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Windows XP SP2 and WEP Encryption? 90

Posted by Cliff
HumanCarbonUnit asks: "Here's a question for all of you XP SP2 users out there. When connecting to any WEP (64 or 128) encrypted wireless network the laptops connect but an IP address isn't given out and even with a static IP address, the internet is in-accessible. I have a Linksys WAP54G access point and an Airlink 101 Wireless router for connection and two laptops, a new Sony Vaio and an HP L2000 Special Edition. Both laptops are running Windows XP SP 2 fully updated including newest drivers. For a router, I have a Netgear FR114P that issues the IP addresses acts as gateway / DNS for the two wireless access points. When either wireless access point is un-encrypted or uses WPA encryption, the IP is assigned and everything works. So, Slashdot: what's up with Microsoft Windows XP SP2 and Wireless WEP encryption?"
"FYI: There is no MAC address filtering and the WEP 64 key is 5 characters and the 128 key is 13 characters. I've tried the laptops in other WEP encrypted networks with the same results and I've tried other laptops on my network with same results. My Tivo and friends Windows 2000 latop both connect to the WEP encrypted network without any troubles and work just fine."
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Windows XP SP2 and WEP Encryption?

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  • Hold please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hikaru79 (832891) on Monday October 03, 2005 @05:59PM (#13707861) Homepage
    Sorry if I'm coming across as rude, but at what point did Slashdot become a tech support forum? This seems more like a question for a Windows board, not "News for Nerds, Stuff that matters."
    • Re:Hold please... (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Grasshoppa, this may come as a surprise to you, but some of the very first "ask slashdot" questions were indeed of an "I have this problem" nature. That was before they even had logins though, and looooong before it was fashionable to bash slashdot for modpoints. *sighs*
    • Re:Hold please... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by ghmh (73679)

      Sorry if I'm coming across as rude, but at what point did Slashdot become a tech support forum? This seems more like a question for a Windows board, not "News for Nerds, Stuff that matters."

      I'd say the editors are even more at fault, as publishing this sort of stuff encourages it even more.

    • I posted this question to the Slashdot editors as I thought that it would be an opportunity to get some answers to windows users everywhere. I did Google the question several different ways and yes I did investigate the Microsoft support database. I posted the question on Slashdot because neither Google nor Microsoft could provide an answer to the dilemma. Further, I've encountered many other people on the web with a similar question and no solutions. I'm using WPA encryption on the Airlink 101 and WEP
    • AMEN TO THAT BRUTHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      wouldn't be an issue if it was a question on open source software, but if you want to pay for microsoft quality you can sit on hold for tech support like normal people do.
  • Try using the wireless config utility that came with the nic instead.

    Network connections -> click on the wlan nic-> properties->wirless networks->(uncheck) Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings.

    Then go install the w2k drivers/config utility and use that for wireless config instead of the windows wireless netowrk wizard.

    Grump.
    • Totally. I've had nothing but trouble from Intel's 'PROSet' utility. I've been having a fight at work just being able to get onto the network on wireless at the moment... Though its given me some excuses not to do much work, maybe this might help someone else too.

      Basically its a fault with the power management function on Pentium laptops with the 2200BG card.

      [Yet I have no trouble on my own Gentoo laptop with a dodgy PCMCIA Broadcom card... I wish I didn't have to use Microsoft here... *sigh*]

      http://jkonthe [blogs.com]
  • by mike_lynn (463952) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:03PM (#13707885)
    Seriously: Grow up. A little Googling may do worlds of good for you.

    It works fine on my Windows XP Pro SP2 machine. If XP SP2 + WEP was truly a major issue on standard installations, there'd be major news on it considering how widespread wireless use is. I'm not going to waste my time figuring out what's wrong with your configuration. We're not your free tech support.

