Unable to enable Wireless Adapter in Windows 7? blame Kaspersky

I recently encountered a pretty frustrating problem: on a laptop with Windows 7 installed, I could not enable the Wireless Adapter.

It was pretty weird: in Device Manager, everything looked good: the device was “working properly”. Yet I did not see any wireless networks. In Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections, I noticed that the Wireless Adapter was disabled. I could right-click on it and select ‘Enable’, but that did not change the status: the Adapter stayed disabled.

Network Diagnostics reported there was an “unknown” problem with it. Not very helpful. I googled for hours, tried all kinds of things (disable/uninstall-reinstall/tried older versions of the driver/…) until finally I found this post which gave me a hint: apparently, Kaspersky anti-virus was the culprit! The Kaspersky NDIS filter caused the issue.

Process to solve it:

  1. Right-click the Wireless Adapter in Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections, select Properties
  2. UNcheck Kaspersky Anti-Virus NDIS filter
  3. Select the Wireless Adapter, click Diagnose this device – to reset the adapter

Et voila, I (finally) had a working wireless connection again.


Finding the Wireless Network Setup Wizard in Windows Vista

Windows XP (SP2 and above) has an easy way to add computers or devices (like a wireless printer) to a wireless network. Once you have 1 computer connecting successfully to the wireless network, go to theĀ Control Panel and click the Wireless Network Setup Wizard.

The wizard will guide you through a series of steps which will save all necessary settings on a USB-stick. You can then simply insert the stick into another computer or device that you want to connect to the same network, and the wireless settings will be transferred automatically.

When I switched to Windows Vista, I could not find back that wizard. The Windows Help nor Google brought any relief. I finally gave up and entered the security settings manually.

Today, I had to connect a new Vista machine to the network and I really wanted to find an easy way to get that working. After all, the wizard was working great in XP, so I could not believe it was ditched in Vista. After long searching, I finally discovered where the Wizard sits:

  • Click the Start button, select Network.
  • Click Add a wireless device. The button may be “hidden” if your window is small (that’s the main reason why I didn’t find it in the first place).
  • In the dialog box that appears, click I want to add a wireless device or computer that is not on the list, using a USB flash drive
  • Click the first option: Add the device or computer using a USB flash drive
  • This will start the wizard. First it will ask which wireless network to use:
  • Then it will ask to plug a USB stick into the computer and select it:
  • This will save the settings on the stick. You can now use it to connect other computers or devices to the wireless network.