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Is there a way for Windows 7 to connect to a wireless network before a user has logged in?

I have found no good answers to this question elsewhere. Some say it should already be happening if I am using Windows' connection management (WLAN AutoConnect, formerly WirelessZero), but I am using that, and it is not. I can sit at the login screen for as long as you please and it will not connect (watching the router from a separate PC), moments after I login it will connect.

Others have said that you need to use the manufacturer's connection management (not Windows'), and they can sometimes have the option for prelogin/prelogon connections, but I am using generic drivers. The device is a Netgear/Cisco WMP300N, with a Broadcom chipset. Netgear/Cisco and Broadcom all claim to not have drivers for Win7, but Win7 apparently comes with a functional driver.

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To further clarify: this is a home network, no active directory or anything like that. Just a wireless router and a desktop computer. Using WEP security. No tricky setup or 'funniness'. I want this computer to be available to the network after a power-on without having to physically go to it and login. –  EJ Mar 10 '10 at 5:34
    
what will you do before logging in ? just curious –  Ye Lin Aung Mar 10 '10 at 6:28
    
@mgpyone want the system to be able to run backups and such in the background without me having to log in. –  EJ. Apr 12 '10 at 18:33
    
Have you figured this out? Let me know what you've tried. –  sam yi Dec 8 '13 at 8:05
    
I've found this and it's not working for me... ehow.com/… –  sam yi Dec 8 '13 at 8:05
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migrated from serverfault.com Mar 10 '10 at 5:55

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1 Answer

Try adding an entry in the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run registry key.

In a command prompt, get the name of your profile by running netsh wlan show profile

Then in registry editor, add a string value to the above mentioned key. Call it anything, but its value should be something like

%comspec% /c netsh wlan connect name="<profile name>"

If there are no profiles available, make sure the automatically connect option is on (although from your question, it appears to be on).

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