Appendix C - Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Connection Issues
There are various reasons why you may not be able to connect to your wireless network. It can range from the wireless network adapter being turned off at the hardware level to a different wireless network adapter driver being needed. The following steps will walk you through the process of getting your wireless network to work with Xtra-PC. At the bottom of this page, you can also find a a couple videos demonstrating how to do some of the steps below.
Boot to the Xtra-PC USB
Once Xtra-PC is loaded and you are logged in, left click on the network connection icon (it looks like two computer monitors) in the bottom right corner (next to the clock). If it lists your wireless network, left click on it to connect. If it doesn't list your wireless network, proceed to the next step.
Right click on this icon and see if “Enable Wi-Fi” is checked. If not, click on it to enable Wi-Fi. Wait about 30 seconds and then check again to see if it lists your wireless network. If it lists your wireless network, left click on it to connect. If it doesn't list your wireless network, proceed to the next step.
Check to see if the wireless LED on your computer itself shows if wireless is on or off (i.e. usually the LED is orange if off; green or blue if on).
If it shows as turned off on the hardware, try turning it on at the hardware level. The switch for this varies with your computer vendor, but usually is marked with the symbol, . If it now lists your wireless network after turning it on, left click on it to connect. If it doesn't list your wireless network, proceed to the next step.
Check if Wi-Fi is disabled at the software level by doing the following:
- Open a terminal window by going to the Start menu (the blue X in the lower left corner), then “Accessories,” then “Terminal.”
- Run the command: rfkill list all
Do any of your wireless network adapters say “yes” to soft or hard blocked?
If any say "yes", this means your wireless adapter is disabled.
To enable your wireless adapter, press the wireless key on your laptop to turn it on. The key on your keyboard will be marked witha symbol similiar to . Also, if your laptop has an "Airplane mode" button (usually marked with the symbol ), make sure it is turned off. If those buttons are set correctly, you can also try running the following command to unblock any software blocking your wireless connection: sudo rfkill unblock wifi
NOTE: A hard block generally can't be overridden by software (i.e with rfkill) and means your wireless adapter is disabled at the hardware level. So, if running sudo rfkill unblock wifi doesn't enable your wireless adapter, it's likely there is a hardware switch that needs to be turned on. A wireless hardware switch is genally located on the front or side of your laptop and marked with the symbol, . Locate this and ensure it is in the "on" position.
Example output of rfkill when a laptop has the wireless network key turned off. This is equivalent to "Airplane Mode" being turned on as well:
If all say "no" and you still can't connect to your wireless network, proceed to the next step.
Lastly, it could be that a different wireless adapter driver is needed. Many wireless adapters are detected and load drivers automatically, but some wireless adapters may not work with the default drivers that are installed and need different drivers to be installed.
Odds are, if your wireless is not working due to an incorrect driver, you have a Broadcom wireless adapter. Xtra-PC comes pre-loaded with 1 of the 2 main driver sets for Broadcom chipsets. So, often times, it is just needed to switch to the other set of drivers for Broadcom chipsets to get wireless working.
The easiest way to do this is by using the "Xtra-PC Initial Install Wizard". It provides an easy way to switch Broadcom drivers. To start the "Xtra-PC Initial Install Wizard, go to the Start menu (the blue X in the lower left corner), then “Local Administration,” then “Useful Tools,” then “Xtra-PC Initial Install Wizard.” On the "Internet Connection" tab, simply click on the button next to "Broadcom b43".
If for some reason you want to switch back to using the "Broadcom wl" driver, simply click the button next "Broadcom wl".
Screenshot of the "Internet Connection" tab in the "Xtra-PC Initial Install Wizard":
If you are still unable to connect to your wireless network, please contact support by clicking on the chat icon in the bottom right corner of your browser.
Video demonstrating how to run and use the rfkill” command as mentioned above in step 6:
Video demonstrating how to use the “Xtra-PC Initial Install Wizard” to install an alternative Broadcom chipset driver as mentioned above in step 7: