How to connect a PC to Airport Exteme Base Station? At wit's end...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Veritas&Equitas, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #1
    Ok, so I just purchased an AEBS tonight, set it up on my MBP. Worked flawlessly! Then I simply put in the password in the 3 other Macbooks in my house, and they connected no problem.

    While attempting to connect the PC, I've run into a total nightmare. The PC is probably the most important at the moment as well because it has all of our family's financial information, clients' information, etc. with which we use with Quicken to link to banks, etc. Bottom line, we need it connected to the Net.

    However, the PC can "see" the wireless network I've created, it just can't connect to it. I've tried everything, from changing channels, to changing network adapters, changing from WPA2 to WPA to WEP to completely taking the wireless encryption off; all to NO avail. It's setup in the 802.11b/g mode in the Airport Utility, and the adapter is 802.11b. Anytime I try to connect, it gives me an error saying,

    "Windows is unable to connect to the selected network." The network may no longer be in range. Please refresh the list of available networks and try to connect again."

    Funny thing is that it says that pretty much immediately, so range definitely isn't an issue. I can't even begin to know how to go about rectifying this. Has anyone ever had this problem, or can anyone offer any insight? I've scoured the Apple boards and Google, and it seems that most people are able to get it to work by changing a channel, or something easy. I've wasted over 2 hours on this already, and can't seem to find any resolution. If ANYONE can offer up even any ideas, I would be eternally grateful! Thanks guys, hopefully I can conquer this damn PC and get it back online!
     
  2. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #2
    I had a similar issue until I realized I has setup MAC Address access control and forgot to add the PC's wireless MAC address. You haven't done that have you?

    Windows wireless networking can be trying to get an initial connection. I feel your pain.

    Try setting your AEX to it's simplest configuration: Open network, no security, no MAC address access control, 801.11b/g/n 2.4GHz compatible? If the PC connects, then start adding back config options one at a time.
     
  3. sbluetruck macrumors regular

    sbluetruck

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin der hey
    #3
    i found sometimes that if you let the wireless controller in the PC do the work instead of having windows try and do it for you, it makes life easier.

    my dad had a Dell latitude from work and tried to connect it but couldn't until i had to set it up with the intel wireless software that complimented the wireless card. i think if you go to device manager and go to the wireless card and try something there, you eventually get a pop up from windows asking if you want it to do it for you, click no. someone later told me that what happened was that windows was adding extra numbers and letters to the WEP key to make it "windows secure" and by setting it up without windows of course, fixed that problem. idk if that's true, but it's worked more than once for me this way.

    i don't remember the exact details, but it goes something like that.


    good luck!!!
     
  4. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #4
    I'd always found the opposite to be true, that the Windows ZeroConf Utility worked best, but hey, it's worth a shot.

    I did have this issue at one point with our Graphite Airport Base Station. All of our Macs connected to it just fine, but my dad's old PC laptop with XP would not. I finally discovered that the WEP key for some reason wasn't long enough for the PC or something like that, so I just made it longer.
     
  5. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #5
    Windows WPA has an odd quirk that OS X doesn't have, which I found out when trying to add a windows machine to my wireless network.
    Windows NEEDS the WPA password to be 13 characters long.
    Seriously.
    I'm not joking.
     
  6. sbluetruck macrumors regular

    sbluetruck

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin der hey
    #6
    knowing that now, i might just switch over to WPA bc i've only had trouble with it on windows
     
  7. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #7
    WPA is much more secure than WEP. WEP might as well not be there now for all the good it does, it was broken years ago.
     
  8. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #8
    I was having all inds of trouble with encrypted connections to my new AEBS, until I downloaded the Win XP WPA2 driver. Installed that, set everything to WPA2 Personal and it connected immediately using the passphrase from the Mac's without any of that stupid exact length nonsense. Search for KB893357 on MS's website.
     
  9. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #9
    I honestly didn't think it would need drivers! It's a network!
    That's a good solution for a permanent addition to the network, but for a temporary addition (a friend comes over for the evening) you don't want to be having to install drivers etc, it may be easier in the long term to go with a longer passord that works with both Mac and Windows without the need for additional software.
     
  10. Veritas&Equitas thread starter macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #10
    Wow, thanks so much for the replies everyone! I'm going to try all of these things here after dinner. I'll keep you updated with what works/doesn't work, just in case anyone else ever runs across this problem.
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    Can you say any more about the Windows PC (make / OS version / anything you know about the WiFi hardware)? I've actually had something similar on a friend's XP notebook, where (802.11g previous AEBS), neither my original setup (802.11b/g, hidden SSID, WPA2/1, MAC filtered) nor turning all these things off (802.11b/g still, but open SSID, no security, no filtering) was at all accessible to the Windows PC. It didn't see the router while open when it was literally two feet away. :confused: I never figured that one out....

    I did wonder one thing, though. In Windows, are there any special limitations on SSIDs? I noted mine is long and has spaces and a hyphen in it (as opposed to most one-word, all lower case, all alpha SSIDs I see on open networks here that are presumably owned by Windows users). I never tried changing the actual broadcast identity to something simpler. Could that have anything to do with anything? Although a WM5 device I know had no problem with my long SSID....
     
  12. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #12
    Yeah... it's actually not even supported in 802.11n any more, because it's so useless.
     
  13. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #13
    The problem is as earlier/simpler versions of the network encryption protocols were hacked, they have to keep releasing new ones. Win XP has been out since 2002, so it needs the occasional bump. I worked in a computer store when we had to manually install USB support onto every Windows 95 box we built, because it was standardized a year or two after it came out.
     
  14. sbluetruck macrumors regular

    sbluetruck

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin der hey
    #14
    i was having too many issues with some friends laptops just connecting so once i was able to get it connected with WEP, well, i gave up soon after with WPA and was happy wiht the results.

    if you want to, you can stand on my doorstep and print using all the paper i have for all i care ;):D
     

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