Tag Archives: network

FIX: Windows 7 WIFI disabled and Can’t Connect

WIFI Stopped Working on Windows 7?

If you have a wireless adaptor that used to connect to a Wifi network and is unable to then your WLAN adaptor is likely disabled. To further verify this, when you go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections, your wifi adaptor is greyed out indicating it’s disabled and right-clicking on it, choosing “Enable” does not resolve.

Fix / enable your network adaptor again on Windows 7

  • Start > Run > type services.msc (enter)
  • Scroll down to WLAN AutoConfig, right click and choose properties
  • Change Startup Type  to Automatic
  • Click Start below the “Service Status” text

To be extra-cautious, you could also make sure the order of your network is set correctly:

  • Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections
  • Advanced menu > Advanced Settings
  • Make sure your Wifi connection (adaptor) is set to the top-most entry

Why does this happen?

Seems it could be a multitude of reasons; it might be that your network card got in a tizzy and or that some condition occurred where your system disabled it. If it keeps happening, this could be a more significant issue. I would do the following:

1. Virus scan your system – I usually use Microsoft’s own Virus scanner as well as Malwarebytes AntiMalware

2. Make sure you have the latest drivers for your network card

Got NAS? Creating a Digital Media Solution

(Author’s note: This post is for those not as familiar with the full extent of digital media tools, apps and hardware; there are a multitude of solutions out there and this is to bring the subject to the wider audience).

In this age of digital media, everyone is taking photos (JPGs), listening to music (MP3, OGG, FLAC), taking videos (MP4, DivX, MPG, MKV) – and there are plenty of other formats for each of those to choose as an alternative. Equally, there are many ways to consume those formats – Desktop, Laptop, tablets, PDA, phone.. the list goes on.

Over time you may come to realise that you have lots of files everywhere (SD cards, hard drives, USB memory sticks, Facebook, etc). – You probably have also wondered how can you organise them a little better so you don’t have to go to one place for pictures, another for music, etc. etc.

If you’ve not heard of NAS (or Network Attached Storage) already then this might be the answer for you!

What is NAS?

A NAS drive is one or more 3.5″ hard drives contained in an enclosure along with some additional bits and pieces to make it more than just a hard drive. For the technically minded, those bits and pieces are a network port, sometimes a USB port (to enable attachment of other USB devices including printers) and typically a micro kernal flavour of Linux allowing some other features such as the ability to automatically download .torrent files, FTP access, user management, etc. If you’re wanting yet more info, check out the Wiki article on it.

The NAS drive connects to your network router and provides the ability to store and retrieve data to (almost) any other device that can connect to the same network. To give you a flavour of just what this means, take a look at the possibilities below!

From this you can see that the potential to centralise all your picture, music and movies is pretty compelling. So what’s the catch?

What’s the catch?

NAS drives are as fast as the network they are connected to and the activity they are performing. For example, if you had 3 people trying to stream 1080p (HD) video on a 802.11B wireless network they are going to have to deal with slow network speeds and (potentially) one hard drive trying to squeeze 3 HD videos down a small network pipe. You can imagine that won’t work well! Also some devices have to do some extra decoding on the fly for certain content (usually video) – again that can add an overhead.

But it’s not all bad, is it?

Not at all – personally I have a single drive NAS drive (Iomega 1TB) which serves as a central store for all my digital content. It means I can share media across any device including XBox 360, PS3, laptops and Android phone. Slight frustration is with Apple mobile products; my iPad won’t connect without downloading (buying) more software or by routing the content via a PC / Mac which would have to be on to serve the content.

What else should I know?

NAS drives can be bought with the capability to house multiple hard drives. The main reason for this is to provide failover should one hard drive fail. You may have heard the term “RAID” – this basically means that whatever is on a disk is mirrored to another disk so that if one fails, the other disk has the same data to provide backup/failover. Read more about RAID here. This means that you could have 2 x 1TB drives with only 1TB of storage space but redundancy for that capacity.

NAS drives should also come as DNLA / UPnP and iTunes compatible so you have lots of options open to you  – many do, but this is just something to look out for.

Also look out for those NAS drives that can act as a Print Server – that means you can connect your printer to the NAS drive and any device on the network potentially can use that printer.

So what NAS drive should I buy?

There are many options; if you have the budget I would recommend getting a NAS drive with RAID, plus drives as big as you’re comfortable buying. Check Amazon, NewEgg and CNET for recommendations – I’ve heard lots of good press about Buffalo; I’ve had a good enough experience with my iomega NAS too.

Like this post? Please comment!

Why am I using Yammer again?

“Hey you should totally join Yammer – here’s the link!” – or something like that arrives either in your inbox or instant message. “Sure” you think, “Why not”. So you register, confirm your email go to Yammer. “Great…. errr now what?”