    Ask Slashdot is for asking people's opinions on things, not solving the problems you're too cheap to pay someone to solve for you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:04PM (#13707890)
  • Ethereal (Score:3, Informative)

    by liquidpele (663430) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:05PM (#13707894) Journal
    Install Ethereal, see what's happening.
    • Re:Ethereal (Score:4, Informative)

      by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Monday October 03, 2005 @07:43PM (#13708476)
      Wow, you really are inept.

      If the hardware layer cant get a lock on the signal, the ethernet transport wont show anything (or better yet, requests for a DHCP address or broadcasts of services/MAC lookup).

      I had this problem with Linux with wireless cards. Ethereal or other packet dumpers would NOT capture wireless frame information. Programs that would allow capture of frame information usually limited you to whatever bssid you were assigned to (in other words, you had to use a 'hack' to go AP or monitor mode, or rfmon as the wifi-ng group calls it).
      • Ethereal under Linux is perfectly capable of capturing the raw frame data from a wireless card. Most wireless cards support RFMON mode fine with standard drivers. Windows, it isn't so easy and requires a small subset of cards. But it is still possible.
    • Install Ethereal, see what's happening.

      Fine if the problem is DHCP related, but doesn't Ethereal require special drivers (with 'monitor' support) to show 802.11 protocol info?
  • WPA vs. WEP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sedyn (880034) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:11PM (#13707941)
    If you have WPA available to both machines, why are you using WEP?

    Other than that, I want to know how the editors let a windows tech support question on a *nix biased board. Hell, even if it was, "I can't get iwconfig to work properly, and I think it's the way I've used ndiswrapper, are there any other open source tools or drivers available?" I still don't think it should have been accepted.

    Next up on slashdot from the why-the-fuck dept. "How do I put IE on linux using WINE?"
    • As I understand it, preshared-key WPA is little or no more secure than WEP. It may depend upon your key.

      But to maybe help out the poster, check that both ends of the connection are using the same numbered key (i.e. most implementations allow you to store and rotate up to 4 keys--in my experience, the keys and key numbers must match on both ends for it to work). Since I don't think this applies to WPA and certainly not to unencrypted, it may be that this is the cause. It certainly fixed my WEP network awh
      • Re:WPA vs. WEP (Score:3, Informative)

        by m_chan (95943)
        > As I understand it, preshared-key WPA is little or no more secure than WEP. It may depend upon your key.

        WEP keys can be discovered by packet collection (one must collect a lot of packets, but once that's done there are tools that make the key discovery trivial) regardless of the complexity of the key.

        WPA keys can be discovered with four collected packets and a brute force dictionary tool, if a weak passphrase is used.

        WPA-PSK with a strong passphrase greater than 20 characters in length would
    • Next up on slashdot from the why-the-fuck dept. "How do I put IE on linux using WINE?"

      I'be been wondering about that for some time now. How about Bochs on OS X with Linux and WINE and IE?
    • it's an apple biased board.

      where have you been for the last 9 years?
  • by voxel (70407) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:33PM (#13708072)
    What the heck is going on. Slashdot is not a Technical support forum.

    I should post:

    ---

    Dear Ask Slashdot, I just got a new Dell, and need help setting up my new Printer. I can't get it working for anything! Windows XP SP2 and this Canon Printer I got from best buy, it just doesn't work! I think its all of Windows XP SP2, it just doesn't work with any printers. It must not be me, I has to be Microsoft.

    I can't believe Microsoft DISABLED printer support in Windows XP SP2! It's ridiculous!!!

    ----
    • Dear voxel, We apologize for the inconvenience, but printer support for Windows XP Basic Starter Home Edition has been removed. You do qualify to upgrade to Windows XP Somewhat More Usable Edition for only $99.99; this upgrade will allow you to use some of the hardware you currently cannot use, including printers, a keyboard, and a mouse. Thanks for your inquiry. Sincerely, Microsoft Technical Support.
    • Dear voxel,

      We apologize for the inconvenience, but printer support for Windows XP Basic Starter Home Edition has been removed. You do qualify to upgrade to Windows XP Somewhat More Usable Edition for only $99.99; this upgrade will allow you to use some of the hardware you currently cannot use, including printers, a keyboard, and a mouse.

