Should be deploying XP SP3 be best practice for WiFi 802.1x deployments?

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Nov 19th, 2008
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A customer had standardized on Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Dell/Intel 3945BGN Chipset/Driver 11.1 (CCX 4).

I know that Service Pack 3 for XP has lots of 802.1x hotfixes, but is there a specific recommendation that customers should deploy XP SP3 if using 802.1x with Wi-Fi.

Currently after 30 minutes the customer is forced re-authentication which fails. I'm thinking this is a either a XP bug or Intel driver bug.

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CFayNTAdmin83 Mon, 12/08/2008 - 10:27
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I just thought I'd add my 2 cents here. On average my network has a mix of Dell Broadcom and Dell Intel ABG and BG laptops. I used to have an issue with Intel cards. They used to have bad roaming problems and would also connect at only 1MB after a while. I updated the Intel drivers and ran the 4.1.185 code on my WLC to fix that problem. In terms of service pack level, I have been able to get the devices stable without having to deploy SP3. Most of the laptops are SP2, but some have SP3 installed. From my experience with the Intel ABG cards, I would say that SP3 is not required to get them to operate properly.

tkhan Tue, 12/09/2008 - 15:31
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Invest in a good third party client, like Juniper's Odyssey. Window's Zero Configuration client is free for a reason.

CFayNTAdmin83 Wed, 12/10/2008 - 06:15
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I just caught the BGN part of the Intel cards. I am just running the ABG. However, I did get a few of the new Dell laptops in that have the Intel BGN card. While trying to use Windows to control the card (on Vista Ultimate x32) I noticed that it had some issues allowing me to choose PEAP w/ MSCHAPv2. I could use PEAP, but it would default to GTC and not save the changes for MSCHAPv2. This was related to not having updated drivers on the machine. I did some poking around and also saw that XP had some similar issues with the new 802.11N cards and early driver releases. The fixes came from Dell and Intel though, and were not fixed by a Service Pack. Windows Zero is ok in a pinch but I definitely recommend the ccx supplicant / utility from the manufacturer over it.


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