Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

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jdhurst
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Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#1 Post by jdhurst » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:19 pm

There are a number of software applications that are foolishly and incorrectly maligned as junk on this forum even though they work perfectly well. Since I use some of the maligned packages and have anywhere from zero to merely picayune issues with them. I prefer you just quietly abandon that which you do not like or cannot use.

That said, here are some tips for Access Connections:

1. Always match the wireless NIC driver to the associated Access Connections version. Wireless matters, while generally wired does not. Also, I know that Access Connections works superlatively with the IBM (Atheros) adapter and very well with the Intel 2200bg adapter. I don't know about other adapters.

2. If you are having problems, find and download the most recent NIC drivers for your wireless NIC and the version of Access Connections that goes with those drivers. Uninstall AC *and* all the profiles, restart, uninstall the wireless NIC and restart. Make sure on the second startup that you install the newest drivers you downloaded. Restart. Install Access Connections and set up profiles.

3. If it doesn't work after that, consider two things: (a) rebuilding your TCP/IP and winsock software (never did that) and (b) use a solid registry cleaner (like Registry First Aid) to get rid of bits that may be causing problems.

4. If it works, make sure you do the following: (a) in Location Switching, only permit one or two automatic connections. I make wired to be automatic and my home wireless to be automatic. Everything else is unchecked and I must connect manually. This saves boot time and prevents errors. (b) in every profile (all of them) select the check box that says "disable this wireless radio when switching to an new profile. This is unchecked by default. Setting these two attributes properly prevents the radio from trying to associate to something unwanted.

5. Make sure your wireless router firmware is up-to-date. Old firmware can cause random disconnections.

I have been using Access Connections successfully for years from a "2" version to now 4.41. I have no dropouts (ever) on my home wireless. It is exceedingly solid. I use wireless at one client and have very few problems. I have used wirelees with Toronto Telecom and just this past weeked at an Inn in NY State where I took a long weekend vacation. Once connected I have no problems.

I count 19 versions of Access Connections that have worked properly with 8 different wireless NIC drivers on my T41 over a period of 3.5 years (not all possible combinations of course - that would contradict rule 1). Access Connections has been stable across that time frame.

It CANNOT be "horribly bad" and be this robust, stable and trouble-free at the same time.

Good luck. ... JDH
Last edited by jdhurst on Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#2 Post by gator » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:27 pm

Exellent post JDH. This needs to be stickied.
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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#3 Post by bill bolton » Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:43 pm

jdhurst wrote:Also, I know that Access Connections works superlatively with the IBM (Atheros) adapter and very well with the Intel 2200bg adapter. I don't know about other adapters.
Also works faultlessly with the Intel 2915ABG adapter.
I have been using Access Connections successfully for years from a "2" version to now 4.41. I have no dropouts (ever) on my home wireless. It is exceedingly solid. I use wireless at one client and have very few problems. I have used wirelees with Toronto Telecom and just this past weeked at an Inn in NY State where I took a long weekend vacation. Onece connected I have no problems.
This is my experience as well, and I use it to connect to a very wide range of providers, who provision using a very wide range of access point kit, across a truly global range of locations.

Cheers,

Bill B.

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#4 Post by gator » Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:58 pm

AC works really with Atheros a/b/g on my T60 as well.
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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#5 Post by NS » Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:47 am

jdhurst wrote:There are a number of software applications that are foolishly and incorrectly maligned as junk on this forum even though they work perfectly well. <snip-snip>
I am sorry sir.. I admitted that i was one of the anti-access connection user in this forum. Once again, i would like to apologise to every single one of you in this forum.

I am using Access connection on my T60 and R52 and it is working nicely..

Sorry, forum members and forum leaders.. :oops: :oops:

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#6 Post by ComputerMinder » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:12 am

Very good post.

Can someone explain me why Vista takes over the wireless connections? Lenovo Wireless Connections Status says "The current wirelesss connection is being managed by the Windows Wireless Service or another service". How do I change that to make sure that Access Connections takes care of the wireless connections ??? I knew how to do it in XP, but I cannot find a way to do it in Vista.

Is Access Connections really preferrable to using Vista's own built in one? I know it was better than XP's one, but I am wondering if it's also better than Vista's own.

Thanks.

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#7 Post by allen » Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:30 pm

i wouldn't be here if access connections weren't giving me problems.

what does NIC stand for, and why do i have to uninstall and restart and reinstall so many things so many times?

what about if i just stop using access connections? what benefits do the software have anyhow?

allen
2007-2013: T60p 15" Flexview SXGA+, C2D T7600 2.33ghz, Fire GL V5250, 2x2GB DIMMs, 500GB 7200RPM, 750GB 7200RPM in ultrabay, seagate 2TB external USB drive, WinXPP SP3
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#8 Post by Wiz » Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:57 pm

allen wrote:i wouldn't be here if access connections weren't giving me problems.

what does NIC stand for, and why do i have to uninstall and restart and reinstall so many things so many times?

what about if i just stop using access connections? what benefits do the software have anyhow?
NIC=Network Interface Card.....in other word your network adapter/wireless network adapter.

