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Troubleshooting a 802.11g adapter

I have an 802.11b Linksys Wireless 4 Access Port Router in my home office. Originally, I had two computers, each with a Linksys WMP11 PCI card. Although one system was running XP and the other ME, it seemed to work fine. However, I just bought a laptop with built-in in 802.11g wireless capabilities. It will connect via Ethernet but it will not recognize the wireless network at all! I've checked the channels, the network name, everything I can think of. Any input?
You tell me that your HP Pavillion zv5120 laptop came with a Broadcom 54g MaxPerformance 802.11g adapter. This adapter has been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance for interoperation with 802.11b networks, so I feel pretty certain your problem is in your configuration.

An 802.11g adapter can usually discover and work with an 802.11b router unless it is configured incorrectly. For example, if you select the adapter and go to its properties panel, then click on Configure and choose the Advanced tab, there may be adapter-specific parameters listed there, and one of those parameters may control whether the adapter operates in g-only mode or b/g mode, or turbo g mode. You of course want b/g mode. There may also be a parameter that limits the link speed(s) your adapter will accept, which should include 11/5.5/2/1 Mbps.

You should also verify that the XP Wireless Zero Config service is running on your notebook. If this service is running, your notebook will "see" your WLAN in Available Wireless Networks. If it is not, it won't see any networks. Use the Services icon in your Control Panel / Admin Tools to check whether this service is running.

Also, according to HP's Web site, your notebook may have "an on/off button on the front or side that corresponds to a blue or red light. Press the button to turn the wireless adapter on."

In the unlikely event that you manually typed your network name (SSID) into your notebook's Wireless Network Configuration panel, keep in mind that capitalization and spaces count and must match exactly.

Finally, if you have security enabled on your Linksys router, there could be a variety of security parameter mismatches at work here. Eliminate other possibilities first, then look carefully at security parameters.

This was last published in May 2004

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