WPA2 Missing From XP SP3

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by RCW139, Aug 23, 2011.

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  1. RCW139

    RCW139 Registered Member

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    My apologies if this is the wrong forum section. I wasn’t sure if this should be posted under ‘other security issues’, ‘other software’ or ‘hardware’. I sure hope someone here can help me…

    I have a Sony Vaio laptop that is about seven years old. It’s running Windows XP SP3. I was connecting to my wireless network with WPA2 encryption – ‘was’ being the key word. :(

    The laptop came preinstalled with XP SP1 and a partitioned hard disk. With all those years of Windows updates and service packs, the C: drive was nearing full. Add to that the many programs that have been installed/uninstalled (primarily various security suites and programs for work) during this time, I decided to use the recovery disks and start with a fresh system while also increasing the size of the C: partition.

    After the recovery was complete, I upgraded drivers for my components since most of the drivers were released pre-SP2. I then connected to Windows Update and installed all of those updates. With my system fully patched, I installed my security programs and set up my wireless connection.

    Therein lies my problem – I can no longer connect to my wireless network via WPA2. My only options are Open, Shared, WPA and WPA-PSK.

    I’ve been reading every article I can online and it seems others share this issue, but there are no solid answers to fixing it. I tried removing SP3 and installing Microsoft updates KB893357 and KB917021. While I don’t recall the exact wording, a message popped up that said they were already installed.

    My wireless card has the most recent drivers available from Sony’s website. I even ran Windows Hotfix KB953979 per a Microsoft Technet post. Another post said to remove the wireless card from the device manager and let Windows redetect and reinstall – that didn’t work for me, either.

    I was connecting with WPA2 prior to the reformat. My card does support it. I even had to go into my router’s settings to change it to allow a WPA connection for my laptop to connect to the internet.

    Is there anything I can do to get WPA2 encryption back? For what it’s worth, I reinstalled SP3 so that’s my current operating system. A huge thank you in advance for any advice!
     
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    try the latest drivers from wireless card manufacturer's site
     
  3. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    It's quite a common thing for old hardware not to support WPA2, generally fixed by newer drivers.

    Are you sure you're running the latest drivers for your wireless card? What card are you using and what driver version is it?
     
  4. RCW139

    RCW139 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the quick responses. The laptop has a LAN-Express AS IEEE 802.11 a/g miniPCI adapter. The latest driver is version 3.1.1.54 dated 06/21/2004. Yes, I’m aware this is ancient, but it’s the most recent driver on the Sony website.

    I’m certain this was the version I was using before the reformat, because I only download updates for this PC from Microsoft and Sony’s websites. There’s no upgraded hardware that would send me to a specific manufacturer’s website.

    This might be a dumb question, but where else would I find a newer driver for this card? I can’t find a website for LAN-Express. Are they still in business?

    Once again, thanks.
     
  5. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    Have you considered a Sony compatable wireless card that supports WPA2 Wireless cards are fairly inexpensive these days - this might avoid doing more damage investigating that the PC is the issue when it may not be.

    Some suggestions ...
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  6. jdd58

    jdd58 Registered Member

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    If you can find out what chipset your wireless card has you may find drivers at that site. For example, Broadcom, Realtek, Atheros, Ralink, etc. They usually have newer drivers than the laptop mfg site.

    I found a link to a forum describing your same problem and the solution. http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic154873.html
     
  7. RCW139

    RCW139 Registered Member

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    @jdd58: Thank you! I have the Atheros chipset and this sounds exactly like my problem. Now I know what drivers to look for and where to get started. Once again, a big thank you. :)

    @siljaline: If more recent drivers don't work, I will likely purchase a newer card. Call me stubborn :), but it just bugs me that I had WPA2 for a couple of years prior to my reformat (it was there when I set up my wireless router without any additional configuration), yet now it's nowhere to be found in my settings. I have copies of all my drivers (original and updated) saved to a USB drive -- It's been a few years, so if I installed a newer one along the way, I can't recall where I got it.

    To everyone, thanks for all of the quick replies and asssitance. :)
     
  8. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    Glad to have been of some help, RCW139 - best of luck and keep us posted.

    Regards,
     
  9. jdd58

    jdd58 Registered Member

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    You're welcome. As a side note, since WPA2 was working at one time you may simply have updated your drivers through Windows update.

    Good luck.
     
  10. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    This is a good point, Windows Update generally should not be used to update third party driver software. The vendor site should be the primary location to update software of this type.

     
  11. RCW139

    RCW139 Registered Member

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    Sorry for the delay in posting back. I'm curious -- Why is it not a good idea to update drivers through Windows Update? In my case, Atheros Communications doesn't offer updated drivers directly to consumers; they're only provided to manufacturers.

    Also, if I did previously get a driver from Windows Update, why wouldn't it show up again after my reformat? This is a learning experience for me, so I'd really appreciate your input.

    On that note, I have decided to simply purchase a newer wireless card for my laptop. After searching the web for updated drivers, the only sites that I can download them from (CNet, DriverGuide, etc.) include installers and such. I really don't want to deal with that garbage. Sigh, I'm getting ornery in my old age. :)

    Thank you for all the advice. It's been very much appreciated.
     
  12. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    I don't use WU to update drivers as a rule for third party software at the risk of sounding like a broken record. You may if you wish, I do not. If WU is the only place is which you may find the correct drivers - do so. If the vendor in question only offers drivers via WU, then you would be forced to use WU, but this not need be the case all the time.

    I have had poor experiences where WU incorrectly identified a device and offered drivers that I should have never installed. As a result of this many of the features of my ATI GPU I can no longer use.

    I believe that we discussed your best option was to purchase a new wireless card and avoid further confusion.

    Glad to have been of assistance and please feel free to post back if you should require further assistance.

    Thank you.
     
  13. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Updating drivers through Windows Update is fine, I've never had issues with it. I have however when it comes to GPU drivers, get those from ATI/NVidia/Intel.
     
  14. jdd58

    jdd58 Registered Member

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    I hate the installers also. For future reference you can extract the driver only from the exe by using a zip utility, (7zip, etc), right click and extract. Then find the folder with the drivers only.

    Here is a link for the Lan-Express mini-pci http://www.atheros.cz/atheros-wireless-download.php?chipset=22&system=1 Drivers only, no exe and no hoops to jump through.
     
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