As Always: Make sure you always get people to sign the technology waiver before you touch their gadget! This ensures that they can't blame you for messing up their mp3 player, laptop, etc.
Occasionally we have people come into the Lab that are having problems accessing our WiFi. There are a few basic troubleshooting things you can try that don't take too much effort.
Step 1: Check to make sure the WiFi is on. On most laptops, there is a WiFi light that turns on when it is able to connect to a server. Usually, it is a button that looks something like this: ((i)). If this light is not on, the WiFi card has not connected to our server. Try pushing the button to see if that works, or restart the computer to see if it connects upon the reboot!
Step 2: If the patron has an older laptop that has an external WiFi card or a USB connection, make sure the card is fully inserted and connected.
Step 3: There are usually several icons located in the bottom right corner of the screen by the clock. If you scroll over these icons, they will tell you what they are for. Look for one that says "Connection Status," or some variation there of. If it shows a weak connection to something, the WiFi isn't going to work and they need to try somewhere else in the building. If it shows a strong connection and they still aren't able to login, go to Step 4.
Step 4: Right click on the "Network Connections" icon (the icon that was just telling you the signal strength) and select Properties. If you scroll down the menu that is open immediately upon clicking the icon, you should see "Internet Protocol (IP)" select this and click on properties. Make sure that the screen it opens up does not list any specific IP address. If it does, select the option that allows the machine to look for any available server.
In most cases, this should fix the wireless problem. If it goes beyond this, don't worry about it. Just refer the patron to a tech specialist (like Geek Squad)!