It started out a normal day, with me accessing my favourite news sites and email, then everything suddenly went haywire. Spurious unconnected webpages started popping up of their own accord in new tabs, and the sites I already had lost connection.
I use a wifi hotspot, and it does sometimes get a bit troublesome, but nothing as bad as this. The computer was giving me a “Not connected – No Connections are Available” indication in the task bar, just as if the wifi had not been switched on at all.
I switched off the wifi, then switched it on again. This is sometimes enough to cure the problem, but this time it made no difference at all.
Ok, so lets think about this. It is not normal to suddenly go from a working system to a non-working system within a few seconds. There is something else at work here.
I switched off the wifi again, and disconnected it from the USB port. I then reconnected the USB cable at the computer end. Then I disconnected the wifi from the USB cable, and reconnected that. I then switched on the wifi.
Lo and behold – I have my Internet connection back again!
What do we learn from this experience?
- 1. Computers will sometimes miss-inform you because they don’t know any better. Whenever there is an apparent problem, it is up to you to prove that the problem really exists.
- 2. Most often when my computer starts to give trouble, I find it is usually bad connections. The wiping action of disconnecting and reconnecting is often enough to clear the problem by cleaning the contacts. Make this your first course of action in the event of trouble. I guess in 80% – 90% of cases it will do the trick.
- 3. Where you have plug-in modules, such as memory cards, I recommend smearing the contacts very lightly with Vaseline. This keeps the contacts from contamination in humid and dirty environments. It also reduces the amount of force necessary to plug in the module.