The usual question that I receive about a Red X problem has to do with images not showing up in Outlook Express — the reader just gets a red X instead. But, reader Greg has a different problem.
His laptop computer’s wireless connections have not been working. He’s been unable to get his laptop’s wireless networking operational. It is not finding any available networks from the laptop.
My little Acer 4720Z 14″ laptop cannot connect to the internet. Running Win7, there is a red X over the three little bars in the systray. When I click there, instead of getting a list of available networks, I end up running all around the network setup pages and getting nowhere.
In device manager, the wireless adapter appears okay and says it is functioning properly. I don’t know here else to look in control panel, device manager, etc. Any thoughts?
Greg in Dallas
In this case, the problem should be pretty easy to solve…
Greg is seeing a red X over the antenna bars in the Windows Status bar.
First, that tells me that he’s using the wireless adapter software that either came with his computer or with his wireless adapter, if that was a separate purchase.
The standard display in Windows XP showed the antenna bars, but in Windows 7, Microsoft didn’t use that icon if the wireless connection is not active.
The Windows 7 wired icon in the Windows 7 Status Bar looks like a square computer monitor with a squared W at its upper left corner. (At least, that’s what the tiny icon looks like to me.)
If you turn on the wireless adapter, Windows 7 will display an antenna bar icon to show that the wireless adapter is active. But, it won’t use the red X if you turn it off.
Anyway, my netbook (which still runs Windows XP) uses the antenna bar icon and occasionally shows the red X. It means that I have manually turned off the wireless function on the notebook.
How you turn it off, or turn it on, depends on the computer. Some laptops have a mechanical switch or button to turn the wireless adapter on or off. Others have a button that simply makes a momentary electrical connection to tell the motherboard to turn the wireless adapter on or off. Most, including add-on adapters (for example, a USB wireless adapter), also have an icon in the Windows Status Bar that will let you turn the wireless adapter on or off.
The first thing to try is to right-click on antenna-bar icon to see if there is an option that says Enable Wireless, or something like that. If so, then select that option.
If that doesn’t work, you might have turned it off via a mechanical switch on your computer (some computers do this).
Alternatively, there may be a key combination to do this. Dell uses Fn-F2 to enable and disable the built-in wireless adapter’s radio.
If you don’t know how to turn on the wireless adapter on your notebook, your notebook’s manual should tell you. It is probably available as a PDF file for download from the manufacturer, if you can’t find your copy or CDROM.