First off, I'm new to the dell community so I apologize if this has been posted before. But this problem is really annoying...
I have been fixing computers and doing IT work for people for years, never have I had a problem that was as frustrating as this.
I am fixing a friends Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop which was running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. They kept telling me that their internet worked and was functioning however the wireless icon in the system tray displays a red "X" over the connection and mousing over it the wireless menu displays "not connected" however in the list of wireless networks below it has the network name and says it is connected.
I have done a ton of research on the suject and it seems like many people have this problem but their aren't any real solutions. I did find a link to a Microsoft support page hat simply said that you can "safely ignore" the problem. I could understand this because browsing the web still works, however it prevents me from connecting to shared printers, other computers, or using windows updates.
I upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate in hopes that this would take care of the problem, but with no luck.
I have tried installing all of the new drivers, removing the dell wireless utility, the SSID is protected and not the factory default, and power cycling all of the hardware, and all of the other basic fixes that one would think of. Still no luck.
Does anyone have any concrete advice for solving this issue?
One thing to check on a laptop--was she connected by the Ethernet card in the laptop? The wireless icon will always show an X when you use the Ethernet connection. You can turn the wireless icon off by disabling the wireless adapter in Network Connections.
Thanks for responding, the connection is over wireless. The ethernet card is disabled as they do not use it. Running a ethernet cable to the laptop is not an available option, unfortunately.
Can you take a couple of screenshots of the issue and post them in here? There's a little button in here that you can select to add images to your post, the button has a hovering tooltip that says "Insert Media".
In particular, can you take a screenshot of the Network and Sharing Center, like this:
By the way, give this a shot, I have no idea if it will fix your problem but it's easy enough to try:
I don't have the computer with me now but I'll be sure to give it a try either later today or tomorrow. I'll take a couple of screen shots too.
I have an Inspiron 1545 which I purchased in the spring. Last week I experienced a very similar problem which I fixed in an hour of starting.
This is what happened to me (I thought it was because my computer engineering major roommate was screwing with the router): I looked at the wireless signal icon in the bottom right corner, and it too appeared disconnected (red x and blank signal bars), although I was still able to access the internet. It did seem to not be running as fast as it should be. I tried wireless network troubleshooting, updating the wireless driver, etc. In order to fix this odd issue, you need to download the appropriate dell wireless driver, uninstall the current one, and then install the recently downloaded driver. After uninstalling the WLAN driver, you will need to plug the computer into the router with an ethernet cable to install the new driver.
Then I came across the solution.
1) Go to http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/index.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs and enter the service tag # (by the serial number on the laptop) to find the appropriate drivers. KEEP THIS WINDOW OPEN AS IT HAS THE REST OF THE INSTRUCTIONS ON IT.
2) scroll down to the network drivers link, expand the instructions tab and follow the "download" portion of the instructions.
3) now you will have to manually uninstall the current wireless driver by opening up the Control Panel, then Device Manager (you can always just search for Device Manager from the search box on the bottom by clicking the windows button). Click on Network Adapters, and then right-click on the Dell WLAN card, and click uninstall.
4) you now have lost wireless connectivity and should plug into the router. Go back to the dell driver instructions tab and follow the "install" portion.
5) Once the new Dell WLAN card is installed, disconnect the ethernet cable, and the problem should be fixed
I have no idea why this happens, but do know a fresh driver solved it for me.
Hope this helps!