Article ID: 870702 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

Troubleshooting for wireless networking with Windows XP requires gathering information, checking the drivers, verifying compatible hardware, and configuring wireless settings.

Information to gather

Before you begin troubleshooting, make sure that you have answered the following questions:
  • What is the symptom? If it is an error message, note the full error message.
  • What wireless card is used? Note the manufacturer and the model number.
  • What is the driver version for the card? Look in Device Manager or click Configure in the Properties dialog box of the wireless connection.
  • What access point is in use? Note the manufacturer and the model number.
  • Are the wireless settings configured by using Windows or by using a third-party program? If a third-party program is used, what is the program and its version number?
  • Is the Wireless Zero Configuration service running? To determine if the Wireless Zero Configuration service is running, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, and then click Run. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    2. In the Open box, type cmd, and then click OK. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    3. Type sc query wzcsvc, and then press ENTER. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    4. If the Windows Zero Configuration service is running, the words "STATE : # RUNNING" will appear. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


  • If the problem is in the user interface, collect a screen shot of the issue, if you can. To collect a screen shot, press ALT+PRINT SCRN.

More information

Basic troubleshooting

To troubleshoot wireless network connections in Windows XP, follow these steps:
  1. Check the Windows Catalog at http://www.windowsmarketplace.com to determine if there is a Windows XP-compatible driver that is available for your wireless adapter.
    • If there is a compatible driver, install the updated driver before you perform any additional troubleshooting procedures.
    • If there is not a compatible driver, you may be able to use the network adapter, but its configuration and functionality may be very limited.
  2. Determine if the driver that you are using recognizes the Windows XP Wireless Zero Configuration service. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    2. In the right pane,click Network and Internet Connections. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    3. In the right pane, click Network Connections. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    4. Right-click Wireless Network Connection, and then click Properties. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    5. View the available options:
      • If you do not see the Wireless Network Connection icon in the Network Connections folder, or if you cannot view the properties, there is a problem with the driver for the wireless network adapter. To troubleshoot this problem, see the Driver installation issues section.
      • If you can view the properties for the Wireless Network Connection icon, but you do not see a Wireless Networks tab, see the Drivers that do not support the Wireless Zero Configuration service section to continue troubleshooting.
      • If you can view the properties, and you can see and use the Wireless Networks tab, see the Drivers that support the Wireless Zero Configuration service section to continue troubleshooting.
      • If the Authentication tab is missing in the Wireless Network Connection properties, make sure that the Wireless Zero Configuration service is running.

Driver installation issues

If you do not see the Wireless Network Connection icon in the Network Connections folder, or if you cannot view the properties for the Wireless Network Connection icon, there may be a problem with the driver installation. To troubleshoot this issue, verify that you have the latest available driver from the device manufacturer, and then follow these steps to determine the cause of the issue:
  1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  2. Click Device Manager, and then double-click Other Devices and look for the wireless network adapter. If you find the adapter in the Other Devices folder, no driver has been installed. To resolve this issue, obtain and install a driver from the device manufacturer. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  3. If you do not locate the adapter in the Other Devices folder, look in the Network Adapters folder. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  4. When you locate the wireless network adapter, note the manufacturer's name and the model of the adapter.
  5. Right-click the icon for the wireless network adapter, and then click Properties. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  6. Verify that "The device is working properly" message is displayed under Device status. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  7. If the wireless network adapter is not in the Network Connections folder, there is either a problem with the device or the driver may not be installed. In this case, you will see an error under Device status.

    You can search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for information about the error code to use in troubleshooting this problem. To search the Knowledge Base, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://support.microsoft.com/gp/gsssearchhelp

Drivers that do not support the Wireless Zero Configuration service

If you can view the properties of the Wireless Network Connection icon, but you do not see the Wireless Networks tab, the network adapter driver does not fully support the Wireless Zero Configuration service, or the Wireless Zero Configuration Service is not started. You may be able to configure Windows XP to use the connection, but the configuration options may vary depending on the network adapter and the driver that are in use. To resolve this issue, try to create a working connection by following these steps.

Note If you cannot create a working connection, contact the device manufacturer for advice about how to configure the adapter for Windows XP.
  1. Verify that the Wireless Zero Configuration service is running. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, and then click Run. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    2. In the Open box, type cmd, and then click OK. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    3. Type sc query wzcsvc, and then press ENTER. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    4. If the Windows Zero Configuration service is running, the words "STATE : # RUNNING" will appear. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


  2. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network Connections. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  3. Right-click Wireless Network Connection, and then click Properties. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  4. On the General tab, click Configure. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  5. Click the Advanced tab, and then configure your wireless network by using the available configuration options. The available options and option names may vary depending on the driver manufacturer. The following list describes the basic configuration options under Property:
    • Service Set Identifier (SSID): This setting must match the configuration of your wireless access point or router. If you do not have an access point, this value will be the same on all the computers that are in your wireless network. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    • Wireless Equivalent Protocol (WEP) or Encryption

      Warning The following step may make your computer or your network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this option, but we are providing this information so that you can choose to implement this option at your own discretion. Use this step at your own risk.

      For testing purposes, turn off WEP on both the access point and in these properties.

