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2,674 Tutorials

How to make an XP PC default to the correct Wi-Fi connection

Stop your system 'finding' the wrong network

QUESTION My wife's laptop and my internet radio happily talk to our Belkin N modem router on our wireless network, but my Windows XP PC insists on first connecting to a nearby unsecured BT network when waking from Hibernate mode. Sometimes it refuses to connect to our own network until I reboot the router. Anthony Hampson

HELPROOM ANSWER When your computer enters Hibernate mode it switches off the wireless card; on wake up it seeks out the networks it regards as the most accessible. Windows XP isn't the most wireless-friendly operating system, and it has problems correctly starting up hardware when waking from Hibernate.

These issues have been fixed in Vista and Windows 7. As XP is no longer supported, you should consider upgrading the operating system (assuming your hardware is up to the task). You can get a copy of Vista Home Premium for just £45 at amazon.co.uk.

In the meantime, change your settings to make your own wireless network the default, with no other networks available for connection. Open the wireless connection settings, right-click those you don't want to use and select Disable.

Next, open the Control Panel and go to Network Connections. Right-click your wireless card and select the Wireless Networks tab. In the box marked 'Preferred networks', ensure your home access point appears at the top by highlighting it and clicking the 'Move up' button as necessary. This will force Windows to look only to the preferred connection, ignoring the wireless connections you've disabled.

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