Wireless Troubleshooting

Revision as of 11:23, 5 November 2009 by Christopher Hunt (talk | contribs) (Midd_unplugged)

See also


Midd_unplugged is the unsecured, open network on campus. Anyone can access it and it is not password-protected, meaning that it is more susceptible to intrusion than Midd_secure is. We recommend that students, faculty, and staff configure their computer to automatically connect to Midd_secure for standard computer usage, so that they are not open to an attacker potentially viewing their network communications. However, for quick internet access, midd_unplugged is quicker and easier to access than Midd_secure, which requires setup and password authentication.

Any operating system can connect to midd_unplugged if in range using its standard network manager:

  • Windows XP: View Wireless Networks -> double-click on midd_unplugged
  • Mac OSX: select midd_unplugged in the Airport wireless dropdown menu
  • Ubuntu: select midd_unplugged in the Network Manager dropdown menu


We now have wireless service at the Bread Loaf cross-country ski center. The network is "Breadnet", the standard Bread Loaf wireless service – not "Midd Unplugged". No authentication required, it acts like Midd Unplugged.

Info from summer 2009: Most of the Bread Loaf campus is able to use "Midd Unplugged" for wireless access. Cherry, Birch, Maple & Frothingham buildings, however, need to select the "Breadnet" wireless network. No log on credentials are required for either one.

Wireless in Cherry, Birch, Maple, and Frothingham depends on a chain of wireless access points (WAPs) extending from the Annex. The farthest eastward extent of the Bread Loaf campus fiber infrastructure is the Annex. If any WAP in the chain going east from the Annex ceases working, everything from there eastward loses connectivity.

Wireless connection software

Whatever else we may say about Windows XP, its wireless network connection software is very usable. Often laptops come with some other wireless software installed as default, which we'll want to disable to ensure easy and standard configuration.

Disable Dell ControlPoint Connection Manager

Dell ControlPoint software comes with all new Dells, so we will tend to run into it on the new E6400s. This software does not have the same set of options as Windows and cannot be used to connect to midd_secure.

To disable the software, right-click on the icon for the Dell Connection Manager (it looks like two computers connected by a wire). From the menu that pops up, select "Options." The page that opens will have a sidebar on the left side. The second box from the top should have several options checked that tell the Connection Utility to control those functions. Uncheck the "Wi-Fi" box.

Disable Intel Pro Wireless

This can be done in a few different ways, depending on the version of the Intel software:

  • Right-click on the Intel Wireless tray icon (next to the clock in the lower right side of the screen), select "Let Windows Manage Wi-fi". Or if that doesn't work:
  • Double-click on the Intel Wireless tray icon (next to the clock in the lower right side of the screen). When the Intel window appears click Tools => "Let Windows Manage Wi-fi" or Advanced => "Let Windows Manage Wi-fi"

Aruba Wireless Access Points

The College provides wireless network in a large portion of the campus. The wireless coverage depends on the wireles routers that are being installed. The College uses Aruba wireless routers, they are white in color and have a large gray number on the front, indicating the model. Usually they are setup to obtain electricity, configuration, and network connection, all through the wired ethernet port (so you won't see a power cable). When reporting a problem with an Aruba router, please let the Helpdesk know:

  • where the device is location (building and room)
  • what color is it
  • what's the model number
  • which lights are on, if any, and are any of the lights solid on, or blinking.

Here are some diagnostic notes:

  • The first (leftmost) LED light is the power indicator (PWR). The second LED light is the ethernet indicator (ENET ). The last (rightmost) LED light is the wireless signal indicator (WLAN).
  • If all lights are off, then the router is recieving no power, nor ethernet, and is therefore not broadcasting wireless signal.
  • If the PWR light is on, it means the unit is receiveing power. If the PWR light is blinking, there's a power problem (check the power cable, if there is one, else check the ethernet cable -- these units can receive power AND ethernet through the ethernet cable).
  • If the ENET light is on or blinking, it means the unit is receiving ethernet signal. If the ENET light is off, there's a problem with the network connection (check the ethernet cable).
  • If the WLAN light is on it means that the unit is broadcasting wireless. If the WLAN light is blinking or off, there may be a problem with the configuration. Report this to the Helpdesk and they will arrange for service.
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