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PCMIA Wireless Card configuration - WEP - Help needed please

Posts: 5
Registered: 30-07-2007

PCMIA Wireless Card configuration - WEP - Help needed please

OK - Here's one for the techies:-

I bought a cheapie (eBay) PCMIA wireless card for my laptop, which runs XP SP2. The card is an Ergenic WL-003 (FCC ID 07J-GL242201-MT0 - I believe that it has a Texas Instruments chipset). My router is a Netgear DG834G.

I am using the supplied PCMIA card utility ('22M WLAN Adapter') to manage the card (I have turned off 'Let Windows handle this device' in card properties). So far, so good...

The card has options for either 'WEP' or 'Encryption disabled'

The card connects perfectly at 22 Mbps and gives me access to both my network and the net, however it will ONLY do so if I am running with WEP disabled. Signal strength is great and I can use the laptop anywhere in the house. In this, connected, state the laptop sees and reports the correct SSID and MAC address of the router and vice versa. The moment I try to run with WEP enabled on both devices however, no connection is possible; the laptop can see the network, reports the correct channel and that the router is WEP'd but the two devices won't talk.

Authentication mode is Open on both card and router. SSIDs are identical. The laptop sees the network and that it is WEP encrypted. Channel numbers are correct (and I have tried all 13 pairings). Card security is set at 64 bit and it makes no difference which default key is chosen. I tried using 128 bit but that makes no difference either.

I used Snadboy's Revelation v2 to confirm that the password asterisks for the card were exactly what I had entered.

I have tried both ASCII and Hex password key strings.

Zone Alarm and Windows firewall are turned off (it makes no difference, but I had to try to be sure)

Card configuration is as follows:-

Antenna RX - Both (Antenna 1 and 2)
Antenna TX - Antenna 1
Authentication Mode - Open
Desired Basic Rate Set - 1,2,5.5,11,22 Mpbs
Desired BSS Type - Any
Desired Channel - 1 (same as router: I have tried all 13)
Desired SSID - Wireless (same as router)
Des. Supported rate set - 1,2,5.5,11,22
Des. TX Rate - Auto
Fragmentation threshold - 4096
Mode 4x - off
RTS Threshold - 4096
Short Preamble - Off
WEP - Enabled (strangely, the card connects perfectly to the router when router encryption is off, which makes me think that there's something I've missed)

If I enable Wireless Zero in XP, and try to use Windows to manage the card, I can't connect AT ALL - not even when the router is running unencrypted. I have tried (five times) deleting and reinstalling the card/wireless network via Device Manager, so I am now on 'wireless connection 5' - if anyone knows how to safely delete my previous failed wireless connections from the Registry, plese let me know.

I am now completely stumped: I can connect, but not securely (all I can do at present is turn on access control based on the laptop MAC number and turn off broadcast of SSID, which I suppose is better than nothing). It would be interesting to see what the wireless card is actually sending as a WEP code, but I haven't got any appropriate sniffer software (and even if I had, I wouldn't know what to do with it...).

If anyone out there can suggest a way forward before the bags under my eyes and the pile of hair beside my desk get any deeper, my gratitude would know no bounds.


PCMIA Wireless Card configuration - WEP - Help needed please

I would try turning on 'allow windows to manage my wireless connection' then remove the current connection from your preferred networks, by going into network connections/wireless network connection and clicking on 'change avanced settings' then the tab 'wireless networks'
Select each of the betworks in turn and click on 'remove'

Disable wireless on your laptop.

Set up your router to enable WEP and record the WEP Key, ensure that the SSID on the router is broadcast at this point.

Turn your wireless back on on your laptop and it should automatically detect that there is a network within range (If not go into settings/ network connections/ wireless network connection and 'click refresh network list')
Select your network and click 'connect'. It will then ask you for the WEP code. Type this into both boxes and click OK and you should be connected.

I would then access your router by keying in the IP address supplied (usually beginning 192.)and disable the SSID broadcast to aid security.

I cannot comment on the specific card utility, but this solution should work OK.
Posts: 5
Registered: 30-07-2007

Thanks Belly

I tried everything you suggested, but eventually gave up and bought a USB dongle which does the job properly (and is also a lot faster and has more security options than the cheapie card I had previously installed). Older and wiser now - not all eBay 'bargains' are as good as they look in print..

Thanks anyway