HOWTO Successfully Install the Linksys WUSB11 v2.5 Wireless Adapter under Windows XP
Dylan Parker - March 2004 - wusb11 (at) warmbrain (dot) com
Note: These instructions should be followed at your own risk. They have worked
well for me but I can't promise you anything. The information was gleaned from
various sources including Linksys.com, USENET newsgroups and various mailing
lists. You are fully responsible for your own actions. Don't yell at me.
All operations assume you are logged in with Administrator privileges. If you
have made previous failed attempts to install this adapter, you will first need
to uninstall the hardware from the operating system and delete the old drivers.
See below for how to do this.
Uninstalling the Hardware
If you have previously installed the adapter and are now trying to uninstall it,
you need to plug the adapter back in to the USB port so that Windows XP will let
you uninstall it.
Right click on 'My Computer' and select 'Manage' and then click on 'Device
Manager'. If you see the Linksys Wireless adapter appearing in the 'Network
Adapters' section, then right click on the entry and select 'Uninstall'. Then
click Ok. After it has uninstalled, unplug the Linksys Wireless Adapter from
your USB port.
Deleting Old Drivers
Search all of your local harddrives for a file named LSWLUSB.SYS and
LSWLUSBX.sys. The installed versions of this file will reside somewhere under
your C:\WINDOWS directory, but if it also exists in other locations then you
need to deal with them as well.
Delete all files that you find matching those two names. If you are nervous
about deleting them then create a new temporary directory somewhere and place
them in there. The important thing is that they aren't sitting somewhere that
Windows XP has used them before.
Once you are satisfied you have rid of yourself of the old drivers, move onto
getting the new drivers.
Getting the Right Drivers
Depending on the path you take through Linksys' support pages you can end up
downloading different sets of drivers claiming to work with Windows XP. Most do
not. The ones you want are located here:
For whatever reason, if you download the .exe version of that file (supposed to
have the same files) it has been packed without the needed WinXP files. Go
Unzip the files into a temp directory. Delete everything except the WinXP
directory. If you don't see the WinXP directory, then make sure you downloaded
the correct zip file. Inside the WinXP directory should be two files:
LSWLUSB.INF and LSWLUSBX.SYS.
We deleted all the other files so that there isn't even the chance that Windows
will accidentally find any other drivers.
Installing the Hardware and New Drivers
Plug your adapter into the USB port. Windows should detect the adapter, see that
it is currently not installed and try to install it. It should also at this
point discover that it doesn't have the right drivers and ask you for them.
If Windows XP manages to install the adapter without ever asking you for drivers
or locations of drivers then go back to the 'Uninstalling the Hardware' step
again and make sure to follow the exact directions in the 'Deleting Old Drivers'
When the hardware installation wizard prompts you about drivers, click the
'Search for the best driver in these locations' radio button. De-select the
'Search removable media (floppy, CD-ROM...)' checkbox. Select the 'Include this
location in the search:' checkbox and type in the path to that WinXP folder that
has the new drivers (eg c:\temp\wusb11\WinXP). Click Next.
If it complains that the drivers are not signed, click 'Continue Anyway'. Click
OK until it finishes. The correct adapter and drivers are now installed.
Configuring the Adapter
The adapter needs to be configured manually and not through the Wireless Zero
Config service interface. To do this, go to the Start_Menu-> Settings->
Network_Connections and open the Wireless Network Connection associated with
your WUSB11 adapter. Click the 'Properties' button. Click the 'Configure' button
underneith where it lists your adapter. Click the 'Advanced' tab.
My settings are as follows:
Authentication Algorithm = Automatic based on WEP setting
Channel = (use same as your wireless hub/router)
Encryption = Disabled
Fragmentation Threshold = 2432
Maximum Listen Interval = 3
Network Type = Infrastructure
Power Save Mode = Disabled
Preamble Mode = Auto
RTS Threshold = 2432
SSID = (use same as your wireless hub/router)
Transmit Rate = Fully Auto
Click OK a number of times until all settings are saved. Then Reboot.
Note: I am describing an unencrypted wireless connection above. It is generally
not advised to have your home wireless network setup as unencrypted. This
typically means that anyone around your house can 'borrow' a connection
with their computer without any special information. Also, it means all
communication over the wireless network can potentially be eavesdropped on.
Bank info, site passwords, corporate authentication etc etc. It is usually
useful though to first setup an unencrypted wireless network to convince
yourself that all of your equipment works.
Connecting to an Encrypted Network:
We still need to configure the adapter manually, but since the manual approach
doesn't allow for the specification of an encryption key we need to poke at
a few things through the Wireless Zero Config service interface.
Start by right-clicking on the Wireless Network Connection icon in your system
tray in the far right of your taskbar. Select 'View Available Wireless
Networks'. Click the 'Advanced' button. Select the encrypted network you are
trying to connect to in the 'Available Networks' list. Click the 'Configure'
button. Click the 'Data Encryption (WEP enabled)' checkbox. Type the same
encryption key used on your wireless hub/router into the 'Network Key' field.
Confirm it by typing it again. Click OK a number of times and then configure
your adapter manually as described above.
Two settings were different for me:
Authentication Algorithm = WECA Compliant (maybe 'auto' works?)
Encryption = 128 bit (same bit # as router/hub)
Click OK a number of times until all settings are saved. Then Reboot.
Turn off Wireless Zero Config Service after Booting
Each time you boot, you should find your network connection up and working,
and then after a few minutes it starts acting flaky and losing contact. This
happens because of the Wireless Zero Config service. You need to stop it.
You can't just disable the service though, because it apparently needs to be
running to form the initial connection with the wireless hub/router. Once it
has connected though, it can be safely stopped.
To stop the Wireless Zero Config service, go to the Start_Menu-> Settings->
Control_Panel-> Administrative_Tools-> Services. Scroll down the list until
you find 'Wireless Zero Config'. Right-click it and select 'Stop'. Once off, it
will no longer interfere with your live connection. If if your router goes
down or gets rebooted, when it comes back up your adapter should reconnect
It sucks but the service needs to be up for the reboot, then stopped once a
connection has been made. An automated startup .BAT script would likely make
this seamless, but I haven't played with a setup like that yet. It's possible
that it would be run too early before the connection had a chance to fully
burn in. Let me know if you find something that works.
Hopefully you are now up and running with a WUSB11 adapter under WinXP that
isn't crapping out every 2 minutes.
Although this method has worked for me successfully, it is not without its
- The Wireless Zero Config service needs to run then stopped after each reboot.
- Changing wireless networks is a pain in the ass and involves manually
configuring the adapter each time. Yuck. Changes involving encrypted networks
get even uglier as you need to bounce between the Wireless Zero Config service
interface and the manual adapter config. I just don't change it and leave
my computer running all the time.
That's all. Good luck with your configuring.