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Every 3 or so reboots, I open up the web browser but there is no network connectivity. I check the wireless network link and it's down, unable to connect to any wireless networks in range because the "Wireless Zero Configuration" service failed to start on computer startup.

If I open up the services dialog and manually start up the WZC service, I can then connect to wireless networks without any problems.

What makes this difficult to diagnose is its unpredictability - some startups are fine, others the service fails to start.

I always shutdown my laptop properly, and never hibernate it.

Any ideas what could be causing this?

Update:

I can see the following errors in the Service Event Viewer which were logged when my computer was booting up:

Error 1:

The IP address lease 192.168.0.3 for the Network Card with network
address XXXXX has been denied by the DHCP server 192.168.0.1 (The
DHCP Server sent a DHCPNACK message).

Error 2:

The Genesys Logic USB Controller NT 5.0 service failed to start due
to the following error: 
The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because
it has no enabled devices associated with it.

Error 3:

The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load: 
KPSYSDRV

Error 2 doesn't seem related, but errors 1 and 3 look suspicious.

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are there any error messages in the eventlog that shed some light on this? Are the dependencies of WZO-starting up as expected? See any error messages prior to the failure of WZO in the eventlog –  pavsaund Jul 29 '09 at 10:55
    
I assume this is on Windows XP? –  Ivo Flipse Jul 29 '09 at 11:00
    
@pavsaund - I added the event viewer messages. @Ivo - Yes, windows XP. –  LeopardSkinPillBoxHat Jul 29 '09 at 11:08
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I suggest you disable WZC and use your vendor's manager (or any that supports your hardware)

Disable Wireless Zero Configuration in Windows XP

If you are running a wireless card on Windows XP and have experienced problems maintaining a connection to your wireless router, I highly recommend that you disable the "Wireless Zero Configuration" service.

The Wireless Zero Configuration service allows your network card to automatically select and connect to preferred networks as they become available. On my home desktop computer with a Gigabyte 802.11g wireless card, I only ever want to be connected to one wireless network and thus have no need for a service that is automatically scanning for different wireless networks. I found that my wireless card would frequently (every 10 minutes or so) drop my wireless connection for just a moment, long enough to kill any connection-oriented applications (like FTP or AIM) and force me to reconnect.

By disabling this service, I noticed a huge improvement in the short "drops" of wireless connectivity. I can now have an active FTP, BitTorrent, or chat session running wirelessly and not worry about it being dropped.

To access this service and other Windows services, you can browse to the Control Panel, then Administrative Tools and finally double-click on Services.

Alternatively, you can launch Windows Run, type services.msc and hit OK.

alt text

From the services window you will want to scroll all the way down to Wireless Zero Configuration and right-click the name, then click Properties.

alt text

From the Service Status area choose Stop to stop the service.

From the Startup Type drop-down menu, choose Disabled so that the service doesn't startup the next time you start Windows XP.

alt text

I found that disabling this service was very helpful, however your results may be different. If you disable this service and then are unable to connect to your router after you restart, try enabling this service again to determine if disabling the service caused the problem. Otherwise make sure your SSID (wireless network name) is in your list of preferred networks.

If things are working properly, your wireless connection should function like a wired connection, and you shouldn't have to worry about "dropped" connections in Windows XP ever again!

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Possibly, but I have had this laptop for many years (3-4) and only recently it has started playing up - and I haven't installed any additional software recently. It could be spyware that I didn't choose to install though. –  LeopardSkinPillBoxHat Jul 29 '09 at 11:12
    
Or off course do it the other way around and kill the other one like suggested. –  Ivo Flipse Jul 29 '09 at 11:14
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Wireless management software tend to have bad reputation. Switch to the native windows XP tool - you should have that option under the zero configuration tool - and let th OS handle the network connections for you.

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Actually, Wireless Zero Configuration is the native XP service which manages this. I have Intel ProSet installed too, but by default that is disabled and WZC is used instead. I wonder if there's a clash between the 2 programs? –  LeopardSkinPillBoxHat Jul 29 '09 at 11:06
    
I'm pretty sure there is. –  Ivo Flipse Jul 29 '09 at 11:10
    
Yup, Cancel the non-native one. –  Adam Matan Jul 29 '09 at 11:12
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This happens all the time with 3rd party software from the likes of Belkin. Even the older Dell laptops have a utility that will take over the wireless. Pointless software if you ask me.

I agree with Udi in saying disable any wireless management software.

Failing this, you can create a login script to automatically turn on the service.

The commands I'd put in the script are simply as follows

net stop wzcsvc
net start wzcsvc
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