“Social Networks and Social Media are just a waste of time”

You may have also signed up to Facebook, found a bunch of friends and family, read all their status updates and seen the 200 pictures of their dog/cat/child. You may have figured Twitter must be good because Ashton Kutcher is tweeting so it must be good, right?… and then suddenly you think “Nothing is happening” and never use them again.

If this rings true, don’t worry, it’s not uncommon. Social Networks and Social Media (the two are different) deviate from the traditional web experience you may have expected. We live in the “entertain me” society where, unless we’re fed the good stuff, we switch off. Why do you think we have hundreds of TV channels? They key to this difference is the word “social” – it needs us to socialize using the internet medium – interaction is the key.

Why is Social Media any better than email or instant message?

Social Media will never eradicate email or IM. They might merge a little but each will still have its’ own need.

Email is great to archive information that only you have access to typically. Unfortunately there’s probably a great deal of knowledge in your inbox and there’s no real way to expose that knowledge. In a Gartner conference, a presenter succinctly said “email is where knowledge goes to die” [1]. Someone else called email a “knowledge coffin“. This pretty much sums it up. Once information hits your inbox, it’s rarely going to make it back out (the full transcript of the Gartner conference presentation is here).

Instant Message is kind of like a primitive social network. With it you have a list of your friends, family and/or colleagues. These people tend to be the people you know and trust for sources of information. If you have a question (for example) you might IM one of your contacts. But what if none of your contacts can answer that question. Or what if they can answer the question – how does that knowledge get retained?

Enter Social Media/Networking. Now you can connect to those same friends that exist in your favorite IM application, but now you have access to their friends – and their friends friends (depending on security settings, etc). You can now join interest groups, tag content, search tagged content and all the information and knowledge gets retained!

Take this example from Twitter:

The “@” is a directive that this message is aimed at the T-Mobile corporate Twitter profile (which is maintained by a number of T-Mobile staff) and will appear on their Twitter dashboard (but it doesn’t make the message exclusive to them). The “hashtags” (text prefixed with #) are useful tags that others can decide to use to enable grouping messages. These hashtags are not limited to a set number of words – you can hashtag any word, but in order to maximize your Tweet, it’s best to judiciously apply them as this user did. Check out this trend map for the hashtag #microsoft.

So now this Twitter message is out there, anyone can see it. Anyone with interest in the G2 phone or has a penchant for the caret symbol will have more chance of seeing it, can potentially reply and answer Hysiq’s question. These are people that would have never had contact with Hysiq if it weren’t for Twitter.

Why is Twitter better than a forum / message board?

Message boards have their place but as they grow in popularity they tend to lose their effectiveness. Finding the knowledge amongst hundreds of threads, even with careful searching, can make it hard to find the information you’re after. Twitter’s microblogging format (140 characters limit) along with the ability to connect to others by “following” them means you probably have more chance to connect to the right people to find the answers using Twitter – or to provide the answers yourself for those posing the questions!

So why is Yammer better than Twitter?

It’s not. Yammer is the same flavor as Twitter but served in a corporate cone. Only people with the same email address type (e.g. @microsoft.com) can connect to the Yammer Network. From there they can follow others, join groups and create communities. All within the context of your company.

This means that the “noise” that public Social Media outlets provide is avoided and instead a community of people whom all share one common interest is created. Now that each individual has the opportunity to ask or respond to others. Take for example this recent post on Yammer (this really did happen, but rather than divulge potentially secure information I’ll describe):

One person had a question about a product which was unique and in a specialist area for their company. They had probably not had much success with their contacts and so posted a question on Yammer. Within the day there were three responses from three different people which helped point them in the right direction.

So, in a short space of time, the person asking the question was able to reach out to a group of people they would have never had chance to in such an effective way. Someone with knowledge about the question posed picked this up and was able to connect and start a dialog with the person asking. Email and Instant Message would either have been ineffective at even getting this far, or at best create a diluted connection. This is an example of the power of a Social Network.

So what happens next?

Start to engage with your Yammer folks. Post questions, interesting and relevant articles that you think at least some folks will find interesting. Join Yammer groups that you think will be relevant to your job, read posts from others and perhaps respond to some of them. Soon you will start to realize you are part of a powerful network of knowledge and are connecting with colleagues that you previously may never have done so otherwise. The power of Social Media and Social Networks comes when you involve yourself; you only get out what you put in.

One last thing to think about: You’re reading a blog – a Social Media vehicle. You may have arrived here through a Yammer or Twitter post. You’ve been using Social Media tools throughout this entire experience! (within hours of publishing, this blog post had been re-tweeted by several people I have never personally come into contact with – again showing what social media can do!).

Here’s a video that helps explain Social Media, without mentioning YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

Notes:

[1] Originated from Bill French – see http://ipadcto.com/2011/02/28/email-is-where-knowledge-goes-to-die/