Microsoft Fix It automatically fixed the problem the first time around. However, after installing updates to the laptop, the thing was broken again. The second time I attempted to uninstall the wireless network card and drivers. After re-installing, connectivity was restored.
In my particular case, however, the user will be connecting to their mobile hotspot; that is, they will be sharing their phone’s internet with the laptop. When I tried connecting the the phone’s wireless connection the same issue happened all over again. Apparently, the first two attempts fixed the problem on a home wireless network but not when sharing your phone’s internet connection. Searching online and an hour later, I came across the answer on this forum:
Atheros AR5007EG & AR5007 We have recently been seeing a lot of problems with the above adapters over the last few months, mainly concerning WPA and WPA2 encryption and windows Vista.
The adapter gets an IP configuration, and shows as connected, but communication is non-existent or sporadic.
Atheros AR5007 is the wireless network adapter on the HP Pavilion laptop I was working on.
The updated drivers are located here.
So, after downloading and updating the drivers for Atheros AR5007 wireless NIC internet connectivity has been restored for good 🙂