Windows XP + WiFi = Hair Loss

Good article on Wired about how Windows XP mangles wifi while attempting to make it easier to use.

By JC

Good article on Wired about how Windows XP mangles wifi while attempting to make it easier to use. I’ll note that in my fairly limited experience, it works quite well with laptops that have built-in wifi and came with XP installed… but when you’re using, say, a linksys WUSB11 or something, it will continually choke at random and magically fix itself. And it REALLY hates service pack 2 and the firewall.

“It will and does lose connection for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and then picks it up again, seemingly randomly,” Gilmore said. “At first, it was so aggravating. And now, it’s considered a normal factor of working with Windows.”

Wired does provide somewhat of a fix for dropped connections, though:

  1. Go to Control Panel.
  2. Choose Administrative Tools.
  3. Select Services. A two-pane window comes up.
  4. In the right-hand pane, scroll down and click Wireless Zero Configuration.
  5. Click Stop the Service. A progress bar may come up briefly.
  6. Click Start the Service. Again, a progress bar may come up.
  7. Close the Services window. At this point, Fleishman said, the connection should come back.

A better fix might be to disable the stuff that lets XP manage your Wifi connection and using the control software that came with your card, but sometimes those don’t install on XP.

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