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No wireless list when using XP Wireless Zero Configuration

by sod78 / September 20, 2008 6:26 PM PDT


I have a really weird problem and i am not sure what went wrong. I will try to make it as descriptive as possible. I am using windows xp pro on my Asus laptop with windows wireless zero configuration on.

1) The wireless list (View wireless network) is not showing no matter how i refresh it with wireless zero configuration. The service is indeed started already on my xp.
2) All the old preferred network list are gone too and even if i add new one it won't show.
3) Somehow it still auto connect to the wireless point which i have been using or have set it to connect auto previously without me manually connecting to it (with and without wep) even when preferred network list is not showing up.
4) When i am connected(ipconfig + browser check), the network connectivity in the system tray still report disconnected. The system tray icon will only refresh itself when i manually go into network connection folder and refresh the whole folder. The list will still be empty even when i am connected.
5) I have two wireless adaptor, one internal built in the laptop, another USB external adaptor. Both of them are having same issues. The third party client utility for my wireless adaptor are having no problem detecting and connecting to the wireless points list.
6) My network stumbler has also no problem detecting the list of wireless points.

I really have no idea what went wrong but i am suspecting it could be one of the following reasons.

Probable cause:
1) I have previously unplug my external USB adaptor while netstumbler is running, causing netstumbler to freeze and i have to kill the process. This happen a few times in a row. Then i manually restart the WZC services.
2) Virus, my Nod32 recently detected virus called Win32/Patched.G.virus that is located in my c:\windows\system32\sens.dll file. I've already replaced this file with the original clean version of it from xp disc(same version same byte too). Quick search on google reveal sens.dll is used for System Notification Events but i have no clue how it will affect the wireless. So far this is the only virus i have encountered since i am quite cautious with how i use my system, eg, scheduled scanning, safe surfing with firefox, online virus scanning whenever i download .exe installer from non official website.

Steps taken:
1) I have already scanned my system overall with other spyware and anti virus applications and most came up clean at the moment.
2) I tried booting into linux with live cd and it has no problem detecting and connecting to the wireless point, so i am suspecting its only issue with my WZC.
3) Reinstalled my service pack 2 for xp pro and still no success. Reinstalling my xp pro isn't a viable option at this time and system restore is not available too since its disabled.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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Pretty interesting until I read...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 20, 2008 10:45 PM PDT

"3) Reinstalled my service pack 2 for xp pro and still no success. Reinstalling my xp pro isn't a viable option at this time and system restore is not available too since its disabled."

With system restore disabled we have to think that something odd is going on. That XP Pro is also a clue this is not a stock install. We usually take such a machine and set aside a hourly fee to work on it. We'll do the XP Repair install, turn all services and system restore back to stock settings. We'll also find the latest device drivers for motherboard and other parts. If they tamper with the OS again we just keep charging the 120 buck a hour to put it back to stock and working.

Hope that helps you see how we get it working again.

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Silly me
by sod78 / September 20, 2008 11:43 PM PDT

Yea, i guess it was silly of me to disable the system restore. I was following some xp tweak guide and disable system restore so i could squeeze some performance out from it. Indeed what a price to pay for it. So my only option now is to bring it back to the service centre and have them perform the XP Repair for me?

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If you are willing try this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 20, 2008 11:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Silly me

1. Turn the System Restore back on. (not going to fix that other issue but in case another step fails, we'll need this.)
2. Turn the Services to "stock". Here's a list I use ->

The table shows defaults for all the XP varieties I've encountered.

-> NOW REBOOT WITH THE STOCK SETTINGS and re-test. If it works, we're done.

Good luck and let's avoid the XP REPAIR INSTALL for now.

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Finally its working
by sod78 / September 21, 2008 10:01 PM PDT

Just a follow up, I finally figure whats wrong with it. The service COM+ Event System somehow was switched off. I turn it back on and its back to normal now. In case anyone else experiencing same issue, this could be it.

Looks like i manage to dodge the bullet there. Thanks for the help there Bob. I am suspecting it might be one of the spyware or antivirus which turn off the services/process in order to delete the sens.dll.

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Thanks for the report back.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 21, 2008 10:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Finally its working

If that link on stock services helped, then think about moving slowly when changing those items.

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