Disable Wireless Zero Configuration in Windows XP
Posted by Andy Atkinson on 10/25/05 in Networking, Tips, Windows
If you are running a wireless card on Windows XP and have experienced problems maintaining a connection to your wireless router, I highly recommend that you disable the “Wireless Zero Configuration” service.
The Wireless Zero Configuration service allows your network card to automatically select and connect to preferred networks as they become available. On my home desktop computer with a Gigabyte 802.11g wireless card, I only ever want to be connected to one wireless network and thus have no need for a service that is automatically scanning for different wireless networks. I found that my wireless card would frequently (every 10 minutes or so) drop my wireless connection for just a moment, long enough to kill any connection-oriented applications (like FTP or AIM) and force me to reconnect.
By disabling this service, I noticed a huge improvement in the short “drops” of wireless connectivity. I can now have an active FTP, BitTorrent, or chat session running wirelessly and not worry about it being dropped.
To access this service and other Windows services, you can browse to the Control Panel, then Administrative Tools and finally double-click on Services.
Alternatively, you can launch Windows Run, type services.msc and hit OK.
From the services window you will want to scroll all the way down to Wireless Zero Configuration and right-click the name, then click Properties.
From the Service Status area choose Stop to stop the service.
From the Startup Type drop-down menu, choose Disabled so that the service doesn’t startup the next time you start Windows XP.
I found that disabling this service was very helpful, however your results may be different. If you disable this service and then are unable to connect to your router after you restart, try enabling this service again to determine if disabling the service caused the problem. Otherwise make sure your SSID (wireless network name) is in your list of preferred networks.
If things are working properly, your wireless connection should function like a wired connection, and you shouldn’t have to worry about “dropped” connections in Windows XP ever again!