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Trying to help my friend with her work XP laptop, which recently stopped seeing any wireless SSIDs except the SSID 'hpsetup' (presumably from a wireless-enabled HP printer).

Relevant information:

  • The laptop is a Lenovo T500 (Centrino 2 chipset) with XP SP3.
  • The network adapter is Intel WiFi Link 5300 AGN (built-in).
  • The latest version (13.5) of the Intel drivers only are installed, not the Intel config software, so XP is using the Wireless Zero-Config manager.
  • The wireless router is a NetGear WGR614 v7 with 802.11b/g. The SSID is broadcasting, and all the other laptops in the house can see and connect to it.
  • On the laptop, I have tried repairing the network connection, disabling power management, turning off 802.11a & n radio, and more... but it didn't help.
  • Some of the wireless settings are managed by Group Policy from her office (I get the "At least one of your changes was not applied successfully to your wireless configuration" message). It is enforced to connect to "Access point (infrastructure) networks only".

The real kicker is that my laptop does not an SSID named 'hpsetup' here, but it can see several broadcasted SSIDs including the one we want, while my friend's laptop doesn't see any SSID except 'hpsetup'.

Any suggestions?

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From an existing topic:

According to HP, and HP software that gets installed for a printer that could be connected via a network (either wired or wirelessly) will install HPSETUP just-in-case ... it's how HP keeps an eye out for a wireless printer. I think they are using it as a network listening device. I use HP printers over a wired network and the software always installs HPSETUP. I believe HP desktops and laptops come preloaded with this software as well.

Is the wireless switch on the front of the computer switched on?

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Yes, wireless is enabled, and Windows thinks the hardware is "functioning normally". I have also, of course, disabled and re-enabled the wireless NIC to see if it re-detects the SSIDs, but no go. – ewall May 23 '11 at 12:33
@ewall Try running a LiveCD of Ubuntu and attempt to connect to the network there. Let me know of the results. When you reply start with @emb1995, that way I can be notified of your response. Thanks! – evan.bovie May 23 '11 at 19:52
I won't be able to go to their house for a couple more days, but your idea of booting that laptop from a LiveCD makes sense--that could narrow down if there's a problem with the hardware and not the OS (which is more likely the cause!). – ewall May 24 '11 at 12:16

Its possible "hpsetup" has gotten stuck as a preferred network, which XP will try to connect to even if its not actually transmitting. To check, open Advanced settings on the Wireless network picker page, go to the Wireless Networks tab, and check listings under Preferred Networks. If "hpsetup" is there remove it.

share|improve this answer
Nope, 'hpsetup' is not in the list of preferred wireless networks. There are a bunch of other SSIDs which I thought about deleting (e.g. from airport hot-spots and such), but I didn't want to inconvenience my friend too much for something that probably won't help :( – ewall May 23 '11 at 12:36

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