AC got a lot of extra features compared to the native windows wireless support. That is more authentication types, the ability to set several options when you apply a profile like change IP, firewall, proxy and printer settings. You can also use automatic location switching and turn on/off the radio automatically when you unplug/plug the ethernet cable. You can start applications automatically when you apply a profile or start a VPN connection, change your IE homepage, use single sign-on in case of 802.1x and some other features as well. If you don't need or see the benefit of those features found in AC and you have problems with AC there is no reason to use it if the native Windows wireless support work better for you.

If you want to use AC you could try to create a thread in this forum and describe your problem. Maybe someone can help you out and make AC work better on your computer. I would start searching this forum and you might find some posts with a solution to your problem.

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#9 Post by gbernard » Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:02 pm

I have to use AC to access the embedded vodafone WWAN card.

the Vodafone sw does NOT work, it doesn't even find the device, so fo rthe first time since owning 11 diffferent thinkpads for the past 8 years, I have been forced to use AC.

and it works perfectly !! I was quite reluctant to load any of the thinkvantage apps, but I did a clean install on my new x61, and it works a treat !!

highly recommended.

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#10 Post by s-fredo » Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:35 pm

Hello,

I have a problem with Access Connections which has already been raised:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... s+previous

I created an Ethernet profile with a specific IP address (not DHCP), then applied that profile.
Some days later, I created another profile with specific IP address, and saw that network connection was not working correctly, for following reasons: Windows was using 2 IP addresses, and main one was IP address from previous profile...

I tried to delete all Ethernet profiles, and create new ones, but no success: Windows always use old IP address from the very first Ethernet profile I created within AC.

I searched in registry and whole harddisk where that IP address could be stored, but I've found nothing. Maybe is it written in hexa ?

I could remove AC, but I like it, so, if someone could help me, that would be very nice.

Thank you. Please tell me if I didn't post in correct thread.

Fred

My Thinkpad T61 - 8889-W3D:
- Windows Vista Business x32 french
- AC 4.42
- Intel Ethernet 82566M: v9.7.251.0
- Intel WiFi 4965 agn: v11.1.1.16
- Sierra WWAN MC8775: v2.0.9.0

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#11 Post by jdhurst » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:06 pm

I had some issues with VPN that caused me to remove Access Connections 4.42 for testing purposes. I was very surprised that ThinkPad could access my secure home wireless with no Access Connections. The only way this can happen is with registry keys remaining intact when Access Connections is removed.

Sure enough, when I searched the registry for something unique (SSID in my case), keys turned up which I deleted. I have temporarily gone back to V4.41 (there not being a lot of difference) and a prior version of the VPN client. Problems have reduced a lot, but I have not yet achieved the perfection I need.

I suspect that may be happening to you, and if so Access Connections V4.42 appears to have a serious uninstall bug.
... JDH

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#12 Post by michaelhoffman » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:24 am

Access Connections does not work if you have two users logged in at the same time.
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#13 Post by bri » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:17 pm

FYI - the new 4.52 doesn't crash when a second user logs in like previous versions did. however, the 2nd user still has no access to the main window.
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Problem with Access Connections -Recently started

#14 Post by robpm » Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:35 am

I've had a T-61 since October. Access Connections has been working fine until the beginning of this week.

All of a sudden, it does not load when the computer starts up, as it always did.

Worse, I cannot turn on wireless or connect to any profiles, wired or wireless.

When I try to start Access Connections, it hangs almost indefinitely on the splash screen and, if it does eventually appear to load (1/2 hour or so later) it does not work or connect to any profiles.

I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling, disabling antivirus (ZoneLabs security suite, which is the Karpinsky(?) engine) in the process, but it's no go.

I suppose this could be a problem with the latest version of Access Connections, or it could be a problem with a new antivirus update or a problem with some microsoft update.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
T61 14.1w, X31 for the wife's couch potato web surfing , T23 (gave it to my mother-in-law!), 600E (retired) - Because they just work!

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#15 Post by bobstockler » Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:58 pm

I've been using Access Connections on my G41 ThinkPad since November 2004
(now v4.52) with NO problems until just recently - it started taking
minutes to load and minutes to access any of its features after it once
loaded, and then its features would behave in unusual ways.

I discovered that Logging was enabled (I don't recall that I ever enabled
it), and now, after I disabled it, it's its old self again!
Bob Stockler
G41 2886-5TU P4-M 532 2Gb RAM 80 Gb HDD
Windows XP Pro SP3

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#16 Post by robpm » Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:19 pm

Go figure.

