PC can't connect to Airport network?

wordmunger

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Sep 3, 2003
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My son just got a new laptop from his school loaded with winXP. Now, I've connected PCs to my Airport network before without a problem, but this one just doesn't seem to want to let me enter a password. It sees the network, but then won't join -- it never asks for a password.

We contacted the school's tech support guy, and he said their PCs don't work with airport base stations. He said we'd have to hard-wire it to the network.

WTF is up with that? Has anyone ever heard of this? Do you know of a workaround?
 

someguy

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wordmunger said:
My son just got a new laptop from his school loaded with winXP. Now, I've connected PCs to my Airport network before without a problem, but this one just doesn't seem to want to let me enter a password. It sees the network, but then won't join -- it never asks for a password.

We contacted the school's tech support guy, and he said their PCs don't work with airport base stations. He said we'd have to hard-wire it to the network.

WTF is up with that? Has anyone ever heard of this? Do you know of a workaround?
Shouldn't have told him you were working with an Apple product. "It's not compatible" is the canned speech for "resolving" issues related to anything from Cupertino.

That said, have you tried manually adding the network into your Preferred Wireless Networks in your wi-fi settings?

Network Connections > {wireless adapter} > Properties > Wireless Networks tab
 

wordmunger

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someguy said:
Shouldn't have told him you were working with an Apple product. "It's not compatible" is the canned speech for "resolving" issues related to anything from Cupertino.

That said, have you tried manually adding the network into your Preferred Wireless Networks in your wi-fi settings?

Network Connections > {wireless adapter} > Properties > Wireless Networks tab
I think that's what we did -- but there was no place to enter the password. There were a kajillion other settings, but no password box. I think that's why I hate Windows.
 

someguy

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wordmunger said:
I think that's what we did -- but there was no place to enter the password. There were a kajillion other settings, but no password box. I think that's why I hate Windows.
I'm not using Windows now, but there should be a place to enter the password and the encryption type when you click Add... in the Wireless Networks tab.


This window should appear and allow you to enter that information, afterwords the connection should be made automatically when within range of the network.
 

wordmunger

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someguy said:
I'm not using Windows now, but there should be a place to enter the password and the encryption type when you click Add... in the Wireless Networks tab.
Okay, I'll give that a shot -- of course, he's at school with his computer now, but we'll try that when he gets back.
 

someguy

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wordmunger said:
Okay, I'll give that a shot -- of course, he's at school with his computer now, but we'll try that when he gets back.
Also, be sure that the Wireless Zero Configuation service is set to Automatic and is running. If this service is stopped, there probably won't be a Wireless Networks tab in the preferences window at all.

To check this:

Click Start > Run > type "services.msc"

In the window that appears, find the service and in it's properties window, check the status of the above settings. :)
 

wordmunger

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someguy said:
This window should appear and allow you to enter that information, afterwords the connection should be made automatically when within range of the network.
That window did appear, but I was unable to type in the password (I assume that's what "network key" is.). It didn't allow me to type in that box.
 

someguy

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wordmunger said:
That window did appear, but I was unable to type in the password (I assume that's what "network key" is.). It didn't allow me to type in that box.
Uncheck "The key is provided for me automatically". :)
 

wordmunger

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someguy said:
Uncheck "The key is provided for me automatically". :)
I'll give that a shot. God, Windows sucks! Who the hell calls a password a "network key," and how are they supposed to know whether it's provided automatically?
 

someguy

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wordmunger said:
I'll give that a shot. God, Windows sucks! Who the hell calls a password a "network key," and how are they supposed to know whether it's provided automatically?
Not to disagree with you, because Windows DOES suck, IMO. :)

However, it is called a network *key* because it is used to encrypt/decrypt the information sent over the network. It is not provided automatically if you expect to have to enter it in... ;)
 

wordmunger

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someguy said:
However, it is called a network *key* because it is used to encrypt/decrypt the information sent over the network. It is not provided automatically if you expect to have to enter it in... ;)
See, that's the problem with Microsoft. Instead of thinking about the user, they're thinking about the programmer. From the programmer's perspective, that's what's going on. From the user's perspective, they need to know where to enter the password. You shouldn't have to be a programmer to use a computer.
 

someguy

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wordmunger said:
Okay, now I've tried it. I've even used the Hex WEP Key, per this thread, and it still doesn't work. Any other ideas?
Make sure you have the SSID and network key.. I mean password ;)... correct. Also, make sure that you have the right type of encryption checked, i.e. you aren't putting in a WPA key when the network uses WEP encryption.

