Starting Windows WirelessZeroConfiguration service

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I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem, but I was recently trying to get a nice new MIMO PCI card installed on a brand new and clean Windows XP machine. I have some experience with these things, and had done all the usual installation things, but the card was refusing to connect to my wireless router (which was working perfectly happily with several other machines, including a notebook sitting right next to the desktop in question.

The software utility which came with the card was refusing to play ball and would not work at all (the latest in a series of in my opinion slightly flakey offerings from D-Link). But unlike the other D-Link adaptors I have used there was no way of using Windows’ built in Wireless Zero Configuration service to try to connect to the network. The problem was the service was not running on the computer, although the necessary file (wzcsvc.dll) was in the Windows/System32 directory.

Apparently this service is not installed by default on your PC unless it comes bundled with a wireless card, which I guess makes sense. But it was only today that I discovered how to get the service running – here are some pointers…

You obviously need a compatible wireless network adapter in order to use the service. Skip the rest of this paragraph if you are not techy… The adapter and its Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) driver must support NDIS Object Identifiers (OIDs), which are used to query and set device and driver behavior. The wireless adapter scans for available wireless networks and passes the network names (also known as Service Set Identifiers or SSIDs) to the Wireless Zero Configuration service. Your wireless manufacturer’s Web site should be able to tell you if your network adapter is compatible – in practise, most modern adaptors should support this.

To install the WZC service, follow these steps. ..

Before you start, make sure Windows Explorer is configured to display hidden files. If it isn’t, open Windows Explorer, click Tools, and select Folder Options. Go to the View tab and check the “Show hidden files and folders” option, then uncheck “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).” Click OK when finished.

Click the Start button, and then click ‘My Network Places’. If you can’t see this, click on ‘My Computer’ and there should be a link to ‘My Network Places’ under ‘Other Places’

Under the ‘Network Tasks’ heading, click ‘View Network Connections’.

In the Network Connections window, under LAN or High Speed Internet, select your Wireless Network Connection. If you have not yet installed your Wireless adaptor, and no Wireless Network Connection is available, select your Local Area Connection icon instead. Right click and select Properties from the context menu.

In the Local Area Connection Properties window, on the General tab, click the Install button.
In the Select Network Component Type window, under “Click the type of network component you want to install,” click to select the Service icon, then click the Add button.
In the Select Network Service window, click the Have Disk button, then the Browse button.
In the Locate File window, browse to the C:WindowsInf folder (this is a hidden folder). Click to select NETWZC.INF, then click the Open button.
In the Install From Disk window, click the OK button.
In the Select Network Service window, in the Network Service box, select Microsoft as the manufacturer, then click to select Wireless Zero Configuration.
Click the OK button.
At this point, because this is Windows, you’ll need to reboot your PC. With that completed, you should find that the Wireless Zero Configuration service has been successfully installed on your system and you should now have access to the Wireless Networks tab on the Wireless Network Connection icon’s Properties page.

Note: If you don’t see the Wireless Networks tab when you go back to the Properties page, the most likely reason is that the WZC service did not start. To initialize it, open Administrative Tools in Control Panel and select Services. Scroll down to Wireless Zero Configuration, right-click on it, and select Start. The service is now enabled, and the Wireless Networks tab will be visible in Network Properties.

Hope this helps.

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