I used advanced settings to switch to windows management of my wireless and connected with wireless network.

I then rebooted the computer and Access Connections loaded itself and automatically connected to my wired network. Fine.

I then went to advanced settings and unchecked the setting to let windows manage my wireless connections.

Then, my Access Connections wireless worked fine after a minute or so.

Seems to be working now.

What the h......? was going on?
T61 14.1w, X31 for the wife's couch potato web surfing , T23 (gave it to my mother-in-law!), 600E (retired) - Because they just work!

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#17 Post by beq » Fri May 23, 2008 2:29 pm

Has anyone had a problem creating a generic unsecured wireless profile by leaving the SSID field blank?

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=62510

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#18 Post by allen » Fri May 30, 2008 2:01 am

recently, access connections can't find or connect to my wireless network, it'll just say, no networks found,
then when i allow windows to manage my wireless networks, i have no problem.
i'm not sure what may have changed to cause this problem, anyone else? any ideas?
i was actually very happy with the way access connections was working before, managing profiles, using FnF5 to pick a saved profile,
what can i do? system update should be aware if there's a new driver right?

thanks,
allen
2007-2013: T60p 15" Flexview SXGA+, C2D T7600 2.33ghz, Fire GL V5250, 2x2GB DIMMs, 500GB 7200RPM, 750GB 7200RPM in ultrabay, seagate 2TB external USB drive, WinXPP SP3
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#19 Post by jdhurst » Fri May 30, 2008 2:36 pm

beq wrote:Has anyone had a problem creating a generic unsecured wireless profile by leaving the SSID field blank?

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=62510
It depends on the version. V4.41 can do it; V4.52 cannot. However, I don't think it matters. The wireless you connect to will have a SSID, so start a new connection, click the Find button, click on the network you want to hook up to, and V4.52 will fill in the SSID. Seems to work. ... JDH

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Access connection: control Wireless impossible?

#20 Post by Sebcio » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:48 pm

Hi there!
I've been using AC (current version 4.42) with no problems for the past 3 years.
and I made the mistake of updating my 2200BG drivers to the latest (after suggested by system update)...
and as I did that, the wireless stopped working. I had to un-install everything, and delete my wireless adapter in the system panel. as I rebooted, the adapter got recognized automatically and I can use it with windows XP; however I'd like to use it with AC and there is no way I can get it activated thru AC (even when I authorize another software to manage my wireless)...
any clue?
(I also have all the up to date hotkey features installed...)
T42 2373 / 1.7 / 80GB 7200RPM / 15' 1400*1050 flexview / Win XP SP2

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#21 Post by allen » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:53 pm

i just decided to stop using access connections, and windows seems to handle it all pretty well, just automatically connecting, and remembering passwords
2007-2013: T60p 15" Flexview SXGA+, C2D T7600 2.33ghz, Fire GL V5250, 2x2GB DIMMs, 500GB 7200RPM, 750GB 7200RPM in ultrabay, seagate 2TB external USB drive, WinXPP SP3
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#22 Post by Sebcio » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:56 pm

AC is pretty useful at handling many different profiles with different security profiles / homepages / printer sharing and so on; that windows dont offer...
T42 2373 / 1.7 / 80GB 7200RPM / 15' 1400*1050 flexview / Win XP SP2

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#23 Post by marcdw » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:41 pm

AC recently became a useful tool regarding a firewall problem
I've been having.
For some reason the Sunbelt Personal Firewall will not start
as a service. After an uninstall and reinstall it did work a few
time but stopped loading again.
A Sunbelt knowledgebase on that issue mentioned how to
fix it using the Recover tab of the service's properties
but still a no go.
Something is preventing it from loading or killing it altogether.
Eventviewer doesn't say much.

Had no choice but to put the firewall in a startup location
somewhere. That worked but the firewall then starts rather
late in the startup process.
Then I remembered that AC can also run programs before or
after a network profile is established.
This works nicely as now SPF starts much earlier during
Windows' startup and thus is able to catch anything that
may be "dialing out" (with the exception of services and the
like).

Just another reason I keep Access Connections around.

Marc
T21 (2647-4BU) - PIII 800 MHz - 512MB RAM - Seagate Momentus 60GB HDD - Win XP Pro SP3
3Com Mini PCI Ethernet/56K - Dynex DX-E201 USB 2.0 2-port PC card
On Dock II: Fujitsu 30GB HDD, PNY Quadro NVS 280 64MB, Dual 19" LCD Monitors - Slackware Linux 12.2

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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#24 Post by keeners » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:56 pm

Is anyone having a problem with the new AC ver 5.12?