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Sincerely,

      Microsoft Technical Support.



      --
      HTML Formatting Laziness Correction to original post. Stupid Stupid bleaknik.
  • Good question. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stoutlimb (143245) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:33PM (#13708079)
    I happen to have the same problem. Windows wireless settings will NOT let me connect at my local cybercafe. I'm fairly knowlegable with wireless, and no amount of tweaking or fiddling could give me an IP. It would connect, but no packets would come back from the router. However, it seems to work just fine when I enable the software that comes with my wireless NIC. My home wireless works either way, so I don't think it's me.

    The cashier said that about 1 in 10 people have the exact same problem, and nobody has yet been able to solve it, including their tech guy who comes in once a week.

    So according to me at least, this is News for Nerds, Stuff That Matters. All you with wet blankets, buzz off!

    Bork!
    • Re:Good question. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Baron_Yam (643147)

      I find I have a lot of rectal discomfort related to this issue if I use Windows to configure my wireless settings and use a passphrase.

      1. If I'm connecting to an encrypted network for which I am supplied a passphrase, I use the utility that came with my card.
      2. If I'm connecting using straight HEX, it works either way.
  • Encryption Settings (Score:5, Informative)

    by HunterZ (20035) on Monday October 03, 2005 @06:34PM (#13708082) Journal
    It sounds like the encryption settings are wrong on the laptop end:
    - First, make sure you're using the latest drivers for the Wi-Fi cards in the laptops.
    - Make sure you've got a good signal from the router.
    - Make sure you're using the same exact key as are the devices that are able to connect successfully. This is probably the most important thing to try. My guess is that you're either misunderstanding the configuration menus for your Wi-Fi card, or that you're confused about how WEP works. Note that some cards let you put in the passphrase and key number (I've seen this on Netgear cards), while some require the hexadecimal key itself (I've seen this on Linksys cards).
    - If you're trying to use a confguration app that came with the card, try disabling it and using WinXP Wireless Zero-Point Configuration (or whatever it's called) instead. If you're using the WinXP config tool, try disabling it (in the services menu) and use the app that came with the card instead.
    - Make sure you're using valid TCP/IP settings for the Wi-Fi cards. It's possible that they're trying to use a static IP on the wrong subnet, or trying to talk to the router at the wrong address, or something along those lines.
    - Search Google to see if others are having similar issues. There's probably a hundred forum threads out there somewhere that cover this already.
    - Call the tech support for the company that made your Wi-Fi cards and/or access point. While you're most likely to just be insulted and not find the solution, they might have something on their troubleshooting list that you didn't think of.

    As others have mentioned, why are you trying to use WEP if WPA works? I'm guessing that some of your devices don't support the latter, but you should have mentioned that...

    You could also turn off encryption and use MAC address restrictions to prevent unauthorized users from connecting to the network.

    Lastly, to keep my karma balanced: why was this accepted by the editors? It's not interesting or challenging - it's just an everyday sort of IT problem that you have to bang your head on repeatedly until you find the solution.
    • Thanks for the help, I believe I've already tried those ideas, but I'll run them though again for good measure a few more times. Its possible that I've miss-understood something so I'll go back and review to software and hardware, perhaps something isn't retaining its settings properly or something is miss aligned. As for the configuration tool, neither laptop came with a configuration tool besides the one built into windows, I guess HP and Sony are getting lazy. Called Linksys and HP support and neither
    • WEP keys are either passphrase (5 digit ASCII for 56bit encryption, 10 digit for larger etc) or hex. A passphrase has ASCII and hex equivalents: a lot of wireless cards don't like the ASCII type. Put it in in hex, and it'll work. This isn't really worth of an ask-slashdot, however...
    • Ewww, the latest drivers are what knocked our wireless out on our network, took some doing to pin point it. Some crap that came down the pipe in windows update was the problem.
      • Thnx, I hadn't thought to try using older drivers. I did however try pasting the entire hex key into the password dialog as suggested by others. The computer connected to the AP alright, but failed to move packets. BTW: Neither laptop I tride came with a wireless configuration utility for the braoudcom (bad spelling) or Intel Wireless cards. I've been looking for an alternative to the one that comes with windows but am haveing a dog of a time with finding one for the braudcom, think I found one for the
        • This might be a lead:
          http://www.techspot.com/vb/all/windows/t-18052-Wir eless-not-working-on-Windows-XP.html [techspot.com]

