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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    A few years back under Windows XP I vainly tried to get a wireless network going, without much success. I did set it up, password protected, but it was flaky and since I didn't really need it, I forgot about it.

    Well now it's 2010, I've got a nice new laptop instead of a desktop, and I definitely want to connect wirelessly. I'm still using the same modem/router that I used for my wired internet access (it's also a wireless router), and when I turn on my laptop, it detects my old wireless network setup (I recognize the name). I've completely forgotten and lost the password (my bad) - is there any way to reset the router so that I can just start a wireless network from scratch? This must be something stored in the router, since my new computer has nothing in common with my old desktop. I'm good at a lot of things, but setting up a wireless network isn't one of them, so any suggestions would be greatly accepted.

    Thanks,

    John

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    John, there should be a small hole on the rear of your router marked reset that is just large enough for the insertion of the end of a paperclip. Using a paperclip, insert and hold the button down inside the hole for 10 to 15 seconds and then release. The router should reboot to factory default settings. The default userid and password varies with the brand of router, I believe Linksys defaults to admin for the userid and linksys for the password. I do not know what the other brands use. A search on the web for your make and model should tell you this info. They are generally well known and should be replaced by a userid and password of your own choosing.

    For information on setting up an XP wireless home network, see this Microsoft site for more information.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  4. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    If you can get a length of network cable you can directly link the laptop to the router and read/reset the password without having to reset all the other settings.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gfamily View Post
    If you can get a length of network cable you can directly link the laptop to the router and read/reset the password without having to reset all the other settings.
    Gfamily raises a great point. John, if by "password", you are referring to the wireless security passphrase or key, then his advice is the way to go. When I first read your post, I took it to mean the password to access your router. If you know the router password, you can easily access your router and view/change the wireless key by using the Ethernet cable.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  6. #5
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    For wireless passwords it is always worth remembering Nir Sofer's tools, specifically WirelessKeyView.

    The downside of WPA wireless password recovery is that you are forced to put in a large number of hexadecimal characters, rather than the nice ASCII characters like MyExtremelySecretPassword that you put in initially!

    Q: I run WirelessKeyView, and it gives me a very long WPA-PSK key under the 'Key (Hex)' column, which is not the original key that I used. Can I retrieve the original Ascii key ?
    A: In Windows XP, after you type a WPA-PSK key, it automatically converted into a 128-bit key that is displayed by WirelessKeyView in 'Key (Hex)' column. This new key cannot be converted back to the original key that you typed, but you can use this key to connect to the wireless network exactly like the original key.
    In Windows Vista, the WPA-PSK key is not converted into another key, so you can retrieve the original key that you typed.
    BATcher

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  7. #6
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    For wireless passwords it is always worth remembering Nir Sofer's tools, specifically WirelessKeyView.

    The downside of WPA wireless password recovery is that you are forced to put in a large number of hexadecimal characters, rather than the nice ASCII characters like MyExtremelySecretPassword that you put in initially!

    Q: I run WirelessKeyView, and it gives me a very long WPA-PSK key under the 'Key (Hex)' column, which is not the original key that I used. Can I retrieve the original Ascii key ?
    A: In Windows XP, after you type a WPA-PSK key, it automatically converted into a 128-bit key that is displayed by WirelessKeyView in 'Key (Hex)' column. This new key cannot be converted back to the original key that you typed, but you can use this key to connect to the wireless network exactly like the original key.
    In Windows Vista, the WPA-PSK key is not converted into another key, so you can retrieve the original key that you typed.
    Hi BATcher,

    Are you referring to entry of a WPA-PSK key being converted to hexadecimal characters in Windows XP only, or also in the router? The reason I ask is that my Linksys router allows me to view my WPA-PSK key in ascii format so recovery of the key is not a real problem for me as long as I have the password to access my router. Even if it did store it in hexadecimal, it is easy to eliminate it and establish a totally new key. I then can delete the wireless account on XP and establish a new one with a new key. I just did that today because I change my key every several months.

    If I am missing something important for router security I want to know about it.

    Thanks
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  8. #7
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Gerald

    WirelessKeyView is designed to show the wireless key/password as held on the PC/laptop, enabling that device to communicate with the router.

    This password should not be confused with the router's administrative password, which enables you to set the router up and modify the configuration!
    BATcher

    If it wasn't for the weather, Great Britain would be a silent nation.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    BATcher,

    I know of the distinction between the router administrative password and the wireless protocol key. You clarified what I did not understand originally when you replied that WirelessKeyView shows the wireless key on the computer rather than the router.

    Thanks
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

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