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Cannot get XP Tablet to connect wirelessly

Posted on 2006-04-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Greets...Here's the environment. XP Tablet PC in a domain with SBS 2003. In the office, it connects to the domain via a hard wire in a docking station, but at home we want to go wireless. Windows claims it cannot connect to any wireless router or AP. Tablet PC shows the wireless netowrk connection as disabled.

Tried the basics, make sure the wireless radio is on, enabled the radio in Windows, etc. For some reason, it keeps flipping the wireless connection to disabled. Found some articles here on EE that gave some insight...i.e. modify Group Policy restrictions, make changes on the laptop as the local admin, etc. The regular user is in the local admin group. Tried those suggestions and no luck.

Altered GP security policy twice to permit access, forced a GP update. Rebooted the laptop. Still no change. Tried to connect at a public hot-spot, then at an AP I set up, then a wireless router I set up with WEP. No change, no contact. When I try to refresh the wireless networks, Windows cannot find a wireless network and the wireless connection is still showing as disabled. At this point, I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Help?!? Thanks!
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Question by:bbci
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by:
Mark earned 501 total points
ID: 16412032
Have you started the -->wireless Zero configuration<-- service.
 To get there click->start->control panel->administrative tools-> services-> scroll down to wireless zero configuration double click to open. Under the GENERAL tab check that   startup type is set to AUTO, and the service status is started. Under the LOGON tab ensure the local account button is selected and the hardware profile is enabled in the dialog box at the bottom.
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by:tim_qui
tim_qui earned 501 total points
ID: 16412424

After you follow sparkmaker's advice,

Go to start< right click on my computer<properties<hardware<device manager<network adapters<wireless<advanced tab, make sure it's enabled and everything in there looks good.  Turn off any power management features too.
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by:Mark
ID: 16412675
Good call there tim_qui.
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Author Comment

by:bbci
ID: 16595401
Hello all... sorry for the delay in getting back to this. After several site visits to the client, and following the initial advice of tim_qui and sparkmaker, I still cannot get the device to connect to anything wirelessly. Since I have made the changes to Group Policy and forced those changes, I now see the wireless SSID I want on my laptop. But even though I have checked to make sure the wireless radio is on, the ZWC service is started and I have the correct shared key, the laptop still refuses to show as "connected" to the wireless network. Towards the end of testing, I even changed the GP to allow the laptop to connect to ANY wireless AP out of desperation. Still no joy.

I even have another Toshiba laptop identical to the original (but not a domain member) and it picks up and connects great. I'm guessing either I have a bad radio, or I've still got a glitch somewhere in the GP that keeps this unit for completing the connection. I may removing it from the domain to try to test the radio without the GP, but if it works, that still doesn't help me fully resolve the problem. When I complete that testing, I'll post back with the results. Any m ore suggestions?
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 498 total points
ID: 16659835
The wireless device in laptops are generally mini pci cards. You can access these usually by removing a small cover at the bottom of the case. Have you tried removing it and have you also made sure the antenna cable is actually connected to it? Since you have identicall laptops you could try swapping the card with that of the other laptop.
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Author Comment

by:bbci
ID: 16673763
I finally figured it out! Before I tried swapping radios between the 2 laptops, I tried removing the machine from the domain & re-inserted into the domain. That worked! Not sure why it worked, but it did! Thanks for everyone's help!
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