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Windows 7: SSID displayed in Wireless Networks based on previously associated MAC

09 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
SSID displayed in Wireless Networks based on previously associated MAC

I configure a fair number of wireless routers. As such, over time, my notebook may see the same physical router (access point MAC address) configured to broadcast various SSIDs. After changing the SSID on a access point, Windows is still showing the old SSID in available wireless networks. I was struggling with a router that I thought was not taking my changes only to realize it is Windows that refused to see the new SSID. I looked at Manage Wireless Networks, but there is virtually no information there. Digging into Windows Registry I find:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\Unmanaged
where I find Description (appears to be SSID), DefaultGatewayMac, DateCreated and DateLastConnected.

Searching, I was able to find the same MAC address in several different profiles.

I would expect that when Windows sees a familiar access point MAC address, and finds it no longer broadcasting the previously associated SSID, it should delete (or at least offer to delete) the old SSID.

Having discovered this problem, I think this also explains an other similar problem of Windows attempting to connect to a stored MAC address with completely incorrect settings, possibly including SSID, Security protocol, etc., and failing with a TroubleShoot Dialog. This frequently happens when I update access point security settings, but leave the SSID unchanged.

1) is there a fix for what appears to be flawed handling of Wireless networks?
2) is there a 'Manage Wireless Networks' that will let me really manage them?
To delete the duplicates Windows has created, I really need to be able to list all Profiles sorted by MAC address, then by DateLastConnected, but the 'Manager' Windows offers only shows me SSID name.

Thank you,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 ; Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard

To my knowledge, a wireless profile is tied with the SSID and authentication method and is NOT tied with the mac address in any way. Upon updating a wireless access point you will need to delete and then reconnect the host.

Wireless Network - Remove

pinging the access point and then completing the following command should show you the mac address of the access point if that is what you wish to see:

arp -a
An example of mine is below:

SSID displayed in Wireless Networks based on previously associated MAC-arp.png

[note]Depending on the order the profiles are listed, Windows will try to connect to the first wireless profile that it can detect and is the highest in the table.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

 SSID displayed in Wireless Networks based on previously associated MAC

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