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How to configure Windows XP to manage Wireless Network Connections

Last revised:
Saturday, 24 December 2011
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How to configure Windows XP to manage Wireless Network Connections

This article will describe how to configure Windows XP to manage your computer's wireless connection. Many computer manufacturers create their own wireless networking software utilities and install it on their machines from the factory. If you are having trouble connecting, it can be easier to troubleshoot the issue if you allow Windows to manage your connections. Since there are so many different, manufacturer-specific wireless interfaces, User Support Services does not provide support for any other utilities except the standard Windows interface.


  • You must have a wireless device installed on your computer, and be running Windows XP.
  • In order to access PSU's wireless networks, you must have an ODIN account or temporary wireless account obtained from User Support Services.


  1. Click on the Start menu and navigate to 'Control Panel' (if you do not see Control Panel, choose Settings, then Control Panel as seen in the screen capture on the right.'
    Accessing Control Panels, Windows XP Theme OR Accessing Control Panels, Windows Classic Theme
  2. In the upper-left corner there will be a window that says either 'Switch to Classic View' or 'Switch to Category View.' If it says Switch to Classic View, click it; you should now see many more icons listed on the right side of this window.
  3. Double click on the 'Network Connections' icon.
    Network Connection icon
  4. Double click on 'Wireless Network Connection' icon.
    Find the Wireless Network connection
  5. Click the 'Properties' button.
    Wireless Status Window, click Properties button
  6. The Wireless Network Connection Properties window will come up, you need to make sure the two check boxes at the bottom are checked; Show icon in notification area when connected and Notify me when this connection has limited or no connectivity.
    Ensure notification icons are setup by checking appropriate boxes
  7. Click on the Wireless Networks tab and make sure the Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings box is checked.
    Make sure Windows is controlling your wireless adapter by checking the box
  8. Click OK. Your computer should now be using Windows' built-in wireless configuration utility.


  • If you recieve an error message informing you that you cannot enable Windows XP's wireless configuration utility, or if the check box mentioned in Step 7 above is greyed out, you may have to disable your computer manufacturer's wireless utility from within that program. Refer to your computer's support documentation, or contact the USS Helpdesk for assistance.
  • Occasionally, an error informing you that the 'Wireless Zero Configuration' service is not running will display after you attempt step 7. This is a Windows service that may be disabled by third-party wireless utilities, and must be re-enabled in order to use the Windows wireless configuration utility. Note that modifying running Windows services can adversely affect your computer's operation, and should only be attempted by advanced users. If you are uncomfortable modifying the inner workings of your operating system, contact the USS Helpdesk for assistance. To enable the Wireless Zero Configuration service, follow the steps below.
    1. Click on the Windows 'Start' button and select 'Run.' In the field that comes up, type services.msc. Click 'OK.'
    2. You will now be presented with a list of all the Windows services currently running on your computer. Scroll to the bottom of the list and right-click on the Wireless Zero Configuration. Select 'Start' from the context menu. Do not modify or stop any other services or you may impair the functionality of your computer.