D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

WP7 – My Phone Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data! Now What?!

Thursday, December 2, 2010 1:13 AM

Out with friends tonight, they wanted to see my WP7 device. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really show them anything because my phone’s data connectivity disappeared. With my data connection on my cellular settings turned on, and a 3G symbol visible, I couldn’t connect!

Seeing that we were at Boston Pizza, and they provide wi-fi, I get the password and try to connect. While I was able to connect to the wi-fi network, there was no place to actually put the pass code in! So no dice for data.

I come home, and I’m ready to come on here and tear a strip off of Rogers for what must be their network’s issue! Unfortunately, its not.

I’ve been able to connect to my home wi-fi network without any issues ever since I got the phone a few weeks ago. But now, my phone won’t even connect to my wi-fi – it just sits there saying “connecting”. This raises a deficiency in the WP7 device: the lack of a soft reset.

With WP7, you can only do a hard reset from the settings menu. This causes you to lose all your data though, which is obviously a pain. There’s no way to do a soft reset – basically just re-booting the phone, without having to reformat your data.

So I did what I figured would be the logical next step in troubleshooting – I took out the battery, waited a few seconds, then put the battery back in.

Phone booted and voila – I had wi-fi and cellular data working instantly!

I have *no* idea why I lost my connectivity. I was toggling airplane mode throughout the day (trying to save battery life), but I don’t know if that factored in to whatever caused the device to malfunction. I’ve read online also that the loss of connectivity (specifically wi-fi) is a common issue with US WP7 devices.

Long story short, running into this connectivity problem was fixed by resetting the battery. Hopefully this doesn’t become a recurring issue, and even better would be a permanent fix or software remedy in the January update. But we’ll see.

*UPDATE Dec 23/2010*
As Doug Groves points out in the comments, you don’t have to remove the battery to do a soft reset. If you hold down the power button for a few seconds you’ll get a “Goodbye” message and the phone will shut down. Holding down the power button again will soft-reboot it (read: all your data will still be there).




Feedback

# re: WP7 – My Phone Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data! Now What?!


Even after all these years the phrase:

"I'll wait for Microsoft to release service pack 1 before I try it" still rings true even today.

-wd
12/2/2010 8:27 AM | WilliamH

# re: WP7 – My Phone Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data! Now What?!

So I'm having the same issue (aside from the WiFi part). I'm actually on my 2nd WP7 phone. Talked to AT&T for my first one, they had me do a full restore and it worked fine after that. A day later, I lost cellular data connection again. So I contacted Samsung, they suggested the problem was due to some 3rd party app I installed (complete BS). I finally went to the AT&T store and they gave me a new one and it worked fine for about a week. Until today, I'm having the same exact problem.

My question for you, do you have an SD card installed in yours? I know SD cards have an impact on performance, but I just don't see how an SD card could cut out cellular data...

Oh, and taking the battery out didn't do anything for me on either device. 12/9/2010 11:33 PM | Brett

# re: WP7 – My Phone Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data! Now What?!

Doug: Thanks for that. I discovered that too since writing this, way easier than removing the battery and resetting! :)

Brett: No, no SD card installed. Like Doug said, you can hold the powerbutton down to do a soft reboot and I've found whenever I lose 3G coverage that I just need to soft reboot it and it'll work fine after that.

But since you said that resetting the battery didn't help either, that's really weird. Maybe try the soft reset to see if that fixes it next time it happens. Keep me posted! 12/23/2010 8:01 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: WP7 – My Phone Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data! Now What?!

Yeah, soft resetting never helped previously. I think I reset it one more time after I posted here. The only difference I did was I didn't put ALL my music on the phone. I still have the SD card installed, but I'm not using more than 8GB (so I'm assuming it isn't using the SD card yet). So far it has been working fine for about...2~3 weeks now. Which is good considering it used to only last a day to a week. So I'm just going to try to keep it under 8GB until Microsoft *hopefully* comes out with an update to fix the issue... 12/27/2010 8:23 PM | Brett

# re: WP7 – My Phone Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data! Now What?!

I have the Wp7 Samsung Focus from AT&T, and I have connected to my my home wifi with full connection, but after about 3 days the wifi stopped connecting to my WAP2 DLINK. From what I understand, the phone's wifi reconnects/dicconects the wifi everytime the phone "sleeps" or is put on lock. And also, The connection stays srtong and says connected under Wifi Settings. The only way I get data is from turning on the data in my Settings:Cellular (which is ususally off anyways). However, I can still connect to wifi in different areas. I just wish I could connect to my awesome connection here at home =/. 1/7/2011 3:38 AM | Bob Marley

# re: WP7 – My Phone Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data! Now What?!

I have 4 WP7 Samsung Focus phones in my home. After two weeks, my phone lost the ability to transmit data over wifi althought the phone states that it is "connected". This happens both on my secure network at home and at open networks (tested at Starbucks and a few other places). I spoke with Amazon, where I bought the phone, AT&T, my service provider, and Samsung. No one had heard of the issue and no one had a resolution. They replaced my phone.

31 days into my contract, my wife's phone started having the exact same issue. 2 weeks later, the third of our four phones "bricked-up" as well. We can still use data over cellular and if connected to a PC through USB, but no data moves across the wifi. So, we are sitting on a 25% success rate with our four phones.

As the other two phones crashed after the thirty day replacement window, our only option seems to be sending our phones into Samsung for "repair" but we're hoping to stick it out for some kind of hotfix so we are not phoneless for a month. Honestly, at this point, I wish I had never purchased the phones. 4/14/2011 7:28 AM | Mike

# re: WP7 – My Phone Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi or Cellular Data! Now What?!

I updated my phone to mango today and instantly lost my cellular DATA connection. No amount of battery in-outs has helped. Totally hosed. Any ideas? 10/4/2011 6:40 PM | mad

# re: WP7 Updates Disables Network Connection

TO: MAD

RE: APN Setting Erased

I have the same problem. Every time they do an update to my phone I lose my network connectivity. This is getting old. The last time, and it looks like this time as well, the APN gets deleted. GRRRR! I don't now why it keeps happening but I am getting really tired of it.

If you know what your cell provider uses for the APN then you can go in and restore. Just make a note so you have it next time because this was the 3rd time for me and I'm sure it won't be the last. I will be writing to Microsoft about this issue.

HERE ARE INSTRUCTIONS TO GET YOU STARTED:

Settings > Cellular > edit apn (very bottom) > APN (enter text)

Example, I have AT&T so I enter
wap.cingular

http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=35078&cv=820#fbid=pGhodhYtPp0

Good Luck!
10/5/2011 9:54 AM | stupidupdates

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