Help me make wireless setup easy for our end-users
October 25, 2007 4:54 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way to build an installation package that would setup a Wireless Access Point along with security key (WEP) using Windows XP?

I'm looking for a way to be able to offer a download that when run would completely setup an access point as a preferred network with all security settings put in. I need to avoid having to give out the WEP key to the end user (Yes, I know WEP is unencrypted and easy as hell to figure out but I've fought that battle before and this is what I'm stuck with). Are there any files in XP that store this information that can be modified or a way to do this from a packaged msi, batch script, etc?
posted by genial to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Look into setting up RADIUS and WPA2-EAP with dynamic keys.

You will have to download a patch for Windows XP to support WPA2, but it works. You can use PEAP to set a user/password to authenticate as well from Windows. Basically the wireless connects to your AP which talks to a RADIUS server - based on MAC address for example and setups the the dynamic key. You can also use PEAP to require a user/password.

I have done this with Mikrotik routers on a city wide level.

XP Patch
posted by evilelvis at 5:52 AM on October 25, 2007

Best answer: Use a scripting tool like AutoIT or AutoHotkey. You can very easily put together an executable package that would actually run through the dialogs as if the user was doing it themselves.

I foresee two potential issues though:

1> Are you sure all your intended users are allowing Windows to manage wireless? Some may be using the proprietary management software that came with their computers, like Intel ProSet for example.

2> Do you know whether or not your users are running with Administrative privileges? That's not to say you can't script around that as well, given the appropriate credentials, but it could be a hurdle.
posted by JaredSeth at 5:56 AM on October 25, 2007

Response by poster: evilelvis, I am not in charge of that decision nor will I ever convince those who are that change is a good thing.

JaredSeth, I didn't realize you could wrap AutoIT functions into an executable. That just might work. We can just tell the users they need to be Administrators of their machine (most are anyway, students on our campus) and run through some instructions to make sure they have Zero-Config setup and not something 3rd party.

posted by genial at 7:27 AM on October 25, 2007

Best answer: Following the AutoIT trail I also happened upon this post in the MSFN forums that has a script prebuilt to do just this thing. Thought I would throw it in here for anyone else looking to do this.
posted by genial at 7:34 AM on October 25, 2007

Just give them the key. Once their wireless is set up, they can see it anyway.
posted by flabdablet at 8:28 AM on October 25, 2007

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