Posts Tagged ‘windows xp’

Ralink wifi user profile problem in Windows XP

Monday, June 15th, 2009

We have recently moved house (which is why there have been no posts for a while) and in the process I have made some changes to our home networking arrangements.  We did have an elderly Windows ME PC for B&B guests to use, this PC was connected to our Local Area Network by an Edimax EW7128G PCI Wireless Network Adaptor.  In our new (post B&B) life I decided to install this card in a newer Windows XP machine to be used by the family.

Installing the card and it’s associated Ralink software was quite straight forward and it seemed to work fine on our new network.  Or at least it worked fine for me, but using Windows XP we have separate user id for each family member, the adults have administrator access but the children only have user access (to limit the harm they can do while exploring).

The Ralink utility screen as seen by a non administrator

The Ralink utility screen as seen by a non administrator

The problem is that while users with administrator privileges have no problem accessing a profile on the Ralink software, limited users, that is users belonging only to the USERS group can’t access the profiles functions or use profiles set up by other users. The only way for them to use the wifi link is to manually logon each time they sign on to the computer, a bit of a pain for our younger users.

The Ralink utility screen as seen by a Windows administrator

The Ralink utility screen as seen by a Windows administrator

After a bit of fiddling and a bit of searching I found a useful entry on the internet which solved the problem for me but the explanation on the FixUnix forums didn’t go into much detail so I decided to go through it step by step for those, like me, who don’t regularly dive into Regedit to solve problems.

First you (using an administrator logon) need to create a profile for the link you want to set up using the Ralink utilities.  Then you need to use regedit to make this profile accessible to users without administrator privileges, it is this second part that I am documenting here.

Using Regedit to allow non administrators access to the Ralink profile

I will provide thumbnail pictures of each step at the bottom of this post, please click on the images to see the full size pictures.

  1. First click on Start, then Run to open the Run dialog box. In the box type regedit then click OK.  This will start the Windows Registry Editor.
  2. In the editor click on the edit menu and select the find option (or use Ctrl+F) to open the search dialog in regedit.  You need to search for the name of the profile you created in the Ralink utilities.
  3. Once you find the profile, I found mine in the CurProfile field of
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}\0010

    you need to select the parent element, in this case the 0010 element rather than the CurProfile field.
  4. Then right click on the selected element and pick Permissions from the drop down menu.
  5. Scroll down through the different types of users (Windows XP Pro offers more options than XP home) to find the appropriate group, in this case Users (HOMEUSER\Users).  When you select the group you will see the existing permissions displayed in the bottom half of the window.
  6. Click on the Allow boxes for Full Control and Read to give the necessary permissions, then click OK to close the dialog.  I did try just ticking the Read permission box but that didn’t do the job, Full Control was required to get access to the profile.
  7. That is it; you can close regedit, logoff your administrator id and logon to a non administrator id, it should start using the profile automatically.  You still won’t have access to the profile functions but you will be able to use profiles set up by an administrator.

Please click on the thumbnails to see full size versions of the images in the gallery below.