I have been trying to figure out this laptop wireless connection for about 6 weeks. I need some help. Here's what I have...
Compaq Presario laptop running Windows XP Home
Linksys WPC11 v3
Linksys WAP11 connected to Linksys BEFSR81 and wired home network (shared DSL)
I can wirelessly synchronize my iPaq 5455 via the WAP11 and surf the internet etc. So the AP seems to be functioning fine. I cannot get the laptop to connect to the AP or remain connected for very long. I am not sure where the problem lies... PC card, drivers, or within windows xp wireless setup.
I have been able to connect with WEP disabled... sometimes. I have even connected on rare occassions with WEP enabled, but not predictably.
Why I suspect the wireless PC card: Whenever I change the configuration of the card's properties and click OK the laptop sometimes hangs indefinitely. I either have to reset the laptop or pop out the card.
Why I suspect Windows configuration: When WEP is enabled and I input the 26 character key, if I hit OK and then go back in to see if the key was taken, the field defaults back to an 8 character key. Why?
I don't know where to start, but here are a few questions that might help if I knew the answers.
1a) In the Windows wireless network properties window when WEP is enabled and "the key is provided to me automatically" is checked > where will the key come from? There is a setting in my linksys WPC11 configuration advanced tab for a WEP Passphrase. Will this provide the correct key? 1b) If the passphrase will provide the correct key do I still have to enter it in the key field? 1c) why does this key default back to an 8 character length?
2) On the rare occassion that the PC card does see my WAP, in order to connect I have to type in the entire 26 character key even though it is entered in the connection properties. Why? Even after I connect this way, sometimes the connection is dropped after a minute or two and I have to re-enter the key. What a pain!
3) If I have the wireless PC card set to the correct channel shouldn't I be able to see all available networks regardless of WEP settings? I realize I may not be able to connect but shouldn't I at least be able to see them?
Thanks in advance.
[as I type this, my laptop has mysteriously connected to the WAP... it's voodoo man!]
Passphrase is just a way to generate a Hex WEP key. Don't check the "Key has been provided for me automatically" that would be used if the key is stored by an administrator handing out the card to a user and he/she didn't want the user to know the key.
Sounds like either your card of the software is Fubar'd. I'd remove any driver and/or utility you have on the machine, including any left over registry entries.
Client cards frequency setting is only applicable if your running them in Ad Hoc mode, or peer to peer without an AP. PC cards will scan for AP's as they initialize or lose any association they have to an AP. Setting the clients frequency based while in infrastructure mode is useless.