How to deploy the settings of your Wireless Network

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CASE: when you have a Wireless Network in your environment you will have to deploy the settings of it to all notebooks. One of the most common known ways to do this is through Group Policy Objects (GPO) – (TECHNET: http://tinyurl.com/njqoc3 ). But there are some reasons why this is not the easiest way. One of them is that you can not provide your deploy with a static pre-shared key (WPAPSK). So we had to find another way.

Solution: as for many solutions we found it in a command line tool: “NETSH WLAN” . This tool is actually the CLI after the “Set Up a Network or Connection” GUI of Vista but with some more tricks (as always in CLI). For the complete syntax and help of netsh wlan: http://tinyurl.com/o8hc5m

How does this work:
I will not go to deep in all the possibilities of netsh wlan but will just go to how we created our solution:
SYNTAX: netsh wlan add profile filename=”file.xml”

This is all you needed to do. And our XML files looks likes this: http://tinyurl.com/log2cw

TIPS:
1) put the netsh wlan command in a batch file and you can run it whenever you want on whatever machine (Vista ans W2K8 or newer). We also implemented this batch file on our Altiris Deployment Server wich made it easier for us to do this for multiple machines remotely.
2) If for any security reasons you do not want to put your WPAPSK key hardcoded in your XML file you could enable all your settings on one machine and make the connection work and afterwards EXPORT the settings to a new XML file (see syntax doc). In this file you will see that the switch will be set to TRUE and the will be an encrypted key.

For all other possible items in the XML file go to: http://tinyurl.com/l8mysr

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