Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a fairly new HP Compaq 6715b laptop. It is running Windows Vista Business 64-bit with the latest drivers and HP updates for the Broadcom network adaptor.

My problem is that I can only get the wireless networking to detect networks when I am very close to the wireless access point (within about 5 meters).

I have the same problem when connecting to the wireless network at work, at home and in public areas, so I don't think the issue is with the access points.

At home I have an older laptop and Nintendo Wii that can both see and connect to the wireless network at distances far greater than my HP laptop, so again, I think this points to a problem with the laptop itself.

What I have noticed is that the wireless network strength is only ever reported as Excellent, I can't even see networks with a lower strength.

Has anyone seen this problem before, and does anyone have any suggestions?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

From what I can see on the 'net, it looks like that laptop has PCIe slots, so you should open it up and make sure that your antennas are actually connected to your PCIe wireless card - the connectors are tiny, and sometimes a bit "fiddly" so they could have jarred loose or somesuch. Failing that, it sounds like it might be time to test out your warranty.

share|improve this answer
Be aware that if it is under warranty still, doing so is likely to void your warranty. – Sam May 6 '09 at 13:08
Really? I thought PCIe cards were considered 'user servicable' - I'm fairly sure Dell considers them so. – pjz May 6 '09 at 13:10
@pdz, it may depend on how much effort is required to get at the card. On Dells they are usually accessible via a little panel on the bottom. On a Hp Mini Netbook I had to literally dismantle the whole thing to access the back of the motherboard where the wifi card is mounted – Dave Cheney May 6 '09 at 14:41

I'd say this is a fault with the wireless network card in your laptop. Has it always been like this, or has it degraded over time? If its still in warranty I would get it looked at by HP and repaired.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.