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Wireless Troubleshooting Instructions


This document provides a set of troubleshooting steps for users trying to get connected to the various UCAR wireless networks (SSIDs). The goal is to help users resolve common configuration issues, or to identify when problems are due to issues with the network itself and contact the appropriate support personnel.

  1. Are you choosing the correct UCAR wireless network (SSID) for your use? UCAR's wireless networks include:
    UCAR Guests
    Visitors and guests of UCAR staff who have been provided the weekly password. All types of devices should be able to use this network with no pre-configuration. It does not however provide access to internal UCAR resources.
    UCAR Internal
    Certificated UCAR devices. Connecting to this network requires a device-specific certificate which is issued by your divisional system administrator. It provides full internal access and provides the most convenient use for staff but is the most cumbersome to set up. The initial connection must be done by a divisional systems administrator and requires the use of a token. This network is the best choice for UCAR managed devices issued to staff who spend significant amounts of time using wireless networking while on site.
    UCAR VPN Clients
    Users of the UCAR VPN. This network requires no configuration or passphrase to connect to. However it can only be used to initiate a VPN session to the UCAR VPN server. This network is a good choice for staff who already have the VPN client installed and configured. Visitors wishing to connect to their home instituational VPN server must use the 'UCAR Guests' network.
  2. Did you connect to the desired network?

    If the client appears to be connected to a wireless network but things are not working as expected, verify you are connected to the desired network. Many clients will automatically try to connect to another configured network if one fails. Removing unused networks may make it easier to troubleshoot issues connecting to the desired network. Generally there will be one of the UCAR networks which is appropriate for any given device and there is no benefit in having any other UCAR networks configured.

  3. Reconfigure the desired network.

    Often operating systems will not re-prompt for any configuration options which are already set. This can cause attempts to connect to fail without giving the user a chance to fix any configuration errors. Deleting the configuration for the wireless network and attempting to connect from scratch may help.

    UCAR Guests

    Not re-prompting for the WPA password if the configured one fails to work is common, especially with iOS devices. "Forget"ing the network and attempting to connect again will cause the device to prompt you for the password again. Confirm that you have the week's current password from https://guest.wireless.ucar.edu (that site is visible from a wired connection on an internal UCAR network). If you are unable to connect after providing the password twice (in case of typos) please open a ticket

    UCAR Internal

    Verify that you have a certificate and it has not expired. The certificate can be viewed in Windows from Internet Explorer by opening the "Internet Options" dialog and going to the "Content" tab and then clicking the "Certificates" button. In OS X it can be viewed with the "Keychain Access" application. In iOS it can view viewed under "Settings" to "General" and "Profile". The certificate will have an issuer of 'NETS_Wireless_CA' and an expiration date in the future.

    If you have a valid certificate try removing the configuration for the network and connecting again following the directions found here. It is worth mentioning that most problems connecting to this network relate to the configuration and not the certificate. If the certificate is valid, deleting it and issuing a new one will probably not fix the problem. If you believe the certificate and configuration are correct and you still cannot connect then open a ticket.

    UCAR VPN Clients

    This network has essentially no configuration so it is likely to just work. If you have problems connecting to this network open a ticket.

Opening A Ticket For Wireless Problems

Please open a CISL Request using this form or if an emergency, contact the NOC at extension x1200. Please provide the following details if possible. Consider the italicized ones to be mandatory.

  1. The network name you are trying to connect to.
  2. A callback number or other contact information.
  3. The location where you are having problems. A room number is best but please at least provide a building.
  4. If possible please provide the MAC address of at least one client which is having problems. This information makes it much easier to home in on the details of the problem.
  5. Does this problem only relate to one client, or are many devices at a meeting having similar problems?
  6. Has this device used this network before? Or is this an initial attempt to connect?