Installing WPN111 on Windows 7 Beta

They say it can not be done. I am here to prove them wrong. That is correct, you can run the Netgear WPN111 USB 802.11b/g card in Windows 7. It’s a little cumbersome, but possible. Here is how you do it. Note that you can leave the USB adapter plugged in during the entire process (that is what I did).

First, grab the latest WPN111 drivers from Netgear’s website. Then, right click and select “Run as administrator”. Continue on through the prompts, when it gets to the point of setting up networks use Task Manager to kill the installer. If you do not kill the installer, the finding networks portion will fail, causing it to automagically uninstall itself.

Now, open up device manager (right click on “Computer” select “Properties” and on the left sidebar click “Device Manage”). Under “Other devices” your WPN111 should show up with a nice warning sign. Select it, and right click, select “Update Driver”. Now select the “Browse my computer for driver software” option. Search in the location “C:\Program Files\NETGEAR\WPN111\Driver” for 32bit Windows and “C:\Program Files (x86)\NETGEAR\WPN111\Driver” for 64bit Windows. Then press “Next” if everything goes correctly, near your clock the WiFi signal icon will show up.

This method was tested on a 64bit install of Windows 7 Beta 1. It should work on 32bit installs as well. Though it seems to work, a few words of advice. First off, do not use WEP, instead use WPA or WPA2. I was unable to get WEP to work on this particular card in Windows 7. Also note a Netgear prompt may show up on startup, do press “Accept” and then tell it you want to use the “XP” wireless manager. If you fail to do this you will have to redo the driver installation.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

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28 thoughts on “Installing WPN111 on Windows 7 Beta

  1. Nice tip John. How does Windows 7 wireless connectivity seem compared to Vista? The reason that I ask is that Samantha’s laptop with Vista seems to crash our router with regularity.

    Also on a Windows 7 note, I’m going to try installing Win7 on a UMPC with a super-slow AMD Geode processor. It will be interesting to see if the OS can cope with the lack of CPU power :-).

    • With Windows 7, if you are going to use the translucent effects, make sure you have a discrete graphics accelerator (with a x800xl it works much better than with the x3100 on my laptop). CPU power wise, a Celeron 430 works just fine (and works even better over clocked to 2.4Ghz (is much faster than a 3.0Ghz P4)). Not sure if the Geode will have enough power to get the job done, but I guess you’ll find out. :)

      The wireless manager is better than Vista’s, which is much better than XP’s. I really like the signal indicator in the taskbar rather than having to hover to figure it out. Another nice thing was that it will tell you the type of network that you are trying to connect to (802.11a/b/g/n).

      Your issue though, sounds like a driver issue, and in Windows 7 we are more or less using Vista drivers. However, for one reason or another, the connection with the WPN111 seems to not drop out when people call the house, as apposed to in XP (same driver package, though maybe their Vista driver is better for some reason). I usually like to keep only laptops on wireless, but I can’t really run a wire over to my desktop. I really like the Intel wireless cards, they “just work” and have good driver support for most operating systems, including Linux.

      -John Havlik

  2. This didn’t work for me. When I press at the very end, the installation fails. Do you have alternate instructions? (Also, your instructions aren’t clear when we should plug in the USB adapte, though I don’t think it makes a difference.)

    • It really doesn’t matter when you plug in the USB adapter, I was running XP before and never unplugged it. I need to update a part, you need to run it as administrator. Like I said, it will not work to do the simple click and install, you must kill the installer before it tries to “initialize” the USB adapter.

      I think I’ll update this with a video guide, or some screenshots.

      -John Havlik

      • Thanks, more detailed instructions would be much appreciated. Do you kill the installer when it asks you to press Next? What does the installer say exactly when you kill it?

        • Philip,

          Come tomorrow I’ll have a narrated video up. Until then, when the NETGEAR software shows:

          Software Installation complete
          The NETGEAR Smart Wizard has successfully installed the wireless USB adapter software.
          Click Next to continue with the hardware installation.

          you want to use task manager to kill the installer.

          -John Havlik

  3. I just installed it to Windows 7:
    1. Download and install the latest driver from NetGear;
    2. Copy “C:\Program Files\NETGEAR\WPN111\Driver” to another place, say location GOOD;
    3. Uninstall the NetGear driver;
    4. Plug USB adapter in – skip auto update driver step;
    5. Go to device manager and update the diver from location “GOOD”.
    Enjoy it!

