How to set up a direct Wi-Fi connection in Windows XP? (page 6 of 6)

Disconnecting and Reconnecting

To disconnect from the ad hoc network, right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon on Network Connections folder and click "View available wireless networks". Select the ad hoc network name, and click Disconnect.

Wireless Network Connection disconnect dialog

Figure: To disconnect from an ad hoc network from the Wireless Network Connection window.

By default, your computer will reconnect automatically if both computers are within range and the ad hoc network has been set as the first network on the Preferred network list. To change this automatic connection especially for security purpose, open Wireless Network Connection properties window. On Wireless Networks tab, under Preferred networks select the ad hoc network name and click Properties to open the ad hoc network properties window. On Connection tab, uncheck "Connect when this network is in range".

disabling automatic connection from Wireless Network Connection properties

Figure: To disable automatic connection via the ad hoc network name properties.

Known problems for troubleshooting

- Wireless Networks tab does not appear on Wireless Network Connection properties window. You must enable Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) service on Windows XP from the wireless utility (configuration software) that came with your Wi-Fi adapter. But if your adapter can not work with WZC, use the wireless utility to set up an ad-hoc connection. On both computers, set the same channel number, SSID, and encryption type. Also enable peer-to-peer networking or ad hoc mode for each Wi-Fi adapters.

- Can not connect from the second computer to the first computer during ad hoc network setup. This may be caused by problems in your wireless network adapters. Check whether the adapter is working properly from the Device Manager. If you use a USB Wi-Fi adapter, attach the adapter firmly to a USB connector or cradle.

- The ad hoc network has been connected, but you can't access the shared resources. This might happen because  both computers need more time to refresh IP addresses and other setup details. Wait for a couple of minutes. Check the status details from Network Connections folder on both computers. To speed up the process, you can click "Repair this connection" under Network Tasks on Network Connections folder. You can also ping the other computer through Command Prompt. Another possible cause is program blocking by Windows Firewall or other personal firewall software installed in your computer. Here is the solution.

- Common situations that might hinder your ad hoc network setup: non-compatible Wi-Fi adapters, physical obstructions, range, and interference from other wireless devices or networks. And although most Wi-Fi adapters support peer-to-peer (ad hoc) networking, some Wi-Fi adapters were not designed for ad-hoc networking.