[Fixed] Windows Vista Not Detecting Wireless Networks – How to Fix the Wireless Adapter Issue

If you are still using Microsoft Windows Vista operating system, then you may be facing wireless network issue as described in this post. Recently I have faced a strange problem with my Windows Vista laptop which failed to detect any wireless networks around my place even though I was in the range of few wireless networks. This small guide shows how I fixed the issue. You can try these same steps for Windows 7, 8.1 and even Windows 10 too.

Try this if Windows 7 network is slow, it really helps to improve the network performance.

Here Are the Few Steps Follow

  1. Third Party Wi-Fi Management Tools

Make sure you do not have any other built-in wireless network management software that is set to manage wireless networks. Mostly by default, there will be a separate WiFi management software from the same wifi device vendor. If it is set to manage wireless networks and Wi-Fi profiles, then Windows Vista wireless network manager will not detect any networks.

So obviously you must look at the correct WiFi management software to detect and connect wireless networks. I had an Acer laptop and already disabled the ‘Acer e-connect’ software which came by default to manage wireless networks. I was using Windows wireless manager as default. But this time even that one could not find any networks. If that is the case for you, continue the next steps.

2) After diagnosing the issue, I got a message saying ‘Windows Wireless Service not started’. When I tried to start the particular service manually, it threw more errors. Restarting the laptop also did not help to solve this issue.

Below Two Steps Fixed the Wireless Issue on Windows Laptop

3) The current user (logged in user) must have full permission to the particular registry key where all computer services are listed.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Services

Check the permission by seeing the permissions tab after right-clicking the key. Add the logged in user and give full permission to above register key in Windows Vista.

4) Reset Windows Socket

Open the command prompt as administrator (Right click and select ‘Run as’) and try below command

Netsh winsock reset

Do restart the Vista laptop after the above two steps. Now your Windows Vista laptop wireless adapter should start finding available wireless network around you.

There are few suggestions available on the web related to this issue including updating the wireless network driver from the vendor.

Also, Microsoft suggests a few tips to solve this issue which are described here.