View Full Version : Hardware profiles in Windows XP

19-09-2004, 12:08 PM
My daughter uses her laptop at home and at university. Both sites have wireless networks, but the network settings are different. I tried creating two hardware profiles, thinking that Windows would correctly remember the settings for each profile. Unfortunately it doesn't.

So, she has to re-configure the network settings twice a day. There must be an easier way.

Any suggestions?

Peter Porritt

Murray P
19-09-2004, 01:05 PM
I think you should be looking at how your network adapter (properties) is set up rather than profiles. What settings is she using for IP addressing, DHCP or user specified IP's? Is she a member of a domain (thinking more of the uni netwrok here)? Is she using the XP wizard or going to network properties.

Or, do you mean that the two networks use different protocols to connect? If so the correct settings to connect to various networks shoild be contained within the adapter setup software.

You shoild be able to specify a range of IP adresses which the adapter will aknowledge.

I don't use XP or WiFi, so take this with a grain of salt,

Cheers Murray P

19-09-2004, 01:22 PM
The changes are all in Network properties, and the only changes are that the university uses DHCP and at home she has a static IP address.

There is no change to protocols.


Terry Porritt
19-09-2004, 01:36 PM
Hi Pete, is there nothing in chapter 29 of the Windows XP Inside Out book on trouble shooting wireless networks? Eg enabling automatic configuration from the Wireless Network Connection icon?

Murray P
19-09-2004, 04:07 PM
My guess is that she will have to add the DHCP to the wireless protocol, how I don't know but, I assume that the proiscuous nature of WiFi will allow this. Maybe a chat with the Uni IT admin will sort it for her.

Cheers Murray P

20-09-2004, 02:47 AM
I already spoke to the University IT Help Desk, and they were unable to help. They wanted me to change my home settings to match theirs.

But, I think I have solved the problem: Windows does allow multiple Hardware Configurations, but will only recognize "significant" hardware changes. For example, using a docking station at one location, and a PCMCIA network card at the other. It cannot distinguish minor changes, such as using the same network card in two different locations. So the only solution is to use software.

I installed a shareware program called "IP Switcher", and it seems to have solved the problem. I am currently evaluating it within the 15 day trial period, but I am sure that I will end up buying it. You can read about it at



20-09-2004, 03:26 AM
The solution I just described does work, but there may be a better solution.... Although Windows doesn't recognize the two situations as different hardware settings, it does (apparently) allow multiple wireless Profiles. I am going to the University now to try this approach... if it works, according to what I read, it should be seamless.


20-09-2004, 05:37 AM
how about make a couple of .reg files to modify the settings as required ?

20-09-2004, 06:02 AM
You are suggesting that I automate changes to the Registry? Is that where the network settings are saved? I am reluctant to try that..... what are the consequences if I make a mistake in the code?

I am actually sitting in the university cafeteria writing this. With no wires attached! I just ran a speed test, and achieved 371kb/s (using www.dslreports.com)

I was unable to resolve the problem using Windows options alone, but with the help of the IP-Switch program, it's now working perfectly.

20-09-2004, 06:57 AM
is this laptop a toshiba if so look for a utility called configfree on thier site it allows for mutliple network setups just as you describe. I know it works on thier cororate range of laptops, not sure about the domestic range of laptop though. Worth a try through