Logon to a domain using Wireless Networking

How can I logon to a domain using Wireless Network Connection?

Maybe this could be done by initilising the network adapter at the logon screen?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
In most cases you cannot log onto a domain with a wireless connection as the connection is not established until after logon. This is not to say you cannot logon with cached credentials and then access network resources.
This is a common problem and some manufactures of wireless adapters have started to address this such as Intel (see link) with their wireless single sign on feature.. It is possible there is a driver update for your unit to update to newer technologies to take advantage of similar features.
ryanswjAuthor Commented:
The funny point to note that the Windows 2k3 server i have running is on WLAN and it connects at the login screen. There's no need to login. Both Intel wireless and Linksys wireless connect to the router at the login screen.

Therefore, there must be a way... maybe registry?
Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>"The funny point to note that the Windows 2k3 server i have running is on WLAN and it connects at the login screen."
Connects to what? On the server it is authenticating to itself with or without any network connection.

Sorry no there are no registry changes or hacks that allow a wireless connection to be established before logon. The Network vendor has to provide software/firmware to do that. If you have an Intel adapter check if they might have any updates they offer pre-logon connections.
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Plug the computer in question into the network with a net cable, log in and then shut down.  Unhook the cable and log in wireless.  Once you log in via an ethernet connection windows will cache the credentials and logging in wireless after that is easy.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Doing so is not logging on to the domain, but rather the local PC with cached credentials. As mentioned this allows you to access resources, but does not allow group policy and logon scripts to be applied.
ryanswjAuthor Commented:

The w2k3 server conencts to the WLAN AP on startup - bootup screen.
if no one logs in to the server, i can connect to it using Terminal Services using WLAN.

The w2k3 client doesn't connect at all. It gives a message saying that the domain controller is not available.

If the server can conenct to WLAN AP on bootup, shouldnt the client be able to?
Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>"If the server can connect to WLAN AP on bootup, shouldnt the client be able to?"
The server processes the logon and then connects to the wireless, not the other way around. It appears seamless as it authenticates to itself.
The client tries to authenticate to the server, and cannot because, unlike the server it has to have a wireless connection to do so, as a result it should use cached credentials.

However, you should be able to connect to the server using Terminal Services, because that authenticates after you have logged on and the wireless connection is established.

When do you get the message that "the domain controller is not available"? I assume at logon, which is normal. Domains should be run as wired connections, especially the server.
ryanswjAuthor Commented:
Hi Robwill

The server (even if it does not have AD running) can be connected to, even when no one logs in at all.

No one touches it even after a restart, and Wireless Network Connection is connected...

IIS and TS works perfectly fine...
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Servers, unlike workstations, are designed to run applications as services, i.e. in the background without the need to logon. Perhaps this is the case with the wireless. However, I must say due to the instability of wireless connections, I have never seen a sever connected to a network by means of a wireless connection to which I can compare. If that is why, and you can figure out what services are used, you might be able to experiment with Microsoft's tools, srvany and instsrv, for running an application as a service:

This is a very common question, and unfortunately the answer is usually the same, the PC's NIC needs to support pre-logon wireless authentication, which is only available with software provided by a few vendors.

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ryanswjAuthor Commented:
Thanks! Should try other means already... Thanks for your time and help!
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Thanks ryanswj. Good luck with it.
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