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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Problems with AirPort and XP

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Hey! I recently installed an AirPort Extreme Card on my Rev. A iMac G5, and was very pleased to see that after turning on Personal Web Sharing on System Preferences and configuring an AirPort network with WEP encryption, my brother's iBook connected to the internet almost flawlessly (except for the fact that strangely, Microsoft Messenger won't connect to the server at all - more on that on the post immediately next to this one).

Now, I attempted to do the same feat with my father's Sony VAIO with XP MCE, and while it once connected to the network, web pages wouldn't load at all... I've checked all the options, the passwords, etc. (yes, Airport Internet Sharing is active on the Sharing tab, as are Personal Web Sharing and Windows Sharing, both on the Services and Firewall tabs), and now, it won't even connect. The Wireless LAN starter thingy from Sony won't help, either. All it does is bringing up that hideous Wireless network chooser from XP (as if I didn't know how to open it in the first place, after all those baloon pop-ups appeared from the taskbar, ugh).

Two different networks will appear (they both bear the name of my iMac, so that means XP is at least detecting them, with maximum signal strenght): one "Computer-to-Computer" network, with an icon depicting two laptops connected wirelessly, and which asks me for the WEP password, but then fails to connect; the other is a regular network connection, with an icon depicting an antenna, and which fails even to ask me for the password. It shows an error dialog saying I may be out of range (when the signal is in its maximum strenght... WTF?).

<rant> I f'ing HATE Windows!! </rant>

Any suggestions as to what is going wrong in my setup? It surely seems to be properly configured on MY side of the fence... I don't know about that mangled XP beast, though... Any help would be much appreciated!
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Hey again!

I tried de-activating WEP encription, and guess what: It actually works! I can browse the web on my father's VAIO, and it works like a charm. BUT I DON'T WANT TO HAVE AN UNPROTECTED HOME NETWORK!...

Besides, my neighbour also has a wireless network, so, NO, I'm not doing it! I'm not opening my network just like that, no way! If he uses encryption, then I must, too (heck, I'd have to even if he didn't)!

I've tried 40-bit encryption, and 128-bit encription, with 5 and 13-character passwords, just like Apple recommends on AirPort settings to maximize compatibility, to no avail. From AirPort settings: "If you plan to share your Internet connection with non-Apple computers, use a 5 character for a 40-bit WEP key, and a 13 character pasword for a 128-bit WEP key."
And Windows XP MCE WON'T connect to my iMac, no matter which kind of encryption I use.

Please, PLEASE help, I don't want to have to hire a technician just to tick some checkboxes on that god-awful Windows thing (let alone on my iMac, no one fiddles with MY setup but myself...). I checked and double-checked everything, and now that I know the problem seems to lie in encryption, what can possibly be wrong with it??

Again, since nobody seemed to care before, ANY HELP would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks!

[edit: nevermind guys, everything (except for printer sharing) is working fine now, WITH encryption! I eventually figured it out... ]
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for the sake of others, go ahead and post what worked for you - that way your solution will help others Thanks for the detailed posts
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Originally Posted by deus_ex_machina
for the sake of others, go ahead and post what worked for you - that way your solution will help others Thanks for the detailed posts
Oh, sure... If only I can remember what I did [kidding]

So, I didn't change a thing on my iMac's setup. I configured both AirPort and my network with a 128-bit WEP key (13-character wide, just like Apple recommends). All fine and dandy on my side of the fence.

On Windows XP MCE, I first tried connecting to the network, and it would indeed ask me for the password, but that'd be all. It wouldn't connect to the web at all. So, I checked my iMac network's "Properties". There was only ONE setting wrong: the kind of encryption key (WEP) was set as "Open" instead of "Shared" (I'm not sure if these are the correct terms, as all OSes here at home are in portuguese). While I don't exactly understand the full scope of this "open/shared" setting, I read about it in XP's help system, and it surprisingly made enough sense to me. So, I changed that minor detail, and everything works fine now.

It was one of those rare ocasions in my life when some Microsoft's help system actually helped, but it still was actually me who solved the problem on a trial & error basis anyway
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