We have identified an enhancement to the software which ships with the N120 netbook to improve the wireless performance of the system when used in a domain networking environment, when the system is booted from cold with the AC power disconnected (in other words, turned on and running on battery).
- This symptom has only been recorded using Windows 7.
- If you do not use a Windows / Active Directory domain with this system, you do not need this software enhancement.
Potential symptoms of the wireless network connection not being ready quick enough when the system boots include:
- Messages displayed such as "No Domain Controller is available for domain SOLO due to the following: There are currently no logon servers available".
- Group Policy settings are not reliably applied (for example, mapped drives, redirected desktop or background settings).
- You can be logged on with cached credentials only.
- If you haven't logged onto the system before, your credentials are unable to be verified against a server and you are unable to logon, or you have to wait a long time or make repeated attempts before you can logon.
Please verify that you are affected by this specific issue: For example, when logged on as local Administrator, can you connect to the wireless network? If you are having problems seeing the wireless network in the network list, or problems with your authentication/encryption, these issues need to be resolved first and again you will not benefit from the software enhancement offered in this article.
Tip: If you use a RADIUS server to authenticate and connect to your wireless network please ensure that this is working properly first.
The N120 netbook is designed to maximise battery life when the AC power is disconnected. As a result, in some situations, the wireless subsystem may not become available quickly enough to give the user a smooth logon experience when connected to a domain environment.
There are four resolutions below, listed in order of effectiveness or the time required to make the change.
- Resolution 1 - Disable Wireless Power Saving Features on the Adapter
- Resolution 2 - Change the Wireless Power Management setting in the Power Plan
- Resolution 3 - Use the Hotkey as a Service Workaround
- Resolution 4 - Replace Software images that were previously used on or designed for earlier models of machines.
- Follow these steps to disable the Windows Power Saving features on the wireless adapter in Device Manager.
- A script is also available which can be deployed as part of a group policy computer startup script. This script turns off the power saving features for all network adapters in the system.
Disable wireless adapter power saving features in the power plan. To do this, either chooce the High Performance Power plan, or modify the Balanced or Power Saver plans to adjust the wireless power saving settings.
- Open Control Panel and select Hardware and Sound
- Choose Power Options
- At this stage, you will be presented with the power plans available. You can either select to use the High Performance power plan, or if you prefer to carry on using the Balanced or Power Saver plans, carry on with the instructions below.
- Click on "Change Plan Settings" for the power plan that is currently in use (either Balanced or Power Saver)
- Scroll down to Wireless Adapter Settings
- Ensure that for both "On battery" and "Plugged in", the performance setting is set to Maximum Performance.
- Click on OK to accept the change and then close Control Panel.
- If using an Intel 7260 based wireless adapter, ensure you have driver 17.x or newer installed.
- Ensure you are running Hotkey version 7.00.33 for Windows 7. If you are not:
- Uninstall the Hotkey software from Control Panel > Programs and Features.
- Download and Install the Windows 7 version of the Hotkey software (version 7.00.33) from the Stone Driver Finder or here.
- Then download and install the Hotkey as a Service solution, attached to the article or available here.
Hint: All resolutions can be used in conjunction with each other however this is not normally necessary.
Instructions for the Hotkey as a Service Enhancement (Resolution 3)
Full instructions and notes are provided in the readme.txt file included in the package, however please see the brief installation and removal instructions below.
Please Note: The Hotkey as a Service Enhancement also includes several registry changes to improve group policy reliability. These registry changes are NOT removed if you uninstall the Hotkey as a Service enhancement.
- Download and extract the package onto the target system.
- Ensure the normal, correct Hotkey utility is installed on the target system.
- Run install_hotkey_service.bat as an Administrator.
- If you are running a scripted deployment, run install_hotkey_service.bat /q to perform a silent quick install.
- Reboot the system and test.
When you install the software, the uninstaller is copied to one of the following locations:
- On an x86 system:
- Run as an Administrator: C:\Program Files\Hotkey_Service\uninstall_hotkey_service.bat
- On an x64 system:
- Run as an Administrator: C:\Program Files (x86)\Hotkey_Service\uninstall_hotkey_service.bat
Note: Please test that this enhancement resolves any symptoms you have before rolling out the enhancement. For example, please create a new user inside active directory, then boot the system from cold, running on battery, and attempt to logon using the new user account. We also recommend that you perform testing to make sure that there are no unforeseen side effects to the user experience before you deploy this software.
Limitations of Resolution 3
- If the user logs off the system and then hibernates the system, the wireless connection may not be restored. In this instance, use resolution 1 or disable hibernation.
Software Version 0.07 Updated 6/6/14 to change the group policy registry settings to minimise logon delays.
- Ensure you create a new software image for the N120. Re-using a software image that was originally designed for other notebooks can lead to complications, especially when the image had a previous version of the Hotkey software installed. Uninstalling the Hotkey software and upgrading it to the correct version may not be sufficient.
- Stone N120 Netbooks running Windows 7 (NOTCHA-258)