I supplied a new PC to a customer.
He was retired, so he saved some money by getting his son to install a corporate XP.
But once he got it back, he couldn’t get the wireless internet link working.
So I pop over, enter the WEP details (the wireless router had been setup a long time ago, so I didn’t want to go change it).
But no matter what I tried, I just couldn’t see any networks to connect to.
So, I figure I haven’t much choice, I’ll need to connect directly to the router via ethernet, and setup a WPA network… I’ve developed a strong dislike for WEP.
So I setup the WPA-PSK settings in the router, reboot, and so far I can see the router.
I disconnect the ethernet cable, but when I try to connect to the wireless network, it just fails silently. No error messages, and no indication that there is a problem.
I check that XP is managing the wireless network connection, DHCP is running correctly, but after looking at countless wireless networks, this one doesn’t want to work properly.
So I find myself doing what I often do in this situation: I start to aimlessly browse the network settings.
Thats when I stumble across the cause:
In the “wireless network connection properties”, click on the “wireless networks” tab, and then click on the advanced button (not the advanced tab, the button near the bottom of the window).
And up pops a seldom used “networks to access” window.
Ordinarily, its set to “any available network”. If I’m setting up XP, I usually change it to “infrastructure networks only”… but in this case, it was set to “ad hoc networks only”.
Obviously there are people out there who still use ad hoc networks (I can’t see the point anymore. It was a useful a when access points were much more expensive, but not anymore).