Saturday, December 7, 2013

Start the Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) service

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Today, my neighbor handed me a ten year old Dell XP computer and said she was unable to get a wireless connection. We received the following message when trying to connect to a wireless network:


The following is how I resolved the issue. I went to the Microsoft site and pulled up the following documentation:


Wireless Zero Configuration is a Windows service on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 that is used to configure and manage wireless network connections on a wireless adapter. The service name for Wireless Zero Configuration is WZCSVC. On Windows XP, the display name for the WZCSVC service is Wireless Zero Configuration. On Windows Server 2003, the display name for the WZCSVC service is Wireless Configuration.
The Wireless Zero Configuration service is normally started at boot time. The programming interface for the Wireless Zero Configuration service can be used only if the Wireless Zero Configuration service has been started. If the Wireless Zero Configuration service is not started, then the Wireless Zero Configuration functions will return an error.
To enable the Wireless Zero Configuration service so it starts up automatically, go to the Start button. Select the Settings option and then select Control Panel. If you are using the Windows XP view, select thePerformance and Maintenance category and then select Administrative Tools. If you are using the Classic View, then select Administrative Tools. Click the Services icon in the left pane. Click the Wireless Zero Configuration icon in the right pane and change the Startup Type dropbox to Automatic. This setting will set the service to start automatically at boot time. Then click the Start button to start the Wireless Zero Wireless Zero Configuration service and click the OK button.
The Wireless Zero Configuration can also be started and stopped from a command prompt. To start the Wireless Zero Configuration, run the following command:
net start wzcsvc
To stop the Wireless Zero Configuration, run the following command:
net stop wzcsvc
Note: Once you enable the WZC Service and reboot, it might not stay enabled. The following could be the reason. The following is from a Microsoft MVP:

Many new Wireless Laptops and Wireless ready Desktops come with a configuration that loads the Original Wireless manufacturer’s Utility at Startup.  The Wireless connection can be maintained only by one agent; as a result most of these utilities are programmed to switch Off Windows Zero Configuration (WZC).  
Many people prefer the flexibility of WZC.  In such a case the 3rd party Utility has to be disabled from starting, and WZC has to be initiated again.
Selective Disabling of Startup can be easily done with this,http://www.ezlan.net/infestation.html#startup
Reviving WZC here, http://www.ezlan.net/wzc.html
     It is important that the Wireless should be managed only with one application.     
   You can use the Original Utility, or WZC.  When one is used the other has to be Off
           (Not loaded into memory, and not maintained as active Windows service).       


Turns out, my neighbor's computer did in fact have a 3rd party service running that was preventing the WCZ Service from running. Once I uninstalled the service and enabled the Wireless Zero Configuration service, I was able to connect to the wireless network without a problem. 

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