What can be the reason that Windows XP does not show WPA-encrypted wireless networks?

The laptop I have problems with is an older model (Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100) with Windows XP SP3 on it, fresh install.

The wireless network card in it is an Agere product that lists as "Toshiba Wireless LAN Mini PCI Card".

The networks showed up perfectly before I first tried to connect to one (it was set to WPA2). The connection failed (the card supports WPA only), then something must have happend and Windows hides these networks now.

A manually configured WPA setup via Windows' own wizard works, I'm using it right now. The network just won't show up in the list of available network on its own.

I suspect that XP incorrectly set a flag somewhere that this network card does not support WPA. Is there such a flag, and if so, how can I change it back?

  • Not an answer as I can't say it will fix it, but, if this was me, I would go in to device manager and right click the device and do uninstall... then do a scan for hardware changes and allow it to reinstall - this should reset all settings and be a lot quicker than hunting for them. – William Hilsum Oct 20 '11 at 7:36
  • Not sure that'll work William as pretty sure Windows keeps a log of Wifi networks connected to, settings and favourites etc... – HaydnWVN Nov 22 '11 at 12:06
  • Hi, I once had a similar problem with an old WiFi card of mine. The problem was that the card just didn't support anything at all other than WEP, and unsecured networks. My solution was simple: I went to the manufacturer’s website, and downloaded a newer version of the driver. Perhaps the same will work for you. – TSJNachos117 Aug 15 '13 at 6:23

A quick search pulled up that WPA is supported on that laptop (if that were not the case, it would be a hardware limitation which couldn't be turned on by a flip of the switch).

Try looking on Toshiba's site or Agere's site for updated drivers for the wireless card.

  • If you read again, you find that I already have a WPA connection working. I don't need updated drivers. Besides, Toshiba does provide any and Agere has long been bought by LSI. All I need is that the WPA SSIDs also show up in the Wireless Zero Config wizard. – Tomalak Oct 29 '10 at 5:19
  • As they show up and are obviously working, what happens if you manually specify the settings in the Toshiba program? Then get it to scan again? The fact they're now 'hidden' is more a program limitation than a windows one... Look for something along the lines of 'Find/Display new/available networks' As it may be turned off as it thinks you've connected to one... :) – HaydnWVN Nov 22 '11 at 12:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.