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Thumps and reboots redux

February 23, 2011 0 Comments

As I mentioned in my previous two posts (here and here), I ran into a bunch of networking problems during¬† a recent extended business trip to a client site. One of the problems I mentioned was that I had brought along a Gateway desktop box so as to be able to use files and applications already on that box. The client site had a wireless access point that I could use for ‘net connectivity, so I stopped by an electronics superstore one morning and picked up a USB wireless adapter. Got to the client site, unboxed the adapter, installed the software and drivers, plugged the adapter in.

It didn’t work.The adapter showed up as a network connection, but it was disabled and would not let it self be enabled. I went through some of the usual first steps (uninstall, reboot, re-install), but they didn’t work. I searched the net for newer drivers, and found some — went through the uninstall/reboot/install new drivers cycle. Plugged the USB device it. Same problem. There were comments in some of the on-line forums that this particular adapter didn’t work with Windows 7, so I figured that was likely my problem.

The next day, I stopped by the same store and bought a different USB wireless adapter, this one clearly marketed “Compatible with Windows 7!” Went through the installation cycle, and this one didn’t work either. Looked for newer drivers, found them, downloaded and installed them — still no luck. Used Google to search for similar complaints, and I found them, one of which spoke to my situation. The user had Zone Alarm installed on his system. He said that he had found that he could successfully install the network adapter only if he completely uninstalled Zone Alarm — not just turned it off, but actually uninstalled it — then installed the adapter, then re-installed Zone Alarm. I tried the same thing, and it worked. Of course, as I wrote about two days ago, I then started getting BSODs on my Gateway box, which had never happened before; my eventual solution was to uninstall Zone Alarm and replace it with Microsoft Security Essentials. I frankly wonder in retrospect whether that would have solved my problem with re-installing my Sprint U301 device as well.

I’ve written these last three posts to chronicle these solutions to anyone else who might be having these same problems (and, as I noted two days ago, to apologize to HP and Microsoft for putting the original blame on them for my multitude of BSODs). We’ll now move on to some other topics for a while.¬† ..bruce..

About the Author:

Webster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the BYU Computer Science Department. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at 303.502.4141 or at

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