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Thread: Disable wireless network adapter when a laptop is docked?

  1. #1
    Fearful Guest

    Disable wireless network adapter when a laptop is docked?

    I have a laptop and docking station, under Windows XP it automatically
    disabled the wireless adapter when hooked up to its docking station. This
    was achieved because XP used different hardware profiles, having done a bit
    of digging it would appear that Vista doesn't support multiple hardware
    profiles - is this correct?

    Now when I dock my laptop it connects to my LAN using its gigabit Ethernet
    adapter but is still connected with its wireless adapter. Since Vista knows
    it connected to a) a docking station and b) its Ethernet adapter is
    connected surely there must be a way of disabling the wireless adapter
    automatically regardless of Vista's lack of support for hardware profiles?

  2. #2
    Richard G. Harper Guest
    Not "disabling" it per-se, but Windows networking assigns metrics to network
    connections based on their speed, performance, etc. and Windows will
    automatically use the fastest network connection available to it. So when
    you dock, even though the wireless connection is still active, Windows will
    used the faster wired connection instead.

    oes what you need for Vista, XP, and Windows 7

  3. #3
    etheral Guest
    From your post, my understanding on this issue is: you want to let Vista
    use the wired connection when the laptop is docked. If I'm off base, please
    feel free to let me know.

    You are right. Windows Vista doesn't support hardware profile anymore.
    When you dock your laptop, Vista will use the wired connection, since wired
    connection is faster than the wireless connection.
    So you needn't to disable your wireless connection while docking the laptop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I see this thread is ~1 year old, but I got my new laptop with Vista and docking station about 1 month ago. I've been bugged with this problem since then: when I dock my laptop, Vista insists in using the wireless connection instead of the wired one, despite the fact that the latter slower.
    I've also set the wired connection first in the order of "Adapters and Bridges" to be used (Manage network connections -> Advanced -> Advanced settings), but it looks like this setting is ignored.

    My problem is that the wireless connection uses DHCP, for which a number of services in my LAN are not provided (access is granted only to machines with fixed IP, as I have for my wired connection).

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: Disable wireless network adapter when a laptop is docked?

    Check out Wireless AutoSwitch it does what you are asking.

    What is Wireless AutoSwitch?

    Wireless AutoSwitch runs as a service and will automatically disable your wireless card when you connect to a LAN (hard wire) connection, and re-enable the wireless card when there is no LAN connection. This ensures that you are always using the fastest connection for network traffic. In the office this helps reduce redundant network connections, while still helping your employees seamlessly transfer from wired to wireless network connections.

    For offices that are wireless security conscious this application makes sure the laptop's wireless card is off when the user is wired into your network, preventing bridged connections and preventing someone from the outside hacking your network through a laptop's wireless card.

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