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Windows 7 Wireless (Wi-Fi) Not Working Problem Missing Listing Detecting Access Point in x64 and x86

Recently Microsoft Windows 7 has stopped detecting or listing Wi-Fi Wireless Access Points and generally behaving as though it has a problem or is disabled. This article gives some suggestions on how to fix the Wi-Fi (Wireless) connectivity in Windows 7 x64 (64-bit) and x86 (32-bit).



Introduction to Windows 7 Wi-Fi (Wireless) Problem Detecting Access Point

A few times now, when bringing my Windows 7 x64 (64-bit) laptop out of sleep or hibernation, the Wi-Fi (Wireless) card started behaving as though it was disabled or was not working. When I tried to click on the Wireless Network icon in the task bar to list all the Wi-Fi networks, the list was empty. Wi-Fi was on and as far as I could tell I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. However, I was unable to list or connect to any Wireless (Wi-Fi) access points.

Possible fixes for Windows 7 Wireless Access Point Detection Problems

The first thing I tried was to try disabling and enabling the wireless network card on the laptop. Unfortunately that still didn’t let Microsoft Windows 7 x64 detect the Access Points. Sitting at an airport this was particularly frustrating because my smart phone was able to see all of them – so it was definitely my laptop at fault here.

The following list outlines the steps I took to try and restore my wireless network card on Windows 7 x64:

  1. Disable and Enable the Wireless (Wi-Fi) Network Card.

  2. If your laptop has a hardware switch which allows you to turn the Wi-Fi network card on and off try to disable and enable the card. This may fix the problem.

  3. Because my laptop was in a hibernated state, I thought that it could have caused some temporary problem with the wireless network card. Try to restart the computer completely. In my case I was still unable to connect and list the wireless (Wi-Fi) access points.

  4. Next I inspected what drivers and updates I had changed in the last 24 hours. 24 hours because my wireless worked just fine less than 24 hours ago. No that wasn’t it.

  5. I looked at my device manager to see if something was wrong with the wireless card. I couldn’t see any error or warning flags.

  6. My final solution was to uninstall the wireless network card from Windows 7 x64.  Follow these steps:
    • In Device Manager, navigate to your Network adapters and expand the group.
    • Right click on your wireless network card and select Uninstall.
    • On the confirmation dialog click Yes. However if you get prompted a second time, asking you whether you want to keep the driver on your system say yes (you want to keep the driver).
    • At this stage your wireless network card is completely uninstalled.
    • Now we need to ask Windows 7 x64 to detect new hardware and install it back into the system. To do this, simply right click on any component in Device Manager and select Scan for hardware changes. Windows 7 will now detect the wireless network card we uninstalled in the previous step.

The last step did the trick for me. Straight away I was able to see all the access points and we were back in business.


Windows 7 may have some trouble or problems detecting wireless access points after you bring the computer out of hibernation or sleep. This article walked you through the steps which I took to diagnose and isolate the problem and eventually resolved the wireless (Wi-Fi) problems.


Microsoft Windows 7 Homepage


permalink [Permalink] - Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013

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