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XP thinks my Netgear WNDA3200 is a USB storage device / CD drive

Last response: in Wireless Networking
September 9, 2011 4:28:19 PM

I have occasional problems, usually after switching PC off completely at wall, then repowering the PC, XP detects my Netgear WNDA3200 wireless adaptor as a USB storage device, plus installs a CD drive. :fou:  Otherwise it works fine, but when it does go down it seems impossible to stop XP hardware wizard doing this. I have been successful on 3 occasions in getting XP to do the right thing after a lot of uninstalling the unwanted devices and powering the PC off and on several times with apapter in, out, all permutations thinkable. Trouble is I have not yet been able to determine a sequence of corrective steps that work for definite, it has been trial and error every time. Just really annoying as it wastes so much time. :sweat: 

I have looked for support on Netgear's site. My adapter was provided by Virgin Media and is made for Virgin to pass onto their customers. The casing has 'Virgin' and 'Wireless 11NDual Band USB adapter - WNDA3200' stamped on it. Model No on Box says WNDA3200-1VGUKS (last letters probably refer to Virgin UK) However the pictures of WNDA3200 (Ver1, Ver2) casings on Netgear's site look different to mine. My case looks more like the WNA1100 ver1. Since leaving Virgin (and no longer using their hub, I had to find my own drivers. As I could find no support for the WNDA3200 in terms of drivers I used WNA1100 ones, which seem to work fine apart from the above problem.

In the WNDA3200 manual I read, there is little mention of XP problems. However in the WnA1100 manual Xp dropping the connection is stated as an occasional problem. Not quite the same issue as my problem as I never loose a connection once adapter is installed correctly by XP. Netgear says remove Windows XP Hotfix (SP2) Q815485 to prevent this connection loss.

My questions are:-
1) Is it wise to remove this Hotfix on Netgear's say so?
2) Does anyone have experience of same problem with Virgin supplied N rated adaptors and is their a better way of either quickly re-installing it, or preventing the annoying problem in the first place.

I suppose I could uninstall the Hotfix and should it provide no benefit, reinstall the Hotfix again.
Just concerned because the Hotfix might have been developed for other protective reasons that I will lose out on if I manage without it.

Any help welcome!

September 9, 2011 6:06:05 PM

Sorry - did get information slightly crossed in First post. WNDA3200 model does not feature at all on Netgear's site. The nearest they have in terms of model number is a WDNA3100 (Ver1 or Ver2) which, as I mentioned, does not look like mine.

I remember reading on Virgin media Forums that the WNDA3200 issued by Virgin is a rebranded WNA1100. So I have been using mine with WNA1100 drivers downloaded of Netgear's site.

You might ask, why not use Virgin Media Forums to sort this problem out? However as majority of Virgin customers are still using the Virgin Hub I suppose this isn't an issue for them, as the Virgin auto-connecting software that ran off their hub never had this issue. When I checked 3 months ago there was no thread on XP installing the adapter incorrectly. I will have to check again, but doubtful anyone will have the cheek to raise the issue there. However I cannot be the only one trying to use the adapter (I paid for) with a competitors hub having left Virgin.
March 12, 2012 3:04:04 PM

I too have experienced similar problems with the WNDA3200 on XP. I'm proud to say that after many hours of searching the net without success, I think I've found the problem myself, and it's very simples :) 

I have Panda Cloud AV. After looking through all the settings, I noticed that it disables autorun by default. I unticked the option and the wireless adapter started working as it should, whether it be left connected during start up or plugged in later on.

The drivers on the stick work well and there is no need to install the WNA1100. I'm not sure if the autorun feature can be disabled elsewhere in Windows XP, but please check all possibilities involving this (particularly your AV) before going further or messing about with the "eject drive" workaround I've seen mentioned elsewhere.