I did updates on Sunday, and after I dowloaded the new version, upon reboot, I got a message saying:
"Think Vantage access connection cannot run on this platform". HUH?

I posted this question also in the Lenovo forums, but there is not much activity there, so sorry for the cross-post. I wasn't sure which place to post it in.
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=72425
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Vista Home Premium SP1

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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#25 Post by GomJabbar » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:42 pm

Make sure you have the correct version (for Vista), and fill all the requirements on the following page (in particlular: the correct wireless driver).

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-67283

In additiion, the readme file has the following.
1. Before installing ThinkVantage Access Connections, it is required
to install the following software.

- Lenovo System Interface Driver for Windows Vista
version 1.00.0702 or higher.
- ThinkPad Power Management Driver for Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP/
Vista (except SL400/SL500)
version 1.42 or higher.
- Hotkey Features for Windows Vista/XP/2000
version 2.08.2008 or higher.
DKB

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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#26 Post by Wind_Rocker » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:58 pm

I read the OP with much interest since I'm having problems with the 2200bg NIC in my T43 (1.8 cpu, 1 GB w/XP Pro). I followed the directions and uninstalled everything, read the readmes and installed the parser & Windows installer, then the IBM stuff, Power Manager, Hot Key etc. Next I installed the proper wireless drivers and lastly, Access Control. AC connected first try and seems to be working fine, now I know what channels my neighbors use, cool stuff.

I then did the OP tweaks and my signal is 100%. Only problem is the speed, takes minutes to load any web page. All other computers in the house are fast, no problems. I've tried all the web tips I can find, changing channels, setting PMP to max, nothing has worked so far. I've read about many others having the same issue with the 2200bg. With or without AC, this thing is sloooow, how slow I'll never know because the performance is too sorry to load any speed test sites :( .

Wired internet works fine, speed test shows 4,000+ Kb/S dl speed, that's with a download in progress on my HTPC and my wife chatting with her folks in the Philippines on her T41 using Skype and web cam. My cable DSL seems to handle the load well, only problem I have in this world is a 2200bg worthless wireless card and finding an approved hard drive in the 120 gb range for the T43 that won't break the bank.

Any advice is certainly welcome.

Thanks,
David

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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#27 Post by keeners » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:32 pm

GomJabbar wrote:Make sure you have the correct version (for Vista), and fill all the requirements on the following page (in particlular: the correct wireless driver).

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-67283

In additiion, the readme file has the following:
1. Before installing ThinkVantage Access Connections, it is required
to install the following software.

- Lenovo System Interface Driver for Windows Vista
version 1.00.0702 or higher.

- ThinkPad Power Management Driver for Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP/
Vista (except SL400/SL500)
version 1.42 or higher.
- Hotkey Features for Windows Vista/XP/2000
version 2.08.2008 or higher.
I apologize for not getting back here sooner, and I am just reading this.
Thank you for this information.

I am not sure if I downloaded the above prior to updating the Think Vantage Connection update. How can I find out if I did, and if I did not d/l th above prior to TVAC, do I have to uninstall AC before I d/l the above?

As always, TIA for any information you can provide me.

Maria
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LENOVO 3000 N100 0768-A52
Vista Home Premium SP1

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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#28 Post by GomJabbar » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:07 pm

My experience indicates you should always uninstall Access Connections and reboot before upgrading the wireless driver software. Try to think of it as a layer cake. Install and remove layers in order.

To the best of my knowledge, install in the following order, and uninstall in reverse order:
1) Lenovo PM driver
2) Lenovo System Interface Driver
3) Hotkey driver
4) Wireless driver software
5) Access Connections
DKB

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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#29 Post by keeners » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:21 pm

Thank you for your quick reply. I will try that and get back to report on it.

Maria
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Vista Home Premium SP1

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Re: Access Connections - some tips on how to use it

#30 Post by crashnburn » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:21 am

GomJabbar wrote:My experience indicates you should always uninstall Access Connections and reboot before upgrading the wireless driver software. Try to think of it as a layer cake. Install and remove layers in order.

To the best of my knowledge, install in the following order, and uninstall in reverse order:
1) Lenovo PM driver
2) Lenovo System Interface Driver
3) Hotkey driver
4) Wireless driver software
5) Access Connections
Great advise :)

I love AC. One more reason why I would never be able to go Non-Thinkpad.

I wish other laptops also came with similar apps that allow lots of profile settings. Printers, Static / DHCP etc etc.
T61 8892-02U: 14.1"SXGA+/2.2C2D/4G/XP|Adv Mini Dock|30" Gateway XHD3000 WQXGA via Dual-link DVI
X61T 7767-96U: 12.1"SXGA+/1.6C2D/3G/Vista|Ultrabase
W510 4319-2PU: 15.6"FHD/i7-720QM/4G/Win7Pro64 (for dad)
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