Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Wireless Network issues. Validating identity and Certificate Errors in Windows XP and Vista

At times after you have entered the correct password for the wireless network on your computer you are unable to connect to the wireless network and see the below mentioned errors:

  • "Windows was unable to find a certificate to log you on to the network."
  • "Validating identity" replacing the name of the wireless network.
  • A pop-up window requesting for login credentials off the wireless connection.

To avoid these error messages, you need to manually create or add a wireless network profile. Follow these steps to manually add a wireless network on Windows XP and Vista computers.

Manually add a wireless network on a Windows Vista computer:

  1. Click Start, and then select Network.
  2. Select Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click Manage wireless networks.
  4. Click Add and select Manually create a network profile.
  5. Type the SSID, select the type of security and type the wireless password in the Security Key/Passphrase field.
  6. Select the Start this connection Automatically and Connect even if the network is not broadcasting check boxes.
  7. Click Next and close the window.
  8. Go to the Network and Sharing Center and select Manage network connections.
  9. Right click on Wireless network connection and then select Status.
  10. Click details and check the IPv4 address.
  11. If there is a valid IPv4 address, check if the computer can access the Internet wireless.

Manually add a wireless network on a Windows XP computer

Note: The following steps are for a wireless network that has WEP security.

  1. Click Start, then select Control Panel.
  2. In the left pane, select Switch to Classic view.
  3. Click Network Connections.
  4. Right click Wireless Network Connections and select Properties.
  5. Click on the Wireless Networks tab.
  6. Click the Add button.
  7. Enter the name of the wireless network (SSID).
  8. Set the encryption type to WEP.
  9. Clear the key is provided for me automatically check box.
  10. Enter the network key and confirm it. Note: Make sure that "This is a computer-to-computer (ad-hoc) network" is not selected. Click OK, and then click OK again.
  11. Right-click Wireless Network Connections and select Status.
  12. Click on the Support tab and check if there is a valid IP address.
  13. Check if the computer can access the Internet wirelessly.


If you still receive the same error message after manually adding a wireless network on a Windows XP computer, ensure that IEEE 802.1x authentication of the wireless adapter is disabled.

To disable IEEE 802.1x authentication:

  1. Click Start, then select Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box type ncpa.cpl and then click OK.
  3. Right-click the Wireless network connections icon, and then select Properties.
  4. Click the Wireless network tab.
  5. Click the Properties button beside Remove.
  6. Click the Authentication tab, and clear the Enable IEEE 802.1x authentication for this network check box.
  7. Click OK to update the settings.
This TIP applies to:

All Windows XP and Vista computers that display the listed error messages when attempting to connect to wireless network of routers (specifically NETGEAR).

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