Vista Oddness

So I come back from 2gether08 all keen to start writing up about the two days and my Vista laptop refuses to find my wireless LAN.

So,  I run through the standard checklist.

1. Is the wireless LAN up? Yes, both Linux and XP boxes find it.

2. Is the wireless card in the laptop working? Yes, it finds the wireless LANs and can connect to a neighbourhood LAN.

3. Is there an error message? No, but eventually I drill down into the confused Vista network dialogs and find a line saying it had “connected with limited access”. So time for a quick search, the Microsoft KB article is not hugely useful and talks only about bridged LANS, which mine is not. Further articles do not identify any consistent fix. Things that have worked include changing the SSID or deleting the LAN details and starting again. Such varied “fixes” smack of coincidence, voodoo or a confused OS.

So I took the opportunity to redo the wireless settings on my router and change it to WPA2/PSK. I changed the settings in Vista and while I was pondering next steps it suddenly found the LAN.

So I suspect that there is a problem with Vista’s network preference settings which can occasionally corrupt. This is likely to be an intermittent problem so you might just want to keep an updated Registry savefile to hand but the fix seems to be to get Vista to recreate the settings, either by changing an entry in the wireless setup on the machine or by just deleting the settings and starting again.

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