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I have two machines - one is running Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit and the other is running Windows 7 Starter Edition (32-bit).

The Ubuntu machine is connected to the Internet via the eth0 interface. That machine also has a wireless network interface (wlan0) that is currently functioning as an ad-hoc network.

I can connect to the ad-hoc network just fine with the Windows machine but each time I wish to do so, I must manually initiate the connection and enter the password.

Is there some way to instruct Windows to automatically connect to this network (an option I have for standard wireless networks but not ad-hoc networks)?

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Have you tried using netsh with wlan connect ? In my vista it works. – Ankit Mishra Oct 3 '12 at 8:04

This is a Starter edition of Windows 7 and, according to Microsoft:

Ad hoc networking. A computer running Windows 7 Starter can't create an ad hoc network (also called a computer-to-computer network), but it can be part of an ad hoc network. Ad hoc networks are often used for a specific purpose, such as playing a multiplayer computer game.

Networking in Windows 7 Starter

You may start the ad hoc connection with netsh as pointed in comments but the password must be entered each time. Windows 7 Starter edition can't remember the password like in professional edition... (same problem with the command runas for example: it's a "feature"...)

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Why don't you just use your Ubuntu machine in infrastructure mode as a wifi hotspot just like any router/access point instead of ad-hoc mode?

Otherwise if you really need ad-hoc, you can place a shortcut to

netsh wlan connect YOURSSID

in your startup folder. (Same concept as @harrymc without using task scheduler).

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There is no really automatic way of doing so in Windows, but here are some possibilities.

The article Connect to Wi-Fi Ad-Hoc Networks Automatically with Windows Vista uses the Windows Scheduler to schedule the connection to the ad-hoc network 1 minute after login. This will supposedly fail if another network connection is already established.

Maxidix Wifi Suite is a commercial product with trial that supports auto connections to ad-hoc networks. At the moment it's on sale for $10 instead of $30. (I have no experience with this product.)

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