Win98SE and WPA-PSK incompatibility

I am having a problem getting my Win98SE notebook to connect wirelessly to my Netgear router, which has WPA-PSK security enabled. After extensive googling and reading on this newsgroup I realise that such an old OS as Win98SE is apparently incompatible with WPA-PSK. My current set-up is: Netgear Wireless ADSL Firewall Router DG834G with an iMac G5 connected through an Ethernet cable and an iMac G4 which connects (successfully) wirelessly through its built in Airport, Compaq Armada notebook running Win98SE with a Belkin PCMCIA card which has in the past connected with the same model router (but one which didn't have any security enabled) in another house.

I don't use the notebook a lot but I have found three options (apart from throwing out the notebook!) and would be glad of some advice:

  1. When I want to use the notebook, unplug my Netgear router and plug the notebook into my old BT Voyager broadband modem using my old USB cable (the notebook has no Ethernet slot). I'm not keen on this although it would be a work-around.

  1. Set the encryption on the router to WEP rather than WPA when I want to use the notebook, and then switch back. I believe from my reading that Win98SE would work with WEP? I can set up WEP on the router OK, but I'm not sure what I would have to set up on the Belkin settings.

  2. I have found some downloadable *WPA software* from McAfee:

which apparently enables a Win98 computer to use WPA. Is this a good idea, and does anyone know if it would work, or is there a better way?

The notebook doesn't have to connect wirelessly, but with no Ethernet slot in the notebook I believe there is no other choice, unless someone can advise otherwise.

Incidentally, the Belkin card registers (beeps on turn-on) and is shown in the taskbar, and its little green light is on. If I look at the card properties, it shows: Belkin 11Mbps Wireless Notebook Network Adapter. If I go to Start-Programs-Belkin PCMCIA WLAN Utility and select Belkin PCMCIA WLAN Monitor my Router SSID is shown but I get an Authentication Error with a message to Check Encryption Settings when I try to connect to the network.

I'm a novice at all this so having trouble fully grasping some of the technical terms and issues.

Reply to
Sally Thompson
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The link looks interesting.

An alternative could be Buffalo's Client Manager 2 (v2.1). This works with many old (non-Buffalo) PCMCIA cards providing WPA-PSK/TKIP, even WPA-AES for my Gericom card with RTL8180 chipset.

You haven't provided details about the Belkin card.

You could look for a PCMCIA to ethernet (cable) adapter.

Apparently you have a Win98 driver for the Belkin card, which is...?

Reply to
Axel Hammerschmidt

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006 17:01:34 +0100, Axel Hammerschmidt wrote (in article ):

Thanks for the reply. I think I've tracked down Buffalo Client Manager 2 (they are on Version 3 now) and will transfer it via my USB stick to see if it works.

Sorry, didn't realise those details would be useful. I think I have just about everything else written down. It's a Belkin 802.11b/11 Mbps Wireless Notebook Network Card, Model F5D6020 ver.2

OK, thanks for the tip. There seem to be hundreds out there. Any particular recommendation?

See above :-)

Reply to
Sally Thompson

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006 15:39:32 +0100, Sally Thompson wrote in :

No Microsoft support for WPA, and OS support has ended. Highly recommend upgrading to Windows XP, which works well, given enough memory, even on my old ThinkPad 600 (266 MHz Pentium II).

USB is problematic on Windows 98. I'd suggest a PC Card Ethernet adapter. Just about any will do that comes with a Windows 98 driver. and Provantage are good online sources.

Don't use WEP.

Haven't used it myself, but it reportedly works fine.

Reply to
John Navas

Sally Thompson hath wroth:

Windoze 98SE didn't have any native wireless support. Encryption support comes with the wireless device. What model and hardware version Belkin do you have?

Not much to setup on the Belkin. Just setup a profile in the wireless client manager (or whatever it's called) and tell it to use WEP. However, methinks the switching back and forth between WEP and WPA is going to get old very quickly. I would do whatever it takes to make everything use WPA encryption.

WSC works. After the trial period ends, the remaining software allows the use of WPA. I used it for WPA on one of my antique WinME laptops until recently (when the hard disk blew).

The other wireless client manager that adds WPA (and 802.1x authentication) is Funk Software (now part of Juniper):

formatting link
this costs about $50 after the 30 day trial.

What maker and model laptop do you have?

Duz the notebook have a PCMCIA slot? If so, you can plug in either a wired ethernet adapter or a wireless PCMCIA card. Verify that the slot is either 16 bit PCMCIA or 32 bit CardBus. A 16 bit card will fit in either slot, but a 32 bit CardBus card requires a CardBus slot in the laptop.

Same with a USB port. However, be advised that if it's only USB 1.1 instead of 2.0, you'll be limited to about 11Mbits/sec connection speed.

Yep. That's what I would expect from a WPA encryption failure.

Hint: You'll get less general answer if you kindly supply the makers and model numbers of your hardware.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

NB! Version 3 will not work with non-Buffalo cards. You must use version

2.1 (or 2.0).

Hmm! Atmel chipset. But try the Buffalo client (v2.1) anyway.

