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windows 8.1 auto-connects to secured network?

Posted on 2014-10-08
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Last Modified: 2014-10-15
I have a network with hidden SSID and a 63-character passphrase WPA2-PSK.
I have received reports that some Lenovo (and perhaps other) Windows 8.1 computers have "just connected on their own".
I doubt this is possible - including getting the SSID right, so I thought I'd ask if anyone had seen or knows of such a thing?
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Question by:Fred Marshall
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Davis McCarn earned 500 total points
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Unless the clients know both the SSID and the passphrase, I seriously doubt they just connected on their own!
Logging into the routers management webpage and inspecting the DHCP client list will tell the truth of the matter.
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by:Fred Marshall
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Good idea.  Next time it happens, I'll take a look.
A possible source of confusion is that Windows 8.1 will name a wired network the same as a wireless SSID if the wired connection is on the same subnet.  So, it may "look like" it's connected when it's connected wired and not via wireless.
Still, how even this could happen with a "new" computer is a bit beyond me.
All of these computers were *intended* to be set up to connect.  But none of the users know how to do it nor has the passphrase.  
Also, some of these computers had had Windows reinstalled and, I suspect, the method used didn't wipe out all the connection information in the process.
Yet, it's claimed that some computers (well, at least one of them) had *never* been set up for this wireless connection.
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by:Davis McCarn
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As long as Windoze doesn't think the wireless adapter is new hardware, it will retain the settings for any networks it has been connected to.
Sometimes, for example, when I am disinfecting a PC where the network stack is part of it, I'll uninstall the network adapters and let Windows redetect them.  When I do that, all prior SSID's are gone.
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by:Fred Marshall
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Thanks.  Well this is a tough one because the users were the ones to observe and report.  I've never had the opportunity to play with either of the 2 computers that this happened with.

You have at least confirmed my own notion that "it ain't gonna happen!".

I expect that the computers had had Windows reinstalled using a process that didn't wipe everything out and the wireless profiles remained.  Nothing else makes sense.
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