My Sony Vaio FS780W laptop has been working on my home network for nearly three years. The last time it worked properly was this past New Years, when I took it to the hospital and used it on their wireless network. When I brought it back home, it wouldn't access our home network anymore. Thinking it was a problem with the onboard Wi-Fi (since all our other devices access the network just fine), I took it to a local computer repair shop where, lo and behold, it got on the internet just fine. And it also goes online at the coffee shop down the street, my office at work, and at the hospital I mentioned earlier (in fact, I just used it there a few days ago). But it will not go online at home anymore.
The maddening thing is it shows the happy little wireless icon as being connected, the signal strength is "strong", yet I cannot access the internet, I cannot login to my router from the computer (whereas I could before, when it was working properly), all pings return "Ping request could not find host [insert web site url here]. Please check the name and try again." Pinging the network (192.168.1.1) returns "Request timed out" errors.
Yesterday, I decided to do a "quick" restore of just the operating system on the laptop. This function restores the operating system, but does not disturb the existing data. I was hopeful that would shake out the problem. This procedure is done from within the Windows Control Panel and takes about half an hour. I left it "restoring" and went upstairs where my desktop is to get some work done.
HERE'S WHAT IS INTERESTING: While upstairs, I had ICQ on. Then all of a sudden, I got a popup from ICQ saying my account was being used on another computer. Hmm. I went downstairs to check on the laptop's restore progress and I saw with my own eyes that the thing was actually logged into ICQ, so at some point during this restore process, it was able to go online. However, once the restore process was complete, and the computer rebooted, we went back to not being able to connect to the internet. Thinking that taking the system down to bare bones would help, I did the scorched earth restore and wiped the drive, reinstalled everything from the ground up. The laptop is now in "off the shelf" state. (I backed up all my data of course.) I also have upgraded my router's firmware AND upgraded the wireless card drivers via a memory stick from the Sony web site. So everything should be good to go.
And still, the problem of not being able to access the internet persists. The Sony Vaio Wireless Assistant attempts to troubleshoot the problem and returns this error message: "The internet gateway is not responding. Make sure your access point is working properly."
Now I have set up many devices on our network. I have that key memorized. I have checked and rechecked the settings, made sure that my computer is in the proper workgroup (since it resets to "mshome" when you reinstall windows), made sure the key was shared, 64bit, key 2, etc. Everything should work.
Other than buying a new laptop or taking the entire network down (which I really don't want to do, since I have four working devices and one nonworking one, I'm not willing to risk five nonworking devices), I'm all out of ideas and hope!
Any thoughts? Anything I missed?
Let me know what further specific information you need.