          Apparently HP has a generic Broadcom wireless configuration utility.
          • from my experience, having received HP's in my summer shipment of new hardware to deploy for the past 3 summers, they used/included Broadcom wireless management on the driver installation cd for the hardware build we were furnished, which battled with windows wireless management... Now HP ships with HPwlan assistant... seems to behave with windows so far. In the end it was a one two punch of new drivers for/by broadcom, and windows both trying to manage the wireless that hurt us in the past.
            • All you have to do is disable the Wireless Configuration service to disable Windows' control of Wi-Fi NICs. You may also be able to accomplish it by unchecking the box that says something like "let Windows manage my wireless settings for this device".

              One of my roommates uses a Netgear PCI card to connect to our WRT54g router, and we've gone back and forth between the Netgear config util and WinXP's wireless config. One nice thing about the Netgear one is that you can type in the WEP passphrase instead of th
  • XP WEP Algo Sux (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jeagoss (661909) *
    Try entering the 10 or 26 digit long HEX number when you are prompted for you WEP passphrase. This often works for me. It seems the XP Aglorithm for turning the passphrase into a hex passphrase doesn't quite work the way it is supposed to.
  • "FYI: There is no MAC address filtering and the WEP 64 key is 5 characters and the 128 key is 13 characters. I've tried the laptops in other WEP encrypted networks with the same results and I've tried other laptops on my network with same results. My Tivo and friends Windows 2000 latop both connect to the WEP encrypted network without any troubles and work just fine."

    Windows XP with SP2 runs just fine with WEP networks. You need to put hex characters (0-9 A-F) in the key.

    Have fun.
  • Not quite the worst Slashdot story ever, but this is right up there with Zonk's "performing cunnilingus on a hardwood floor."
    • Not quite the worst Slashdot story ever, but this is right up there with Zonk's "performing cunnilingus on a hardwood floor."

      You're just jealous 'cos nobody has ever let you perform cunnilingus on them; let-alone on a hardwood floor ;)

      Comic Book Guy: "Worst Slashdot Article, Ever".

      Windows and WEP just works. If you can't make it work you're a tool. Windows and WPA doesn't just work (if you use AES encryption you have to reconfigure your access point to use TKIP, then connect to it, then reconfigur

  • You need to reboot.

    You did say windows right?

    --
    This sig cannot connect to WEP enabled access points
    • Maybe a System Restore? Or call Dr. Watson? The new animals always recommend, w/o hesitation to scan your system with spybot search and destroy, even if it's a hardware problem. I resent Dr. Moreau letting all these tech chimeras out into the wild!
  • HELP! (Score:1, Troll)

    by austad (22163)
    Dear Ask Slashdot,

    I can't get my email. I think the internets are down. Please help.
  • If you had a Linksys card before connecting to a Linksys access point you may have just entered a "passphrase" from which the 4 full hexadecimal keys are generated. Linksys cards (at least the one that I had) allowed entry of either the passphrase or one of the full keys.

    My experience with Windows XP SP2 (on a different machine with a built-in Intel WLAN card) is that the full hex key needs to be entered. I've always found XP's native WLAN support frustrating to use and stuck with the Intel software (i.e.
  • This windows problem is EASILY solved. Wipe your hard disk and reinstall. Or, you can wait a year and I'm sure that Microsoft will come out with a new API that solves the problem. You can get the fix with an extremely inexpensive subscription to Microsoft Developer Network.

