I have had a small network set up for our home/office for several years. The network consists of a Linksys Wireless-G router with a broadband connection to the internet. We have 2 PC's wired to the router with Cat 5 cables and my daughter has an Inspiron 1000 with a Linksys Wireless-G adapter. I just got my wife an Inspiron 6400 with a built in wireless adapter. My wife's computer will not stay connected to the network after re-starting. I have gone in to services.msc and set the Wireless Zero Configuration to Automatic, but it doesn't start on it's own. Once I go in and start the WZC I can view wireless networks and connect to the one I want.
It sounds like the utility that came with the network card is set to control the wireless network configuration. If you have the Dell wireless adapter, open the Dell Wireless Utility and uncheck the box next to "Let this tool manage your wireless networks". If you have the Intel wireless adapter, open the Intel Proset Utility. There should be a similar box to uncheck in that utility (I don't have it, so I can't be more specific). You then need to make sure everything is consistent, so open Network Connections, right click your wireless connection and select Properties, then click on the Advanced tab and make sure the box is checked next to "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings".
I attempted to update my wife's new computer to the latest version of the driver needed for her computer (Dell said that it was urgent). When I did this, the whole thing out and I could not update to the latest driver at all. After reverting the Dell Wireless Utility was gone and now I am now using the Microsoft one. It seems to be working. I am hoping that it will continue to log back onto the network without issues. I guess I will see.
By the way, thanks for the post. It seems to make sense. I sure wish Dell would install some goofy application that just does not work.
Thanks for the response. While I was reading through some of the problems others were having I ran accross the same problem you had. Updating the driver didn't seem like the thing to do, although the temptation was high. I had a strong feeling that there was a conflict with something Dell installed, but I do network administration for my little home office, and as we grow, so do the issues.
I have made a recommendation to Dell to include better instructions for the network adapter to include information regarding conflicts with Windows utilities.