployment, you might try using a known good PC running an older operating system to verify that you can establish connectivity to your access point before you work through everything that I am about to show you.

The other assumption that I am making is that the PC that is having the connectivity problems has the correct device driver for the wireless NIC. I am eventually going to be talking about wireless device drivers at some point in this series, but you might be able to save yourself a lot of heartache by taking a few minutes up front to make sure that you have the correct device driver. If you aren’t sure which driver you need, then I recommend contacting the PC manufacturer or visiting their Web site and looking up the make and model of the PC’s wireless NIC.

Checking the Basics

With that said, let’s get started by checking the basics. You should begin by closing any applications or other windows that you have open, as we don’t want anything to inadvertently interfere with the diagnostic process. After doing so, open the Control Panel and double click on the Network and Internet icon. Next, open the Network and Sharing Center and click on the Change Adapter settings link.

At this point, you should see a window that lists all of the network adapters that are installed in your PC. In most cases, there will be a wired, and a wireless adapter as shown in Figure A.

Figure A: You should see a listing for your wireless network adapter

Ultimately, whether or not you see a listing for the wired network adapter is irrelevant. It is the wireless adapter that really counts. If you don’t see your wireless network adapter listed, then this is the source of your connectivity problems.

There are several potential underlying causes for an unlisted wireless network adapter. The most common causes involve an incorrect or missing device driver. As I said, I will be talking about device drivers a little bit later on.