    • Michael,

      The WEP problem seems to be a Windows 7 issue, no driver is really going to fix it unless it replaces the Windows Wireless manager. I tried connecting to a WEP network on my laptop with an Intel Wireless card and experienced the same issue. Others seem to be having the same issue with Windows 7 and WEP on a variety of different WiFi cards.

      Just because it is still the most widely used “security” method for WiFi does not mean it is a good one, or should be used at all (similar to how just because IE6 is popular still does not mean it should still be used). Some devices only support WEP (e.g. the Nintendo DS), but if you do not have such devices WPA really should be used instead of WEP.

      -John Havlik

  4. I’m habituated working in XP so I’m not able to completely understand the new network manager…… actually my problem is that when I connected usb-wlan-stick to my pc after installing windows7 (64bit edition) while it was isolated from the net. win7 tried to find a driver, but as i had no net it failed. i then carried my pc all through the house to connect directly via LAN :P . then i downloaded the driver manually. having the driver on disk, I’ve installed the application and then tried to execute it. the task manager shows me that the process is running, but i cant switch to the app to configure the wlan connection. i looked inside the network manager,but i found nothing………………

    Hoping you can help me………………

  5. Hi there. I just got Windows 7 RC for my brand new desktop. I was very excited about it too. Unfortunately, My WPN111v2 will not install. I tried the method described here but without any success. Including variations on it (such as forcing it to install using the “Have Disk” method). Following your instructions precisely, when I get to the point where it requests the folder to search for drivers, it tells me that it cannot find drivers for the device, and stops there. I have read the instructions very carefully, and made absolutely sure I followed all instructions to a T, including the specifications made later on in replies to your post.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Megalodom,

      I’m not sure if there actually is a WPN111v2 out there or not. Both of my WPN111’s are just WPN111 not WPN111v2. Possibly, you mean the WN111v2 or the WG111v2? Either way, the setup should be similar, though I can’t confirm from personal experience. The method I described above has worked for me on two different computers on the Windows 7 Beta and RC.

      As of the first of this year I only install 64bit OS’s to that shouldn’t be causing any problems for you.

      -John Havlik

  6. i finally managed to install my WG111T adapter driver, i followed the above steps but tried differnt compatability settings, it finally worked under compatability mode for vista. good luck!

  7. Hey man thank you for taking the time to explain all this. But when i get into the device manager i dont see Other devices. I exited out with task manager when it asked me to install he usb device. I saw you said you might make a video have you done that? Maybe you know whats wrong…

    • Just_in,

      After plugging the device in it should show up under “Other devices” or “Network adapters”. The instructions above are quite old, and I believe Netgear provides more Windows 7 drivers now (I don’t know and I’m now using a different wireless card). If it does show up under “Network adapters” it should be fully functional and ready to connect to a network.

      -John Havlik

  8. Hi

    Win 7 Pro Consumer
    Downloaded 2.1 setup from Netgear
    Ran to install drivers
    Cancelled installing software using TaskManager
    Appears as Network Adapter and connects fine with Windows Networking (WPA> Only – No WEP)

  9. I have downloaded the WPN111 wireless adapter. It seems to work okay until my computer begins to idle. When I try to get back onto the internet, I either have to restart my computer or unplug and reconnect the USB. I don’t think it is installed correctly because it should automatically start back up when I get back on the internet. I am also not able to open the desktop icon. It will open and then immediately close. I called netgear support and the guy told me to just return the product because they do not have windows 7 compatibility yet. Please help me because I am pulling my hair out over this.

    • melcam,

      Do not use the Netgear connection software, it’s junk. If you used the Vista drivers, as outlined above, things should just work. Additionally, IIRC, working drivers are in Windows update, see if you can update the drivers that way.

      A side note, I no longer use this device on my desktop since there is too much 2.4GHz noise in my area. Thus, I purchased a multiband adapter (a Linksys one, which has drivers distributed with the Windows 7 disk).

      -John Havlik

  10. @ melcam,

    hey, im having the same issues as you in windows 7, if pc goes to sleep, well thats all she wrote. have to unplug usb, or restart pc.
    i am using the newest drivers FOR windows 7. anyone know how to get around this.??

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