posted this on December 20, 2011 10:40 am
One of the biggest impediments to Connectify running successfully are wireless managers. These applications provide custom device-specific functionality to the wireless device above and beyond Windows' common functionality. These were especially popular when XP was a new operating system as wireless support was still new. One such popular wireless manager is the Dell Wireless Manager that is installed on many Dell computers. Similar programs may come with 3G/4G WAN devices from Verizon, AT&T, and others. Through our testing we have found that these programs can conflict with the operation of Connectify Hotspot. If you received an error message while installing Connectify Hotspot, it is because we detected that this software is running and/or installed.
Please beware that there are actually (at least) two things called "Wireless Managers" on Windows PC, both of which interfere with the normal operation of WIndows, and as a result, can block or interfere with the normal operation of Connectify Hotspot. Connectify Hotspot's successful operation counts on Windows behaving the way it's supposed to be behave. If you are running Windows XP, this article is probably not about your manager. Please go here:
There's a more recent kind of Wireless Manager. The Dell Wireless Manager, found on many Windows 7 and perhaps some WIndows Vista PCs, is one of this new kind. So is the Verizon "VZ Access Manager" program, the "AT&T Connection Manager" from AT&T, the Ericsson Wireless Manager, etc. Windows will naturally open and close as many network connections as you might like, just as it supports multiple disc drives, input devices, sound cards, and even multiple monitors. Some companies have decided that this capability is too confusing for you, and so they have these Wireless Managers installed on your system. The goal of such programs is usually to keep Windows active on only one network at a time. This may mean that, when you plug in an Ethernet connection, your Wi-Fi device is automatically disabled.
That alone is bad news if you're trying to share a connection. But Connectify Hotspot itself is also a network connection, because it provide a virtual router as a Soft AP. It provides the wireless router that leads out to your Connectify Hotspot. WIndows can't get to the Internet via this connection, but some Wireless Managers are -- let's just say it -- stupid. They see the Connectify Hotspot network active, and proceed to shut down other networks, blocking Connectify Hotspot's ability to share anything.
Such software is rarely compatible with Connectify Hotspot. If you have some need to run this software, you can try to adjust the settings, but we do not know of a way to make these programs safe for connection sharing. Most users don't even realize they're running one of these programs, since they either come pre-installed, or get installed along with WAN software, like a Verizon 3G/4G modem. You can launch the Control Panel in Windows and find the "Programs and Features" function or the "Uninstall a program" menu. Run either one of those applications, look for the Network Manager, remove it, and reboot.
In some cases, you may think you need this Wireless Management software. If it can be configured to leave the other wireless interfaces alone, or it may work with Connectify Hotspot, but it has been our experience that the whole purpose of this kind of software is to keep only one LAN active, and thus, it's inherently incompatible with Connectify Hotspot. You may be able to disable this software from automatically starting. If you find this in your Start Menu's "Startup" folder, simply removing it may help you. But it has to be disabled somehow; this is an incompatibility, and it's not Connectify Hotspot that's the problem.
Next, check your "Network Connections" panel (you can get to this from the Windows Control Panel, and also from Connectify Hotspot Menu "Control Panel" option). This shows all of the network devices on your system. You'll see LAN devices, such as the Connectify Personal Network Virtual Adapter -- that's the Connectify Hotspot network device mentioned above. You should also see your Wireless device listed as a "Wireless Network Connection", and any Ethernet or other wired devices you might want to use.
Make sure none of these say "Disabled". If they do, double-left-click on them, then select "Configure".
On the General tab, click on "Enable Device".
Hopefully, all your devices are now enabled and working. If you are unable to enable a device this way, and keep it enabled, you still have hostile software in your system making changes you don't want. Connectify Hotspot will never disable any network device. Windows will not either, without your specific request, either through Network Connections, via a mechanical switch on your computer, or via the Fn-F2 sequence on some PCs.
In short, if you are certain you have a Wi-Fi device, it's enabled (as found in the Network Connections panel), it's not "bridged" to another device, and it shows up as a real Wireless Network according to Windows, Connectify Hotspot will find it. If Connectify Hotspot can't find it, something is causing interference. We try to help, but ultimately, it is up to you to determine which programs and software are most suitable to your computing needs.