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Cmark, you can try a System Restore on your laptop. But the problem is likely to be with software changes to your network.
Thanks to those that responded. Since i had nothing saved on the computer, I decided to wipe it clean again and set it to the factory defaults. Now it is working fine.
i have the same problem. i'm fixing somebody's aspire one d255. the hdd died, i replaced it with an sdd, got hold of win7 starter x86, barely managed to recover the product key from CoA sticker. so far so good. everything works fine, but the wifi (atheros AR5B95) is unable to connect to anything. it sometimes detects a network in the air, but won't connect - "windows was unable to connect to ..."
i have tried at least three or four different driver versions (form acer website, from atheros, from windows update), all the same.
i have installed windows 8, works fine. i have tried ubuntu live distro, works fine (the same networks), but windows 7 pro x64 and starter x86 - no joy. i have also tried two different spare wifi modules (realtek, broadcom), no difference. the hardware is fine, as it works under different OSes. this is a software issue.
i also updated to latest bios, tried with and without the launch manager, to no avail. if i could at least get my hands on some original acer recovery dvd, but i don't know how. can anyone help?