Wireless Troubleshooting

Revision as of 11:00, 24 March 2016 by Zachary Schuetz (talk | contribs)

If the standard configuration instructions aren't working for you, check the following items, in order (depending on your device). Recall that personal Routers and Wireless Access Points are not allowed on campus; you must use the College wireless to avoid interfering with the network infrastructure. Also, personal devices that rely on direct communication, like Chromecast and personal wireless printers, are not supported due to the nature of enterprise network infrastructure.

Note: OSX version 10.10 (Yosemite) has problems with enterprise wireless; if you are experiencing persistent issues, we recommend upgrading to 10.11 (El Capitan).

Step 1. Check that Wireless is Turned On

Many laptops have a switch on the side that disables wireless entirely. This can be useful but causes problems if it is accidentally pressed, often without anyone noticing. If the physical switch is on or you don't see one, make sure Airplane Mode is set to OFF (if applicable) and wireless is enabled (click on the Airport menu in the top right corner of the screen and if Turn On appears, click it).

Step 2. Check that the Networks Appear

Your device should list available wireless networks including MiddleburyCollege and MiddleburyGuest. If neither of these networks appear, double-check that the wireless connection is enabled and try restarting your device. Once the networks appear, move on to the next step.

  • If MiddleburyGuest appears, but MiddleburyCollege doesn't, there are three possibilities:
    1. You are in an area with unusually weak signal, such that the networks are not detected properly.
    2. If your device uses Windows, OSX, Android, iOS, or common Linux flavors, it may not be properly configured to connect to MiddleburyCollege. You may need to update your operating system, wireless drivers, or firmware. Please contact the Helpdesk.
    3. If you have a more unusual device (such as certain gaming systems and older consumer devices), it may not support MiddleburyCollege. Please refer to Registering Supported Devices.

Step 3. Check to see if the problem is location-specific

If you can access wireless normally in some areas, such as the library or classrooms, but there is a particular location where it seems not to work or is unreasonably slow, please contact the Helpdesk. We are continually improving our wireless infrastructure across campus and we appreciate your help in identifying areas of concern.

Step 4. Check that your account is valid for MiddleburyCollege wireless

Pay particular attention to this step and step 7 if you get a "wrong password" error, or if you keep getting prompted for your password over and over.

If you have another device or some other way to get network access, please go to another service like Moodle to confirm that your Middlebury username and password (or Guest e-mail and password) are correct and active. Note that only network accounts (faculty, staff, student, or guest) can access the MiddleburyCollege network - local accounts specific to individual computers do not have access.

Step 5. Release and renew your IP address

If you seem to be connected to the network, but pages won't load, and especially if you get a warning about "limited connectivity" or a "self-assigned IP address", try to release and renew your IP address.

Step 6. Repair Wireless with Built-in Tools

  • In Windows 7, right-click the Network icon in the lower right corner of the screen and click Repair.
  • In Mac OS X, click on the Airport menu (top right corner of the screen) and click Turn Off. Wait a few seconds, click on the Airport menu and click Turn On.

Step 7. Check for Stored Password Issues

If you've changed your password recently (or since you were last on campus), you should definitely do the following.

  • On a college-owned Windows computer, make sure you're logged in with your current password by connecting to a wired connection, locking the computer (Win+L), then unlocking it with your new password.
  • On a personal Windows computer or any mobile device, you should be able to update the stored password for MiddleburyCollege when prompted by typing in your current College username and password. If this doesn't work, you may need to forget the network (see below).
  • On a Mac, updating your wireless password does not work due to a bug in the operating system. You must forget the network and delete entries in the Login Keychain related to MiddleburyCollege WiFi, as described in step 8 below.

Step 8. "Forget" the network and reconnect

Windows - College Owned

Middlebury-managed Windows computers have the MiddleburyCollege network preconfigured with the correct settings and cannot be manually adjusted. However, this assumes that you are logging into the computer as yourself - see Valid accounts above.

Windows 7 - Personal

Remove or "forget" the network, then reconnect. Microsoft's instructions for forgetting the network are here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg252588%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

Windows 10 - Personal

  1. Click on the Wifi networks icon available in the taskbar.
  2. A window will pop out, click on “Network settings” icon and another separate window will open, that will show settings for your Wifi network.
  3. In the “Network settings” window you’ll find the the option to manage wifi settings, click on it.
  4. Under “Manage Wi-Fi Settings” window, scroll to the bottom and you’ll get a list of all available saved Wifi networks, click your desired one and click the “Forget” button.
  5. To reconnect to that forgotten network, go back to “connections” tab and click on “Wifi” and save password for that forgotten network again.

Mac OS X

  1. Go to the Airport icon in the upper-right corner and turn wireless off.
  2. Click the Airport icon again and click Open Network Preferences, then click Advanced, then select MiddleburyCollege, click the minus symbol, and click OK.
  3. Next go to: Applications -> Utilities ->Keychain Access
  4. Select the "login" keychain in the upper left corner.
  5. In the search window(upper right) search for "MiddleburyCollege", secondary click on the record, and delete the records for MiddleburyCollege(name) 802.1X Password(Kind). You will be asked to verify you want to delete this; confirm by clicking delete.
  6. In the search window(upper right) search for "cpauth" and delete the records for cpauth.middlebury.edu(name) certificate(Kind). You will be asked to verify you want to delete this; confirm by clicking delete.
    • You will be asked for your user password (that you logged into the computer with) to confirm the change to your Certificate Trust Settings.
  7. Click on the Airport menu again and click Turn On, and re-connect to MiddleburyCollege.


  1. Go to Settings -> Wi-Fi.
  2. Select the MiddleburyCollege network and tap "Forget".


  1. Go to Settings -> Wi-Fi.
  2. Next to the MiddleburyCollege network, tap the blue "i" (info).
  3. Tap Forget This Network, then Forget to confirm.

Step 9. Update Drivers

On a Mac, iOS device, or Android device, make sure that you have run Software Update and there are no further updates available. In some cases, you may need to upgrade to a newer version of your OS.

  • Note: OSX version 10.10 (Yosemite) has problems with enterprise wireless; if you are experiencing persistent issues, we recommend upgrading to 10.11 (El Capitan).

For Windows computers, check the vendor website for your computer and/or wireless card to see if updated drivers are available, install them, and reboot. If you need assistance with this, please come to the Helpdesk (LIB202).

Step 10. Contact the Helpdesk

If the above steps don't work, please write down your Ethernet ID aka MAC address and have it ready when contacting the Helpdesk. If the matter is urgent or you cannot use that link, please call us at (802) 443-2200 with your name, contact info, and a description of the problem. For best results, also Option-click the wireless icon and collect the information about your connection that appears when you do so.

Wireless Compatibility

Any device with a wireless network card or adapter should be compatible with Middlebury's wireless networks, as long as it supports the WPA2 or 802.1X protocol. The vast majority of wireless devices in the world support these protocols. Our wireless vendor, Aruba, publishes a detailed list of compatible devices (if the link becomes out of date, search the web for Aruba compatibility).

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