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Getting Netgear MA111 802.11b Wireless USB Adapter to work with Windows XP Service Pack 2

I have never been too fond of my NetGear MA111 802.11b Wireless USB Adapter. It had burnt out once and I had to get it replaced. And this latest replacement was working on my Windows XP machine for a while until I updated to Windows XP Service Pack 2. As soon as I plug the adapter into my USB port, Windows crashes to a blue screen and reboots itself. Even though I downloaded the latest driver for the adapter, Windows won�t install it until it detects the device on the USB port. Talk about a catch-22! Without being able to plug in the device, I also can�t get to the device driver and remove it.

I did attempt to remove a driver called �NETGEAR MA111 802.11b Wireless USB Adapter � Packet Scheduler Miniport�. You can only find this driver if you go to �Device Manager� and select �Show Hidden Devices� under the �View� menu. However, Windows disallows any attempt to remove it with this error message: �Failed to uninstall the device. The device may be required to boot up the computer.�

It turned out the key to updating the new driver is to disable this �Packet Scheduler Miniport�. Once it is disabled, you can plug in the adapter and Windows will not crash. The adapter won�t work with the wireless network, of course, but the real hardware driver shows up in �Device Manager� as �NETGEAR MA111 802.11b Wireless USB Adapter�. Now you can click right click on the driver and have update the driver using Windows Wizard. When the driver is updated, re-enable the �Packet Scheduler Miniport� driver and your NetGear MA-111 will work just fine.

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 21 Nov 2004 12:36:26 -0800

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