Other thing to check, many laptops have a wifi key that you may have to use a function key in conjunction with in order to turn it on. On my laptop, an old acer that was originally for Vista, it's function key(Labled as "Fn") is right beside the Windows logo key. Look for that, and then see if there's a key with a wifi sign anywhere else on the keyboard.
Easiest way might be to download ubuntu, burn it to a disc, start it up as a live cd, DO NOT INSTALL IT!!!!! Just boot up, have your external hooked up, grab your files. Most of them will be in the C:\Users folder, and then just look for your user account name, you should be able to find most of your stuff there.
As for reinstalling Windows 7, if you have a recovery partition or a cd that came with your pc you can boot from that. Or if you've got a friend who's got a Windows 7 disc that's the version you had, you should be able to install using their disc and key on the bottom of your machine.
I shut off my wifi hardware switch, turned it back on, windows 8 won't recognize it is on. I rebooted back to 7 since I partitioned my 500 GB Seagate Momentus Hybrid SSD and set it up as a dual boot. Windows 7 recognizes it, but windows 8 doesn't. Going to try rebooting again and see if it was just the windows 8 wouldn't re-initialize it through its software driver....
Hurray it worked!
I just did and it is working again. So it appears Windows 8 has a flaw in its driver to reinitialize after the hardware switch for WiFi when it is turned off then back on. Even rebooting Windows 8 the Bios didn't seem to engage it again either. I am curious to know if there is another workaround because the Network & Sharing Center failed to give me any options for it. For the most part, Windows 8 has grown on me.
I do wish they gave me an option to create a Metro Tile on the right click> Send To menu. I would think they could script the Metro Tile builder well enough as a standardized process. I hope they do in the final release. I am starting to like the resource control and speed of the 8 OS. I installed it on a VAIO laptop.
I even got AutoCAD 2013 to run on it after enabling Windows 7 compatibility in the shortcut.
After the initial grumbling of losing the start menu, I realized I rarely used it anyhow. I just had to get used to using the Windows key.
So far I haven't had much trouble once it stabilized with my Windows 7 home network. I ran into a few problems when my Win 7 PC's would put their network connections to sleep, 8 wouldn't wake them up but 7 PC's would.
rathma 155 please e mail me a message if you already read this my e mail is email@example.com that is my also myproblem i want to share this i downloaded a realtek wifi device ang my wifi turned on
i had the same problem with a lenovo u310 and my solution was to download the windows 7 lenovo energy management (instead of the newer and updated windows 8 energy management) software. i installed it in compatibility mode and after rebooting, my hotkeys were working again like in windows 7 where i now could activate the wireless.
so for everyone who is reading this - maybe it could help to install the older windows 7 software in compatibility mode.
Instructions for those of you who don't usually try to fix things...like me.
go to Settings(by putting the cursor in the bottom right corner) then click on Change PC Settings Click on Wireless(from list on left) and turn it on(by clicking on the rectangle next to WiFi on the right side of screen. I have Airplane mode OFF(not sure if that matters but thought I'd mentionit since it shows up on the same screen).....sound to easy but it worked for me.....only took 2 hours to find that after searching online (on a different computer) and various places on the affected computer.
Really there have been many complaints about windows 8 and even I hate it. The problem is that my laptop is programed to windows 8 and there is a button with a wifi tower but that just turns airplane mode on. So if I were u I would go right back to windows 7, it is way much easier to use.
Hold your mouse in the upper right corner of your screen until a black tab appears, then click settings. If you look all the way at the bottom of Settings, you will see something that says "Change PC Setting. Click that then scroll down to wireless, and on the left side of your screen you should see the option to turn your wireless devices on.