Sunday, July 6, 2008

SP3 & D-Link

I have this old laptop I got off of eBay years ago. By today's standards it's underpowered and overweight, but it still works fine and I got it for a song. I suppose if I was one of those people who lives a wireless, mobile life I'd have upgraded by now - but I only rarely find a need to use the laptop, so it spends most of it's life in its bag.

Because it isn't a powerhouse, and Windows can be a bit of a resource hog, I have it set up as a dual boot with Linux on the other partition. When I do fire it up it I usually just boot into Linux, since it boots faster and is a lot more responsive on that hardware than Windows. But there are occasions I need to use a program that hasn't been ported to Linux, or one time at a hotel my wireless card would authenticate to the hotel's network in Windows, but refused to do so in Linux - so for the time being Windows is going to stay in residence on that hard drive.

However, since I don't boot into Windows XP very often it doesn't get updated either. And usually when I'm using it the anti-virus/anti-spyware scan kicks in and I hit "cancel" because it draws the machine down to a crawl. So I decided this weekend I'd finally boot into Windows and do the updates and the scans.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 is out now, so I downloaded and installed it. The update actually went pretty smoothly until I rebooted and lost my wireless connection!

I have an old D-Link DWL-G630 Rev. A "Wireless G Aircard" which came with the laptop. It was still lighting up, and the D-Link software showed my wireless network, but I couldn't actually connect to it. D-Link has a fix for SP3 problems with the DWL-G630 on their site - but it's only for the Rev. E cards! A little more research via Google revealed that SP3 replaces a .DLL file that kills the card. Here's what I tried, and what ultimately worked:

  1. Uninstalled the D-Link utilities and drivers.
  2. Navigated to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\wlanapi.dll and deleted the file.
  3. Reinstalled the D-Link utilities and drivers.

Card now works! I tried doing an uninstall-reinstall without manually deleting the wlanapi.dll file first and that didn't work, the card was completely dead. I'm just glad it worked and I wasn't looking at buying a new wireless card. Hope that helps anyone else with this card in their laptop :)