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HOWTO: enable WPA-PSK in Windows for SMC2802W V.2 PCI card

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      09-12-2004, 04:59 PM
It took me some time to get WPA running, mainly caused by a lot of confusing
about version numbers and capabilities of the PCI card. So just for the sake
of here's some details to get WPA-PSK enabled.

Appearently, the keywords to search for are "supplicant" and "IEEE 802.1X".
See also

Both the website and the box of the SMC2802W PCI card
state that WPA-PSK is supported. Both also state that Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
is supported. Well, true, but for any non-XP OS only when using no security
or when using WEP, both of which are not safe options and should not be
considered at all.

First of all: this mini HOWTO refers to V.2, so determine which card you
have using the following pictures


Running setup.exe from the CD that I found in my box got me
- driver, March 8th 2004
- WLAN Monitor utility, November 7th, 2003
These version numbers are shown on the Version tab on the WLAN Monitor
utility. This version does not show any WPA-PSK settings. I'm not even sure
if the driver supports it. The driver is not on the CD itself but is
extracted by the setup program.

Browsing to "Drivers and more" on the 2nd link above, and then getting "SMC
2802W V.2 Version for Windows" will get you the following Zip

The version number "" might confuse you, like it confused me, but
the Zip archive will in fact give you
- driver, April 29th 2004
- Wireless Adapter Monitor utility, August 3rd, 2004 after running

Uninstalling any existing SMC WLAN Monitor utility and then running
setup.exe will now indeed get you the WPA settings screen in the utility.

This works fine in Windows XP, SP1 or SP2. In Windows networking properties
you'll notice that AEGIS Protocol (IEEE 802.1x) v2.3.1.9 is now associated
with your wireless card.

You're not quite done for older Windows versions though... Though the
WPA-PSK settings screen is there, and though you won't see any error
dialogs, your card simply won't connect when not using XP. Read on, there's

For Linux:

For Apple OS X: all built in as of version 10.3.5 (and maybe earlier) but
well, I guess the PCI card won't fit into the motherboard too well ;-)

For WinXP: all built-in since SP1. Simply run Windows Update, which you
should have done anyhow ;-)

For Win2000:
1) get the free "WPA Assistent" at

2) get the free "SecureW2" at

For Win98/98SE/ME/NT:
1) buy the Funk Odyssey client at A 30 day trial version and
a good manual can be downloaded at To buy spend US$ 50.00 at I've tested this on Win98SE and it runs fine.
Once using this client there's no need to run the SMC utility anymore
(unless you used the "Radio off" button, which you might need to re-enable
using the SMC utility) so you can remove it from the Start, Programs,
Startup folder, or uninstall it. If you want to use both the Odyssey client
and the SMC utility then simply remove any settings from the SMS utility (it
will then still show you the signal strength and so on, but Odyssey will
take care of the actual connection). By the way: the passphrase that is
prompted for when running Odyssey for the first time is not relevant:
whatever you enter is used in a "profile" to authenticate at a server, but
all you really need is WPA-PSK to connect to the wireless access point. I
even removed all profiles and all runs fine;

2) buy the Meetinghouse Data Communications AEGIS Client at This will cost you US$ 39.99 at I've not tested it;

3) ask MSC support to get you a deal like some other SMC products and D-Link
products have. I've followed the instructions from which in the end gets you
to download So:
first install the latest MSC drivers and Wireless Adapter Monitor utility as
described above. You can now enter the WPA-PSK but it won't yet be
functional. Unzip the D-Link ZIP file and run AegisI2.exe, which will
install mdc8021x.vxd. You're in business now, and should be able to connect
to your access point. In the Network Neighbourhood you'll see that the IEEE
802.1X protocol is associated with your SMC wireless card. The mdc8021x.inf
file states this is version and should also work for Win98 First
Edition and WinME. The AegisI5.exe file is for Win2000 which, however, has
some legal options I described above (though you might be able to use it for

4) states "Windows 9x, ME
and NT don't have 802.1X kernel support. Microsoft has anounced that
customers running these platforms may apply for a special service pack which
hasn't been made public." So, you might want ask Microsoft about that, but I
didn't bother trying.

So, my advice:

- simply do NOT buy the SMC2802W PCI card if you're not running WinXP or
Linux; enquire before buying any other vendor's product;

- when you already bought it and are using Win2000: see the free options

- when you already bought it and are using WinNT: why did you buy it? SMC
does not claim any support for NT at all ;-)

- when you already bought it and are using Win98/98SE/ME: ask for a refund,
or ask SMC to provide you with legal versions of the Aegis installers, like
D-Link does for (some of) their products.

Finally: make sure to use a random PSK passphrase, or a long passphrase
which is not only made out of dictionary words: And please note that I'm not a
wireless expert so I might be wrong in parts of the above message...

-- for Google: 802.11g ez connect win98 win98se win2000 winme wifi wi-fi
pffffff ;-)

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