I dropped by campus yesterday and found I couldn’t access the DSU wireless network. Let me guess: someone upgraded the system.

Sure enough! I brought my troubles to the DSU Help Desk this morning and learned that DSU has upgraded to the 802.11n wireless standard. I’ll keep it simple: this means your campus wireless connection will go really really fast.

…assuming you can connect. The campus upgrade also moved the security protocol up to WPA2, which means you’ll probably need to change a setting to connect. For most folks, this shouldn’t be a problem: you just go to your Wireless Network Properties and change the Network Authentication setting. Click, click, and you’re off to the Web races!

Alas, for me and my “old” HP Pavilion dv5000 running Windows XP Service Pack 2, it wasn’t that simple. My list of authentications didn’t include WPA2-PSK. Stacy at the Help Desk suggested I download Service Pack 3 from the wired connection in my office (a 1.5 hour download, she estimated)… but then discovered that the wired network won’t talk to my old XP.

Google to the rescue! I get online, find Windows HotfixKB917021, get it onto my computer, run it, restart, and presto! There’s WPA2-PSK in my authentication options! I still needed to get the network key from the Help Desk, but now I’m back in business.

So if you see frazzled looking faculty walking purposefully westward across campus toward Lowry Hall, laptops in hand, it’s a fair bet they have the same problem. But be patient: it’s not hard to turn the big new n from “nuts!” to “nifty!” Check those authentication settings, download if you’re driving an “antique” like mine, and we should all be connected and grooving by orientation!

If you’re searching for the download, the hotfix file you want is WindowsXP-KB917021-v3-x86-ENU.exe.

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