Can't find or connect to Hidden SSID ? Dell Latiitude E6500 running XP SP3 and using Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN

Posted on 2011-10-21
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hardware: Dell Latiitude E6500
OS: XP 32bit Pro - SP3
Wireless Card:  Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN

I am trying to connect to a hidden SSID on an XP Laptop but it does not see the hidden SSID ?
On a Vista Lappy is shows as Unamed Network.

I have tried addind the Hidden SSID to:

Wireless Network Connections/Properties/Wireless Networks Tab
Add the Hidden SSID in to Prefered Networks
Moved it up to the top of the list

But had no joy.

I have selected Properties from Hidden SSID i added to preferred networks and played with the setting there but still no good. At the moment the settings are set as:

Association Tab is:
Connect even if the network is not broadcasting is ticked. Network Authentication is set to open, data encryption is set to WEP

Authentication Tab is:
Nothing selected

Conection Tab is:
Connect when this network is in range

Is there a magic button i'm missing that will help me connect to the hidden SSID ?

The Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN Driver is version:

Question by:rookeydooks

    Expert Comment

    This isn't really a fix, but WEP? In this day and age? Everything within the past 8 - 10 years supports WPA now and it's much less problematic and tremendously more secure as WEP can be cracked in minutes. Because of this, there is little point in hiding the SSID. WEP gives the illusion of security without actually providing any.
    LVL 22

    Accepted Solution

    I'd start by unhiding the SSID at the access point, and then seeing if the laptop will connect.  If not, there is a problem unrelated to the non-broadcast SSID, and whatever that is needs to be addressed before going back to trying to connect to a non-broadcast SSID.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    Agree with both comments above.
    With hidden network you must know the exact settings: network name (to the letter), security type (is it WEP or WPA? if WEP then is it 64 bit or 128?), password.
    Unhiding the network temporarily can help eliminate errors typing network name and provide a hint about security type. Once you've connected successfully then hide it again.
    LVL 22

    Assisted Solution

    by:Dr. Klahn
    As a side note, I have found this a common problem.  Connecting to an AP with a non-broadcasting SSID can take up to ten minutes.  If WPA is used, frequently connection never occurs.  Using the same system and same AP, simply changing the SSID to broadcast results in immediate connection.

    Author Comment

    Sorry for the delay in replying, i have been away.

    I have just double checked and i was mistaken, teh wireless controller is using wpa-2.

    Is it easier just to unhide teh SSID ?

    I had an engineer here and he managed to connect to it on XP using the Intel wireless software that was installed on his laptop instead of using Windows to manage the connection.
    LVL 22

    Assisted Solution

    by:Dr. Klahn
    It is probably easier to use a broacasting SSID and change encryption keys occasionally if network security is considered to be the issue for using a non-broadcasting SSID.  Use of a non-broadcasting SSID provides only a trivial amount of protection for a wireless network.

    Author Comment

    On the premise my iphone, vista and win7 can all see the hidden SSID it does seem a little pointless hidding it from xp machines !

    I think unhiding it will save me a lot of hassle.

    Thanks for all you help and advice.

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