Netgear wizard or utility

I've got a Netgear WG121 adapter and it can't connect to my WAP. I see my WAP at almost 100% signal strength but when I click "connect" everything stays red, the utility takes me back to the screen to enter my WEP pass phrase and clears the one that was there. I tried the Win XP configuration and get the pretty much the same result (using the actual key). I called Netgear tech support and they are the singuraly most worthless idiots on the planet. Anybody have any ideas?

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That's an all too common problem with different hardware vendors. The conversion between ASCII and Hex should be a simple, no brainer, easily duplicated, standard. Yet, vendors have often invented different algorithms for doing such a simple thing. The result is incompatibility when using ASCII WEP keys. I run into this so often on mixed systems, that I've gone to using Hex keys exclusively.

Note that you should use a Hex key on both sides of the puzzle (access point and client radios). I had the clever idea of using an ASCII key, and manually converting it to the equivalent Hex key with two of the known algorithms employed by various vendors. Some will even show you the conversion as it generates the keys. Well, it didn't work. For some unknown reason, it failed. So, I'm back to using Hex everywhere and have lived happily ever after.

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Jeff Liebermann

You may be running into a conflict between the XP auto-config and the Netgear utility. Turn off the Netgear utility and use XP's built in network setting mechanism. It should come up with a "new network found" balloon and give you the opportunity to enter your passphrase. While in there, you probably should change the configuration to only connect to "preferred" networks, as the default is to try to connect to ANY wireless network it finds.

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TV Slug

Can't guarantee the accuracy of this, but I've been told in some cases entering the key in decimal fails but entering it in hex works.

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