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wireless connection problem: missing WPA-PSK from data encryption list


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peregrine123's Avatar
peregrine123 peregrine123 is offline
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04-Jan-2006, 11:07 PM #1
wireless connection problem: missing WPA-PSK from data encryption list
Hello-I am new to the world of wireless networking and have discovered that it's not quite as simple as it appears to be. Here is my question:

I have an IBM T-40 laptop running Windows XP Pro SP2. It is my work laptop and I am trying to connect to my wireless network at home so I can do the telecommuting thing. The IBM sees my home network's SSID with no problem. However, when I try to go in and set the key to get onto the network, I only have Open and WEP as choices for data encryption. My Linksys router is set to WPA-PSK. However, this type of data encryption does not appear in the drop down box under Wireless Network Properties, and so I cannot connect at all.

I checked the settings on my other laptop (running XP Home) and a friend at work's laptop (running XP Pro SP2) and both of them had WPA-PSK available as an option.

I guess my question is: how can I get this type of data encryption software onto my laptop? Has Microsoft published any types of patches or is there some place within Windows where I can enable this? Any help is appreciated.

Regards,

P

Update: my wireless network adapter was running an old version of its driver. After updating the driver, the list of data encryption types on the wireless connection property sheet included WPA-PSK and others that weren't there before.

Last edited by peregrine123; 05-Jan-2006 at 09:47 AM.. Reason: problem is solved
StumpedTechy's Avatar
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05-Jan-2006, 09:57 AM #2
Usually this option is related to the Wireless NIC you have installed. It sounds like the wireless in your laptop does not support WPA-PSK and you may need a new Wireless adapter.
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05-Jan-2006, 09:57 AM #3
Hahaha glad you solved it
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05-Jan-2006, 10:06 AM #4
thanks anyway
I appreciate that you took the time to respond. This problem has been reasonably frustrating, but I think this will definitely work.

Thanks again.
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05-Jan-2006, 01:53 PM #5
One of the nice things about WPA is that devices can be upgraded by firmware (routers) or drivers (adaptors). The "final" design, now available and called "WPA2", requires hardware changes. Hence to go to WPA2 will require all new routers and adaptors.
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05-Jan-2006, 04:39 PM #6
However, for most current users, WPA provides very decent protection.
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11-Jan-2006, 07:05 PM #7
same problem, different machine-HELP!
I am back with an addendum to my original question. Have installed Linksys WMP54GS 1.1 wireless adapter onto my husband's Dell (I am the local geek, not him; go figure). Does not have WPA-PSK as an option (like the laptop). According to the driver information, the driver is the same version as below, but the date on it is 12/22/2204 rather than 2005. In going to the Linksys web site:

WMP54GS - Wireless-G PCI Adapter with Speedbooster

Driver Date: 4/28/2005
Driver Release Version: 3.100.46.0
Driver File Size: 6.02 MB
Driver Operating System: Windows 2000,Windows XP

According to the notes on this driver, it says:

Linksys, A Division of Cisco Systems, Inc.

Product: WMP54GS ver.1.1

Classification: Driver Release History

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last Released Date: 04 / 28 / 05

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last Driver version: 3.100.46.0 (Windows 2000 and XP)
Last Setup Wizard version: 1.4
Last WLAN Monitor version: 1.4

- First Released.
- Passed Windows 2000 and XP WHQL.
- Supported SetupEasySetup.
- Supported WEP, WPA, and WPA2 wireless security.

First question I had was why the same version number of the driver has a different release date. Aren't they supposed to rev the version number when they make changes? Then after downloading the driver from the Linksys web site, I opened the .inf file in a text editor. It told me that the effective date for the driver was 12/22/2004, though the modification date for the .inf file said a later date.

Anyway, I tried switching the driver with the "updated" one from the Linksys site. It made no difference. It still only gives me WEP and unsecured for choices. Then I tried contacting the helpful people at Linksys and the guy said I need to update XP to Service Pack 2. Says who? Sounds like finger pointing to me. I am running SP1 on my Gateway laptop and it works just fine on this network. Unless the driver depends on SP2?

I can't figure out how to fix this, so ANY useful hints and tips would be greatly appreciated. I have spent two days on this and I really would like to get my life back.

Regards,

EK
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11-Jan-2006, 07:53 PM #8
Just guessing, but the release date probably refers to the time a given driver, Setup Wizard and WLAN Monitor package was released. Any one or two of these parts could thus be re-released at a later date with no change.

My suggestions:

1. If you are not using the latest Linksys WLAN monitor, try using it or update Windows to SP2.

2. Update to SP2 anyhow because it has lots of networking and wireless fixes.
peregrine123's Avatar
peregrine123 peregrine123 is offline
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12-Jan-2006, 08:20 PM #9
Partially solved!
SP2 did the trick, though it took forever to patch his system. Now he is connected, but the signal strength is only 1 of 5 bars. He keeps his Dell under the desk and I think he might have to move it to the desk top. I brought my laptop down there and had 5 of 5 bars. Hopefully, it is not a faulty adapter.

I will look around this forum for suggestions on improving signal strength.

Thanks for your help.

Elizabeth
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12-Jan-2006, 08:34 PM #10
"forever" is about the average time for bringing a pre-SP2 machine up to date!

Any metal in the desk could certainly account for the weak signal. Even though you tested with your laptop, I'm guessing that you didn't have your antenna exactly where his is. Even the tower itself, or maybe the power supply or fan, could be blocking the signal if it is in the direct path. Possibly moving the tower a few inches further away from a desk leg or side or back, or a reorientation or the tower could help.
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12-Jan-2006, 08:40 PM #11
If he has a PCI wireless card, consider an external antenna. You can get a hi-gain antenna for around $20 or so, and it can be placed on the desk in the corner. The gains in signal strength will be amazing if it's a metal desk!
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