  • by Grym (725290) on Monday October 03, 2005 @08:28PM (#13708830)

    Okay. The issue of whether or not this story should be posted aside, here goes:

    1st order of business:

    I have a Linksys WAP54G access point and an Airlink 101 Wireless router

    Wait, why do you have two access points? FYI, wireless routers are access points. Furthermore, why do you have two routers? The WAP54G is a router as well. Take one of those devices back to the store and re-evaluate your network design. For clarity, here's how it should look:

    Wall ---wire --- > Cable/DSL modem ---wire ---> Wireless Router --- magic --> Computer

    I'm going to hope you weren't thinking that the two Airlink and Linksys devices were going to communicate with each other wirelessly just because they both had "802.11G" written on them...

    2nd

    Make sure that the wireless card on your laptop (or PCMCIA card) supports 802.11G and not 802.11B--THEY TWO ARE DIFFERENT. Don't assume that it is. Check, it could be the source of your problem. Who knows, maybe you're connecting to your neighbor's 802.11b WAP that DOES have MAC address filtering? Just check.

    3rd

    Save yourself a lot of trouble and work from least complex --> most complex

    Order of business should be as follows:

    1. Reset the settings on the router. (God knows what you've done here.)
    2. Connect to the router via ethernet. Make sure it works.
    3. Connect the modem to the router. Make sure it works.
    4. Set up wireless connection on the router with the ONLY security feature being a unique SSID name. DO NOT use any personally identifiable information in the name.
    5. Set up wireless network on the laptop. Make sure to use a static IP with the correct digits. Also, the primary DNS server IP should be the same as the gateway IP.
    6. Connect to the wireless network.
    7. Gradually introducing features, first on the router and then on your computer. I would suggest doing so in the following order:
      1. DHCP (optional)
      2. Enable WEP. (Or any other encryption scheme) Do not use the passphrase system on the linksys router software. That stuff is a gimmick. Just assign a hexadecimal password.
      3. Disable ESSID broadcast
      4. Wireless MAC address filtering. Get your MAC address from ipconfig NOT the back of the card.
    8. If something goes wrong, ethernet back in and remove the setting that caused the problem.

    Each of those steps should be simple enough that you can Google for the appropriate answers--unless of course the card/router is bad (I have run into this). Worse comes to worse, get a geek friend of yours to come over and set it up for you. Bribe him with a bag of Doritos or... *gasp*... pay him.

    -Grym

    • Umm, jackass, the WAP54G is an ACCESS POINT. W = Wireless, A= Access, P= Point. It has routing features but no ethernet ports. I'm sure he's not completely wireless so that's why he has a router.

      Also, disabling SSID broadcast does nothing but slow your network transmissions.
      • It has routing features but no ethernet ports.

        And something that has routing features is...?

        Despite the term being misappropriated by consumer-grade products, the term "access point" has a very specific meaning: a device that acts as the hub for wireless communications.

        Routers have a very specific meaning as well. The fact that the WAP54G has built-in routing features makes it a router as well. You do realize that routers don't have to have multiple ethernet ports, right?

        Wireless routers have co

        • Only an unnecessarily complex home network design would call for both devices.

          Um, no, not complex. My house has a poolhouse. It's at the far end of the property. There's an AP out there, and one in the house as well (AP, **NOT ROUTER**; there's a huge backbone switch and a linux machine set up as a gateway elsewhere). You can roam between them freely, and they don't use anything even remotely complex like range extensions.

          Wait, why do you have two access points? FYI, wireless routers are access p
    • Not to pick on this poster because others repeated it, the WAP54G is not a router, it is a pure access point, you are thinking of the WRT54G.
  • I have had this problem with a few different combos of hardware and in my experience, it has nothing to do with the os. It is almost always that the cards are from different companies and do things a little different. I have spent hours trying to make my atheros cards work on the same network as others and even disabling the special abilities of the atheros cards, they just don't play nice together. I bet that you could solve your problems by simply researching the chips that you are using.

