Linksys WMP54G Wireless Adapter Freezing PC

I am using Win XP SP2 on a GenuineIntel PC. I have installed a Linksys WMP54G wireless on the PC. When I install the driver that came with the adapter the PC freezes - won't respond to mouse or keyboard. When I go into safe mode and remove the adapter using Add/ Remove Programs, the problem goes away but then I cannot access the Internet. There have been times in the past when I have managed to trick the PC by connecting using the LinkSys CD and then removing the CD driver at just the right time. Then the PC works fine with the Linksys hardware. Unfortunately I forget how I managed to do that in the past. Usually, when I remove the CD driver, I lose connectivity. If I don;t remove it, the PC freezes. However, it does indicate that the problem is with the driver rather than with the hardware. Any ideas of how I can get around this conundrum? I don't know why XP can't just recognize the hardware.

Many thanks in advance, Peter.

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PeterOut hath wroth:

Does the GenuineIntel PC have a manufactory and model number? More specifically, is it a commercially assembled product or something thrown together out of mail odor parts?

Did you try the PCI card in different slots? Did you install the software FIRST, before shoving in the PCI card?

You've trashed the driver. Uninstall it. Better yet, use System Restore to put your machine back to where it was before you started this adventure. Then, try again.

Ok, try this. Remove the driver. Plug in the card (violating the instructions). Plug-n-play will complain that it can't find the driver. That's fine. Now, try doing something useful with the computer and see if it hangs. If not, then card is probably ok. If it hangs, your card is probably fried.

Well, you can also test that problem. Install the driver, but not the card. Same problem?

No. My guess(tm) is a blown PCI card or totally trashed driver install. I've also seen such behavior when the machine is full of viruses and spyware. Check for these.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. If all else fails, try the card in a different XP computer. If it works there, then the card and the driver are fine. If not, the card is probably shot.

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Jeff Liebermann

It was manufactured by a local computer shop.


Actually this was the procedure I have used a number of times to test the problem out.

0/ I back up all my files (of course). 1/ Using the Hitachi disk utility, I erase the entire hard disk. 2/ I reformat and partitioned the disk and reinstall Windows XP, setting up an administrative account with administrated access and other accounts with limited access. 3/ Before connecting to the Internet, I install XP Service Pack 2 Spyblaster, and AVG antivirus. 4/ I then install the wireless driver.

OK. It gets to a point where Internet access comes up once I enter the WEP key. The Linksys installer tells me that after I click Next I will be asked to restart my PC. It is when I click Next at this point that the PC freezes. Instead of clicking Next, I R-clicked on the tool bar icon for the Linksys program and closed it. That was two days ago. Haven't had any problems since. I am typing this on the PC in question.

Thanks, Peter.

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PeterOut hath wroth:

Make and model of motherboard? It will give me a clue as to the quality. You might also want to check the motherboard manufacturers web pile for BIOS updates.

Also, hardware revision of the WMP54G? 1.0, 2.0, 4.0 or 4.1. I had some problems with a 1.0 card and finally gave up. However, no hangs.

Well, I've seen dead PCI slots. However, in the case of a PCI card, it probably doesn't matter if you install the software or card first.

Yech. The standard joke is: "Microsoft. What do you want to reinstall today?" You should not need to go to such extremes. At worst, go unto: "Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Hardware Profiles and make yourself a profile to do some experimenting. You can enable/disable/remove/add hardware in this profile, without affecting your original profile. When done and you've figured out what's wrong, then just delete it.

I also see a few minor problems.

  1. Just installing SP2 is not enough. There were a mess of wireless specific updates that came after SP2. Some might be prerequisites for the wireless PCI card install.
  2. What's the Hitachi disk utility? If it's not made for the specific motherboard (or generic XP for most anything), then it might be installing customized drivers and configurations that work just fine with a Hitachi laptop, but may not work with your desktop.
  3. If you have to add SP2, then you're using an old XP SP1 CD. You might find an XP SP2 CD more useful, less buggish, and faster.

WEP? You should be using WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK (or WPA-Personal). WEP is grossly insecure and nearly useless.

What? That's not the way I remember the WMP54G install. There's no reboot.

Do you have the most recent version of the installer or are you using the CD that came with the WMP54G.

Weird. I would guess(tm) that as soon as the driver tries to interrogate the card, it hangs the PCI bus. However, I can think of a few other things that might cause this problem, such as a broken driver, broken motherboard, bad motherboard BIOS, or too many devices on the same PCI IRQ line. If the PCI card uses DMA, there are a few other possible things to hang.

Check if the BIOS setup offers to let you tweak the IRQ lines that the WMP54G uses. If it does, then make sure you are NOT sharing an IRQ with the video card.

Other than that, the only way I know how to identify the culprit is by substitution. Try the card and driver in a different machine.

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