Network settings and wired systems configured differently
Our school district has begun to set up WEP enabled wireless connections for teacher and student laptops. However, we are having problems receiving all of the resources (mapped drives, printers, etc.) when logging into our domains. The wireless laptop is acting as if it is timing out and cannot resolve server names. Would a hosts file help with this problem?
This question isn't security related, but I think I know what the problem is:
A hosts file might solve the problem, but there is certainly a better solution. There is no reason a WEP enabled WLAN should cause this problem, and it's definitely not related to a slowdown because of encryption. It sounds like your wireless clients' network settings may be getting configured differently than your wired systems, specifically the settings related to name resolution.
Run ipconfig/all on a wired client that works correctly and a wireless client that is experiencing the problem you described. Pay special attention to Node Type and your WINS, DHCP and DNS settings. If these settings don't match between the two computers, you may have found your problem. Otherwise, there may be a network topology routing problem. How do your wireless access points connect to your network as opposed to your wired clients? Are your access points on a different subnet connected by a router? This could be interfering with your clients if they are using WINS or broadcast name resolution.
This was first published in October 2004