    Note that most
  • What... WEP encryption? Ahh... I understand... oxymorons for geeks. If that is what it is... I could Ace the AP English exam.
  • I've seen some vendor configuration tools that incorrectly create the hex key from a pass-phrase. That is, the same pass-phrase with the same encryption settings generate two unique hex strings. To get around the problem, I just use the hex string directly.
  • I ran into this recently, you have to think the "Microsoft Way". That means using Wizards to accomplish your goal. In that little Wireless Network Connection window that lets you connect to a network there is a link on the right titled "Set up a wireless network for a home or a small office". That allows you to enter a SSID and set your encryption settings.
  • Having gone through this in the past. I'm telling you the answer. You have not set, or you have incorrectly set your WEP key on the client.

    To do an encrypted connection there must be a key on your side. Some WAP's may be able to provide it transparently but in your case the WAP is not, and your computer does not have it configured or not configured correctly. Some WAP's will give you a "text" key but it may not be interpreted the same by your client. Use the hex version.

    That will solve your problem.
  • Don't use WEP, its very broken. Can be cracked in under 2 minutes, so don't bother. Its worse then having no security 'cos you think you have a secure connection when in actuallity you don't.

    WPA is fine is you use a strong shared key.
  • I do have a the same linksys WAP with a winXP SP2 laptop and it works fine.

    So if this was me I would try knoppix as a live CD, but be aware you may need the driver files for the wifi card on USB drive or a mountable drive.
    I run this on an old PC cos I am not ready to wipe the Harddrive yet, just saved the windows drivers to usb and set knoppix to save my settings to said usb drive each time I use the machine.

    if windows finds the AP but you do not get an IP try entering one manualy and THEN PINGING the route
  • 64-bit encryption is 13 characters and 128-bit is 26 characters.
  • Windows will attempt to connect and register with DHCP, but it will just hang if the key is incorrect. Try typing your key again, but don't type it into the key dialog. Type it in Notepad (or whatever editor you use) and then paste it into the password dialog.
  • I had similar problems on one of my set-ups. I usually use Windows 2000, but my dad's company uses Windows XP SP2. The laptop would connect successfully and have full signal strength, but wouldn't grab the DHCP lease that was given to it by the router. I tried releasing the lease and re-acquiring without no success. I've since dropped WEP with a firmware upgrade that allows my router to support WPA2/PSK which I've fully implemented. My advice: use AT LEAST WPA, WPA2 if possible (check web sites of acce
  • On the advice and link to the utility. I tried using the Broadcom wireless utility to connect to the WEP encrypted AP. Connected pretty fast but no go. I posted the question to the groups as after much google searching I found alot of people with similar questions and no solutions that worked. Thus, with so many windows users out there with an un-resolved problem thought slashdot might help Ok, i give up. I guess I'm just not going to be able to access WEP encrypted networks. I've tried: Isolating p
    • So, wait. You've tried this with two computers on two different access points? That right there should tell you that either:
      A. You've come accross a known issue with Windows XP SP2 Or somehow the hardware and/or software on the APs and/or your laptops failed at the sametime.
      or
      B. You suck at life

      Now since I'm running Windows XP SP2 and have absolutely no issue connecting to any WEP wireless network, I'm guessing it's B but I could be wrong.

      Seriously, you have to be doing something wrong. Take it by a
  • My new laptop had the same problem both with the builtin wireless, and the card out of my older laptop. It would connect to my network, but wouldn't pick up a DHCP address and wouldn't work with a static address either. However it would join my neighbours unencrypted AP quite happily.

    In the end, the only way I could get it to work was to disable WEP on my AP, this allowed the laptop to connect quite happily, I then re-enabled WEP and everything was fine.

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