They're all the same. PC Cards (and PCMCIA) are obsolete. Try and find one that's cheap.

Reply to
Axel Hammerschmidt

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006 19:55:15 +0200, (Axel Hammerschmidt) wrote in :

While most are sufficiently serviceable for this application, they aren't "obsolete" and there are differences between different products.

Reply to
John Navas

Or you can get a usb to ethernet adaptor.. I have them on my lap-top they work great...

Reply to
gene martinez

Both Dell and Apple have gone from PC Cards to PC Express. We are after all discussing a laptop interface. And as far as someone considering wireless as an alternative, I respectfully disagree that the differences has any significence.

Reply to
Axel Hammerschmidt

the ones i have used for a long time were Xircom (which i think got bought by Intel). These were not cheap new, but since they were common should be easy to find 2nd hand?

i have used these things since the days of windows 3.1 - the awkward bit with all of the different design is the cable / connector.

The better ones use both slots of a dual PCMCIA slot, and had an RJ-45 jack inside the card. The one i have here is CardBus (so 32 bit) model RBE-100.

all the various network adaptor vendors seemed to make these things, so there are plenty of others around.

Reply to

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006 21:36:23 +0200, (Axel Hammerschmidt) wrote in :

Only on a few of the latest models.

Reply to
John Navas

On Mon, 07 Aug 2006 19:33:27 GMT, (gene martinez) wrote in :

Windows 98SE isn't great in the USB department.

Reply to
John Navas

Latest models are by definition few.

Reply to
Axel Hammerschmidt

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006 17:53:00 +0100, John Navas wrote (in article ):

OK. Not sure whether there's enough memory on there atm - will check it out.

Yes, I think from your reply and the others this is the way to go. Have found some on UK sites now I know what I'm looking for. I wasn't sure if I could use such a thing.

Point taken.

Thanks very much for your reply John; I have learnt a lot over the last few weeks from your replies to other posters and from reading your links.

Reply to
Sally Thompson

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006 17:54:27 +0100, Jeff Liebermann wrote (in article ):

It's a Belkin 802.11b/11 Mbps Wireless Notebook Network Card, Model F5D6020 ver.2

I think you are right but I thought it might be worth a shot!

Thanks. Good to know it works - and I've also looked at the Funk Software link.

Sorry, it was in my OP but has got snipped. It is a Compaq Armada M300.

Yes, it has a PCMCIA slot but the wireless PCMCIA card I have been trying (Belkin 802.11b/11 Mbps Wireless Notebook Network Card, Model F5D6020 ver.2) is not suitable since the Win98SE OS is not compatible with WPA. However, I assume that if I plug in a wired ethernet adaptor then that problem will go away. I'll look at the manual but I rather assume it is a 16 bit PCMCIA.

Yes, I'm sorry about that but I didn't realise it would be relevant to the question. Thanks so much for your explanation.

Reply to
Sally Thompson

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006 21:32:11 +0100, Sally Thompson wrote in :

Glad it helped.

Reply to
John Navas

On Mon, 7 Aug 2006 20:50:08 +0100, stephen wrote (in article ):

Yes, it seems Xircom is now an Intel company. The cards are pretty cheap new so probably won't go the second hand route, although I certainly don't want to spend too much on this niggling little problem

I've now checked the manual for my notebook and I can use 32 bit CardBus or

16 bit. Thanks.
Reply to
Sally Thompson

You left off the one thing that will probably be the easiest, work absolutely and possily make sense.... Why not upgrade the OS on your laptop to something that is current, rather than use the obsolete 98?

Much of the stuff out there nowadays specifically will not work with win98... Why not dump it?

Reply to
Peter Pan

On Tue, 8 Aug 2006 02:59:59 +0100, Peter Pan wrote (in article ):

Several reasons really. I use this notebook only occasionally and don't really want to spend too much money on it. To upgrade to Windows XP would cost me about 70 pounds sterling, whereas a PC ethernet card would be a lot less than that (and I already have a spare cable). I also don't like XP! Last but not least, upgrades come on CD-ROM and there's no CD-ROM drive, which would mean downloading it from somewhere, but I can't access the internet on the notebook at the moment because ... this is where I came in. Also, of course, until I started trying to find out why the connection didn't work, I didn't realise that Win98 was never going to work with WPA, so I hadn't thought there was any need to upgrade.

However, I do take your point, which was made elsewhere in this thread, and may think more seriously about an upgrade. Thanks for the reply.

Reply to
Sally Thompson

Yep, no WPA drivers available (that I can find).

Hmmm... PII/333MHz. It will probably run W2K or XP with 256 or

512MBytes of RAM. Perhaps an OS update might be a better way?

Backwards. There's no compatibility issues. The problem is that Belkin didn't see fit to include WPA support in this product. In XP, it's part of the operating system.

The big problem(tm) you're going to have is finding a 16bit PCMCIA card that supports WPA. There are a few (that I can't find), but most are 32bit PC Card interfaces that won't fit or work. I'm not sure but what I found with Google seems to indicate a 32bit PC Card slot.

Just find a 32bit card and try to shove it in the slot. If it doesn't fit, it's a 16 bit slot.

Reply to
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