That's all I've got right now. :eek:
 

Eraserhead

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Have you tried installing Apple's Wireless Software for Windows on the laptop?

If it still doesn't work try undoing any changes made to Services.msc


Yes windows does suck, but editing Services.msc seems far too complicated, Windows XP normally has no problems with Wireless (though I have never used an Airport network.)
 

wordmunger

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someguy said:
Make sure you have the SSID and network key.. I mean password ;)... correct. Also, make sure that you have the right type of encryption checked, i.e. you aren't putting in a WPA key when the network uses WEP encryption.
Yep, I did all that, several times....

Eraserhead said:
Have you tried installing Apple's Wireless Software for Windows on the laptop?

If it still doesn't work try undoing any changes made to Services.msc
Since it's a school computer, we can't install any new software.

I think they may have done some sort of custom configuration that screws it up for any functioning on an Airport network.
 

someguy

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Eraserhead said:
Have you tried installing Apple's Wireless Software for Windows on the laptop?

If it still doesn't work try undoing any changes made to Services.msc


Yes windows does suck, but editing Services.msc seems far too complicated, Windows XP normally has no problems with Wireless (though I have never used an Airport network.)
Windows doesn't require Apple's software to use the wireless, so if it isn't working, something else is wrong. I stopped supporting Windows a while back, so I can't really think of anything else for you to try right now.

And btw, there is no editing services.msc, just simply ensuring that a service is running properly. From the sounds of it, it is working fine, but sometimes you have to check everything, you know?
 

wordmunger

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someguy said:
Windows doesn't require Apple's software to use the wireless, so if it isn't working, something else is wrong. I stopped supporting Windows a while back, so I can't really think of anything else for you to try right now.

And btw, there is no editing services.msc, just simply ensuring that a service is running properly. From the sounds of it, it is working fine, but sometimes you have to check everything, you know?
Hey, thanks for your help. I assume services.msc is working fine since the computer connects to his school wireless network.

Looks like for now there's no solution except for hardwiring. That's not such a big deal, really (and it's my son's problem, not mine!). Mainly I was just displeased with the schools suggestion that the computer wouldn't work on an Airport network.
 

Eraserhead

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wordmunger said:
Since it's a school computer, we can't install any new software.

I think they may have done some sort of custom configuration that screws it up for any functioning on an Airport network.
Right but they let you edit services.msc which potentially could stop the computer booting, :rolleyes: typical, sounds like Windows firewall, which certain games can give themselves access through, what stops malware doing the same I don't know.

someguy said:
Windows doesn't require Apple's software to use the wireless, so if it isn't working, something else is wrong. I stopped supporting Windows a while back, so I can't really think of anything else for you to try right now.

And btw, there is no editing services.msc, just simply ensuring that a service is running properly. From the sounds of it, it is working fine, but sometimes you have to check everything, you know?
:eek: oops, I have never used an airport network with my Mac, so I wasn't sure, and installing the software seemed so obvious.

It might be worth trying to run the installer anyway and see if they have actually stopped you installing software on it, as it will probably just fix the wireless configuration.

BTW You have tried switching off the wireless security on the network and refreshing the windows wireless network list in the taskbar to see if it picks it up?
 

calculus

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Dec 12, 2005
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wordmunger said:
See, that's the problem with Microsoft. Instead of thinking about the user, they're thinking about the programmer.
I think that's a really good summary of the differences between MS and Apple. My Windows using friends have completely different relationships with their computers than my Apple friends do - they (the Windows ones) have a sort of 'car mechanic' approach.
 

wordmunger

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Eraserhead said:
BTW You have tried switching off the wireless security on the network and refreshing the windows wireless network list in the taskbar to see if it picks it up?
Not sure I know how to do that. The network is showing up, it's just not connecting.

I've got a pretty decent shared wired connection going using the cube in my son's room, so that should work all right for now. It seems to me that the school has deliberately crippled the computer so it won't work on certain wireless networks.