Sunday, May 8, 2011

BENQ AWL300 Network Adapter Troubles

A friend was having issues setting up a wireless connection and I agreed to help out. I arrived to find an external BENQ AWL300 adapter plugged into his USB port with the “Validating Identity” message in the Windows wireless networks dialog. Unplugging/replugging it in brought a similar message along with a “certificate could not be found to validate” this.

Other machines could connect to the router, so I suspected that wasn’t the problem. I didn’t have my laptop, so I dragged the adapter home to test on my laptop. I found drivers from CNet and started downloading them while I searched the BenQ site.

No mention of wireless adapters. It’s almost like they were never made, except Google finds some pages. I even found a few that suggested removing 801.1 connections and clearing the IE SSL state, but neither of those had worked.

I started the setup on my laptop and it went through, but asked me for infrastructure or ad hoc mode. That’s almost like an access point setup, or an old adapter setup. Not sure which one it is, but I bailed immediately. I had an old NetGear USB adapter, so I used that to make the connection for my friend and gave it to him to use.

What I expected to be a 15-20 minute trip was over an hour with the fussing and two trips. I was glad to help, a little stumped, and recommended that adapter go to the junk heap. They USB antennas are so cheap these days it’s not worth messing with.

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