      Note WEP is designed to help protect your computer from attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses that use unsolicited incoming network traffic to attack your computer. If you decide to implement this step, take any appropriate additional steps to help protect your system. Turn WEP back on as soon as you have finished troubleshooting your network connections.
    • Mode or Network Type: If you have an access point, set this option to Infrastructure. If you do not have an access point, and if you are connecting your computer to another computer, set this option to Ad-Hoc. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


    • Data Rate: Set this option to Auto or to 11 Mbps.
    • Power Save: For troubleshooting, set Power Save to Off or to Disabled. After the connection works correctly, you can change this setting. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step


  6. After you configure these options, click OK to save the changes that you made.
  7. Test to see if your connection works. If a red X is displayed over the connection icon in the Network Connections folder, or if you cannot connect, continue troubleshooting.
  8. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  9. In Computer Management, double-click Services and Applications, and then click Services. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  10. Right-click Wireless Zero Configuration, and then click Properties. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  11. In the Startup type box, click to select Disabled, and then click OK. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  12. Close Computer Management, and then restart the computer. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step
With this configuration, you can connect to the wireless network if the other network configuration is correct. If the Wireless Network Connection icon is displayed in the notification area as a working connection, the wireless connection will work. To resolve any remaining issues, use standard TCP/IP network troubleshooting techniques.

For additional information about TCP/IP troubleshooting, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314067 How to troubleshoot TCP/IP connectivity with Windows XP

Drivers that support the Wireless Zero Configuration service

If the Wireless Networks tab in the properties of the Wireless Network Connection is available, the driver recognizes the Windows XP Zero Configuration support for wireless networks. To configure Windows XP for your wireless network, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network Connections. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  2. Right-click Wireless Network Connection, and then click View Available Wireless Networks. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  3. Click the network that you want to connect to, and then click Connect. Follow the steps in the wizard to configure the network. If your network is not listed, verify that the access point is powered on and configured, move the computer and the access point closer together, and then test again. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  4. If your network is still not listed as an available network, click Change advanced settings to open the wireless network connection properties. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


  5. On the Wireless Networks tab, click Add to manually configure settings for a network. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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    The screen shot for this step


    When you save these settings, you can use them automatically when the network is available. Available settings include the following:
    • Network name (SSID): The Network name (SSID) setting typically matches the configuration of your wireless access point or router. If you do not have an access point, this value must be the same on all the computers that are in your wireless network.
    • Network Authentication and Data encryption: Options here include Open, Shared, WPA, and WPA-PSK. If you are using WPA, no additional configuration is required. If you are using WPA-PSK, an 8- to 63-character password is required.
      If you are using Open or Shared authentication, you can either enter a key, or indicate that a key is provided automatically. In home network configurations that use WEP, the key is typically entered manually. You may also choose no security by setting Data encryption to Disabled. However, we do not recommend that you do this except as a troubleshooting step.

      Warning This step may make your computer or your network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this option, but we are providing this information so that you can choose to implement this option at your own discretion. Use this option at your own risk.

      If you have to disable security for troubleshooting, turn off WEP on both the computer and the access point. Turn off WEP on both the access point and in these properties for testing purposes.

      Note WEP is designed to help protect your computer from attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses that use unsolicited incoming network traffic to attack your computer. If you decide to implement this step, take any appropriate additional steps to help to protect your system. Turn WEP back on as soon as you have finished troubleshooting your network connections. (The screen shot for this step is listed below).

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      The screen shot for this step



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      The screen shot for this step


    • Key index (advanced): This is an optional setting that specifies which of four positions the key is stored in: 0, 1, 2, or 3.
    • The key is provided for me automatically: This check box option indicates that the key is provided from the network or stored on the network adapter. You must only enable this key when the network administrator or the network adapter documentation specifies that you enable it.
    • This is a computer-to-computer (ad-hoc) network; wireless access points are not used: This check box option is used to specify a computer-to-computer network that does not include an access point. If this option is unavailable, click Advanced on the Wireless Networks tab. In the Advanced dialog box, you can click to select Access point (infrastructure mode) networks only to enable an ad-hoc network.
  6. After you save this configuration, repeat this process on the other computers on your network.
  7. After you configure the settings for the other computers, you will see the network name SSID in the Preferred networks list. If you see a blue circle, the network has been located; if you see a red X, there may be a problem with the radio signal between stations on the network, or the configuration may be incorrect. Confirm that the settings on your network are correct, and move the computer closer to either the access point or the router, or to the other computer on the wireless network.

    After you complete the configuration steps, the wireless connection will be correctly configured.

    If you experience issues when you try to connect to the network, double-click the Wireless Network Connection icon in the Network Connections folder to view the Connection Status window. In the Connection Status window, there is a signal strength meter that you can use to verify the strength of the signal between the computers.

Strong signal

If you still have trouble connecting, but the signal strength is good, a different network configuration issue may be preventing communications. To resolve this issue, use standard TCP/IP troubleshooting techniques.

Weak signal

If you still have trouble connecting and the signal strength is not good, or no signal is received, try the steps in the Drivers that do not support the Wireless Zero Configuration service section. If the method that is described in that section does not resolve the issue, contact the manufacturer to determine if the wireless network adapters and the access point are working correctly.

Properties

Article ID: 870702 - Last Review: September 30, 2013 - Revision: 6.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
Keywords: 
kbnomt kbgraphxlink kbscreenshot kbwizard kbwireless kbsettings kbperformance kbconfig kbconnectivity kbbroadband kbfirewall kberrmsg kbenv kbinfo kbnetwork kbtshoot KB870702

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