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 :)


Jeff said...

Thank you thank you thank you. This post rescued my D-link card after XP SP3 hosed it.

OffWorld Girl said...

It appears this fix will only work if you are using WPA security, not WPA2. While WPA2 is built into SP3 we never got updated drivers for the DWL-G630 Rev A cards that support WPA2. The only options are to either downgrade router security to WPA or get a new wireless card. :(