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Windows Network Troubleshooting

Check with others in your area or building to determine if they are also having problems. If so, please contact the IT Service Desk at 646-2999, send e-mail to, or call your department's IT support office.

If you are the only one having problems, depending on how your computer is connecting to the network, make sure your computer's networking software is configured properly by reviewing the documentation on the Wired or Wireless web page.


Is your computer registered for the network?

All computers on campus trying to access the wired network must be registered. If your computer may not already be registered, you can easily register it by opening a web browser. If your computer is not registered, you will then be redirected to a web page where you can enter a brief description of the computer followed by your authentication information (name and password). Once you receive the message that it is successfully registered, you can either restart your computer or wait about 2 minutes for network access.

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Is Your Computer Plugged Into a Working Ethernet Port?

Unplug the cable from the computer and plug it back in until you hear a click. Unplug the cable at the Ethernet port on the wall and plug it back in until you hear a click. Also, active Ethernet ports are marked with a blue tab or dot. Try plugging your computer into a different active Ethernet port to see if it makes a difference. If using a different Ethernet port resolves the problem, then contact the IT Service Desk at 646-2999, send e-mail to, or call department's IT support office. Someone will help you get the non-working port repaired.

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Is Your Computer Sharing an Ethernet Port with Your Telephone?

If so, there will be two Ethernet cables to check. One cable connects the phone to the Ethernet port on the wall. The other cable connects the computer to the phone. Unplug both cables at the phone and plug them back in again in the same locations. Push firmly until you hear a click to make sure they are connected securely.

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Is the Ethernet Cable Connected to the Correct Port on Your Computer?

Make sure the Ethernet cable is plugged into the Ethernet port on your computer; not the modem port. Since an Ethernet cable is slightly larger than a phone cable, it will not fit easily into the modem port. The Ethernet cable should fit easily into the Ethernet port on your computer. Try unplugging and re-plugging the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on your computer; sometimes this will solve the problem.

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Are You Using an Ethernet Cable?

An Ethernet cable looks very similar to a regular phone cable, but is slightly larger and the cable is thicker. Ethernet cables are often gray with a green cap that fits over the ends of the cable or black like the ones attached to many of the Cisco phones on campus. Try using your Ethernet cable on another computer that you know connects properly to the network. Make sure this other computer can still connect to the network when using your Ethernet cable. If it can't, then you need a new Ethernet cable.

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Did the Problem Just Start?

If so, have you installed any new software or hardware since the last time you were able to connect to the network? Try removing the new software or hardware you installed, and restarting your computer.

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Is Your Network Card Working?

For wireless networking issues, make sure your network card is turned on and receiving a signal. You can activate your network card by opening the Network control panel and checking the adapter settings for the wireless network card. If a red "X" appears on the wireless adapter, double-click on it to activate it. Many laptops now come equipped with a switch on the outside that will disable wireless, so be sure that switch is active as well if your laptop has one.

If both the network card and wireless switch are active, make sure the network card is receiving a signal. Usually an icon or other visual indicator will light up the signal strength bars according to the strength of the signal; if the indicator is dark, you are not receiving a signal.

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Are You Connected to Dartmouth Secure?

Make sure your computer is connected to the Dartmouth Secure network. If it is not, you will not be able to access certain campus services, such as the GreenPrint printers or some Web sites. If you continue to have problems connecting your computer to the Dartmouth network, contact the IT Service Desk at 646-2999, send e-mail to, or call your department's IT support office.

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Last Updated: 8/13/10