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Enabling and Disabling Network Interfaces

This document describes how to switch between a wired and a wireless network. It does not describe how to switch among several wireless networks.

When wired and wireless networks are available simultaneously and you need to switch between them, you usually will need to explicitly disable the network interface(s) you do not want to use and enable the one that you do want to use. In particular:

  • In the PSB, in order to print on LEPP printers, you need to disable the wireless access to Cornell's Red Rover service and enable the wired access to the LEPP "Protected" network.
  • In Wilson Lab, for better performance, you need to disable access to the wireless "LNS Protected" service and enable wired access to it.
  • When roaming around campus or a building, you will need to disable the wired network interface and enable the wireless network interface.

Windows 7

Windows Vista is very similar to Windows 7, so these instructions might work for Vista, too.

There are several different ways to disable and enable networks interfaces under Windows 7. You can either modify the network hardware properties or the corresponding software settings. You must use only one of these two methods, not both. Use whichever is convenient, but use the same method for both disabling and enabling a network interface. Always disable one interface before enabling the other.

Suggestion: Before changing the state of your network hardware, open the Task Manager and select the Networking tab so you can watch the status of your network interfaces as they change.

In the instructions below, RMB means to click the Right Mouse Button. If RMB is not mentioned, select an icon with the Left Mouse Button.

The software method below describes what to do on a vanilla Windows 7 computer. It assumes that no proprietary network control software has been installed. The hardware method should work no matter what network control software is installed.

Shorthand summaries

Disable network software

Start Menu --> Control Panel --> Network and Internet --> View Network Status and Tasks (aka Network and Sharing Center ) --> Change Adapter Settings --> RMB [appropriate connection icon] --> Disable

Alternate method:

NetworkIcon in TaskBar Notification region --> Open Network and Sharing center --> Change Adapter Settings --> RMB [appropriate connection icon] --> Disable

Enable network software

Start Menu --> Control Panel --> Network and Internet --> View Network Status and Tasks (aka Network and Sharing Center ) --> Change Adapter Settings --> RMB [appropriate connection icon] --> Disable

Alternate method:

NetworkIcon in TaskBar Notification region --> Open Network and Sharing center --> Change Adapter Settings --> RMB [appropriate connection icon] --> Enable

Disable network hardware

Start Menu --> RMB Computer --> Properties --> Device Manager --> Network Adapters --> RMB [appropriate network adapter device] --> Properties --> Disable

Enable network hardware

Start Menu --> RMB Computer --> Properties --> Device Manager --> Network Adapters --> RMB [network adapter device] --> Properties --> Enable

Detailed instructions

Disable network software

  1. Select the Start Menu icon
  2. In the right column, select Control Panel
  3. Under the topic Network and Internet, select View Network Status and Tasks
  4. At the top-left corner of the new window, select Change Adapter Settings
  5. RMB on the appropriate network adapter device icon. There will be one for each of the network devices in your computer.
  6. In the popup menu, select Disable

Alternatively, on a system without proprietary network software, you can reach the same controls from the TaskBar. (Some computer vendors provide a link to their own proprietary network control software instead. This document cannot attempt to describe their software.)

  1. At the right end of the TaskBar, opposite from the Start ball, in the Notification region, Select the Networking icon
  2. At the bottom of the new window, select Open Network and Sharing Center
  3. At the top-left corner of the new window, select Change Adapter Settings
  4. RMB on the appropriate network adapter device icon. There will be one for each of the network devices in your computer.
  5. In the popup menu, select Disable

Enable network software

Follow the instructions for disabling software, but in the last step, select Enable

Disable network hardware

  1. Select the Start Menu icon
  2. In the right column, RMB Computer
  3. At the bottom of the popup menu, select Properties
  4. In the top-left-corner of the new window , select Device Manager
  5. In the new Device Manager window, expand Network Adapters -- click on the [+] to its left.
  6. RMB on the appropriate network adapter device name. There will be one for each of the network devices in your computer.
  7. In the popup menu, select Disable

Enable network hardware

Follow the instructions for disabling hardware, but in the last step, select Enable

Illustrated examples

Static: Disable Win7 Network Hardware

Video: Switching from Wireless to Wired LNSProtected

MacOS

to be provided

Linux

to be provided
Topic revision: r7 - 07 Feb 2019, admin-dab66
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