Fix Unidentified Network and No Network Access in Windows 7

Recently, I was helping a client with Windows 7 who was unable to connect to his home wireless network one day even though it had been working fine for a few months. When he went to Network and Sharing Center, he had the following listed:

unidentified network

Instead of his normal network connection, it said Unidentified Network and No Internet Access and sure enough, he could not connect to the Internet! The same thing showed up in the taskbar icon for network connections:

no network access

I’ve seen this problem on a couple of Windows 7 machines and depending on your system, there are multiple possible solutions. Try each one listed below and check to see if it fixe your problem before moving on.

Method 1 – Disable McAfee Network Agent

One common culprit has been the McAfee Network Agent service. You can disable the service by going to Start, typing in MSCONFIG and then clicking on the Services tab. Find McAfee Network Agent and uncheck the box.

disable services

It also might be a good idea to disable any third-party firewall like McAfee firewall or Norton firewall, etc.

Method 2- Update Your Network Card Driver

You can update your driver in one of two ways: either via Windows or by downloading the driver yourself manually from the manufacture’s website. I highly recommend downloading the latest driver yourself as Windows usually does not do a very good job, but here are the instructions in case you want to try it.

Click on Start, type in devmgmt.msc, press Enter and then expand Network Controllers and right-click on the problem network card.

network card

Now click on the Driver tab and choose Update Driver.

update driver

If that doesn’t work, you can also uninstall the network driver and then reinstall it after a restart. This has also been known to fix the problem with some people. Note that Windows will automatically reinstall the driver for you. In case it does not, you can always download the latest driver and then install it.

Method 3 – Restart Your Router and Modem

Just in case, make sure you restart your wireless router and your modem because you’ll waste a lot of time messing with your computer for no reason if it’s actually a problem with the router.

Method 4 – Reset TCP/IP Stack

You can try to reset your network settings and fix any problems with the TCP/IP stack by running the Microsoft FixIt solution here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299357

Method 5 – Upgrade Router Firmware

If nothing else has worked so far, try upgrading the firmware on your router. This is a slightly more technical process because you have to connect to your router via a web browser, but a little searching on Google will give you step by step directions. It’s a fairly easy process and might solve your problem, especially if you have an older router or have had one for a long time and have never updated the firmware.

Method 6 – Use One Connection or Bridge Connections

If you have both an Ethernet connection enabled and a wireless connection on your laptop or desktop, that could be the cause of the problem. You can either try disconnecting one, restarting and then seeing if you can get Internet access for each individually or you can try to bridge the connections.

You can do this by going to Network and Sharing Center, click on Change Adapter Settings, then select both the Local Area Connection and the Wireless Network Connection and right-click on either one. You will see the option to Bridge Connections.

bridge connections

Doing this can fix the problem of both networks conflicting with each other. Give it a shot if nothing else has worked until now. You can always unbridge the connections later on if you like.

Method 7 – Check Adapter Settings

This solution is a little trick because it can be something random, but you need to go to Network and Sharing Center, click on Change Adapter Settings, then right-click on Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection and choose Properties.

You’ll see a box that says This connection uses the following items, which contains a list of protocols used by the network card to communicate. It should look something like this:

adapter settings

Now if you installed some network related software like VPN software or something like that, you might have some strange extra stuff listed in there. You need to uninstall those items and basically have something that looks like the list above. Once those are removed, restart and see it that solves your problem.

Method 8 – Disable Virtual Ethernet Adapters

If you have VMWare or any other virtual machine software installed, go to Device Manager and disable any virtual network adapters that may appear there under Network Controllers. You won’t be able to connect to the Internet from your virtual machine, but you can always re–enable them for that. If the problem goes away though, it might be worth upgrading to the latest version of the virtual machine software to see if it’s more compatible with Windows 7.

Method 9 – Enable/Disable Network Connection

You can go to Network and Sharing Center, click on Change Adapter Settings and then right-click on the network adapter and choose Disable. Wait a little while and then re-enable the network connection.

That’s all the solutions I could find for fixing this problem. If you still have unidentified network with no Internet access, then post your specs here and we’ll try to help! Enjoy!

 

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Comments [7]

  1. gian says:

    Uhm, method 6 has worked on my computer, but does that method have any side effects or not?

  2. Jamie H. says:

    I have a desktop ACER pc that has this problem. This PC is connected via ethernet cable. All other mobile devices (using wi-fi) work properly in my house. My ISP checked my router, and it came back as functioning properly, but could not find my computer. I have tried all of these steps and none prevailed. I. AM. DESPERATE. please help. Thanks, Jamie.

  3. Peter Czech republic says:

    Hi i had the same problem and none of this helped but i kept trying and in the adapter configuration i found (wireless mode selection, it was set to automated) so i changed it to b/g and it is ok. no unidentified network and acces to the internet. hope this helps everyone

  4. manish jain says:

    On my PC, I am getting an unidentified network with only one modem. When I connect a different one, it detects as network. Why is that happening?

  5. Spagnolo says:

    Excellent article. Thank you!

    Bridging seemed to do the trick for me. Although the internet connection is still kinda shite ;)

    Another problem altogether I think.

  6. Frank says:

    I had this problem and pulled my hair out for a few days…Know what the problem was? The sneaky ISP. They supply a cable modem with four LAN cable ports, but they disable the modem if you have more than two devices hooked up to it. With more than two, you get all kinds of weird problems, among them this error message. Solution. Don’t plug in more than two devices into your cable modem. Some ISP’s may only allow one, even though there are four ports.

  7. Leon says:

    I do not understand why my connection to my home network refused to work on my laptop. Bridging it with ethernet fixed it so must have been an IP problem. Tried uninstalling drivers and everything. I could connect to other wireless connections (neighbors) but not my own but now its fixed. Thanks!

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