You cannot connect to a wireless network access point that uses shared authentication from a Windows XP-based computer or a Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005-based Tablet PC

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Article ID: 884787 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to connect to a wireless network connection that uses shared authentication by using the Wireless Network Connection dialog box, you may receive the following error message:
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.

CAUSE

This problem occurs on all versions of Microsoft Windows XP and on Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 when you try to connect to a wireless network access point that uses shared authentication.

Note The Windows XP SP2 features and components are included in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005.

The Wireless service in Windows XP performs a scan for available wireless network access points. The results of the scan are shown in the list of available networks in the Wireless Network Connection dialog box. Access points broadcast an identifying beacon that uses a format that is defined by the IEEE 802.11 standard. This format does not include the authentication mode that is used by the access point. Because most access points use open authentication, the Wireless service assumes that all access points use open authentication for connections.

Note For networks that do not use WiFi Protected Access (WPA), we recommend that you use open authentication with Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) encryption. Use open authentication with Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) encryption instead of using shared authentication with or without encryption. This helps provide additional security for your wireless network and helps protect your wireless network from intrusions by malicious users. If you use a shared key instead of open authentication with WEP encryption, the malicious user can easily decrypt the shared key to obtain access to all the computers in your wireless network.

WORKAROUND

If the access point uses shared encryption, follow these steps to work around this problem:
  1. Click Start, point to Connect To, click Show all connections, and then double-click your wireless network adapter.
  2. On the General tab, click Properties.
  3. Click the Wireless Networks tab, and then click Add.
  4. Type the service set identifier (SSID) of the access point.
  5. Set Network Authentication to Shared.
  6. Click to clear the following check box:
    The key is provided for me automatically
  7. Type the WEP key for the wireless network access point in the Network key box.
  8. Type the WEP key in the Confirm network key box, and then click OK.
Note After you use this workaround, if you disconnect from the wireless network access point by using the Wireless Network Connection dialog box, you will not be able to reconnect to the access point by using the Wireless Network Connection dialog box.

STATUS

This behavior is by design.

Properties

Article ID: 884787 - Last Review: September 23, 2011 - Revision: 4.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbprb KB884787

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