Backing Up Your Wireless Networks

February 19, 2012 in Networking by Gerry Frawley

It’s nothing I need to use every day, but every once in a while, but this relatively unknown feature of Windows 7 sure comes in handy.

I’ve had people who get a new laptop and cannot remember their network settings (not just at home, which is simple enough to sort out by logging into your router and taking a peek at the wireless settings, but at the office, school, friend’s houses, etc…)

See the magic after the break

On a Windows 7 computer already connected to the network, right click on the INTERNET CONNECTION icon in the lower left corner of the screen

and then left click on OPEN NETWORK AND SHARING CENTER

Now left click on the MANAGE WIRELESS NETWORKS link on the upper left, which will ring up a list of all of your saved networks

Now left click the network you want to copy once to select it, then right click the selected network and choose PROPERTIES from the context menu to display the network settings dialogue box.

Notice on the bottom that there is a COPY THIS NETWORK PROFILE TO A USB FLASH DRIVE link. Insert a USB Flash Drive and then left click it to start the export Wizard.

Just click Next here to copy your settings to the flash drive.

Now, as a rule the last page of most wizards are something you can usually click CLOSE on and not worry if about missing something. You can here too, but there is a rather nice Detailed Instructions Sheet you can open before you do. Not only do the Detailed Instructions cover anything you might want to know when you put the flash drive in another machine, but it even includes Network information and instructions on adding wireless and wired network devices. Again, you don’t strictly need it, but it might prove helpful and may even be worth printing if your not particularly comfortable hooking up a network.

Now, all that remains is to remove the flash drive and take it to another computer.

After you insert the flash drive into a new computer, you should see something similar to the following

Just left click the CONNECT TO WIRELESS NETWORK option, answer YES to “Do you want to add this computer to the wireless network?” and click the close. Your computer should be on the network now.

Note: Sometimes, Windows XP and computers with AUTOPLAY disabled will not give you the option to run CONNECT TO WIRELESS NETWORK wizard. If that is the case for you, open the flash drive in COMPUTER or MY COMPUTER and double click the setupSNK (or setupSNK.exe) icon. The wizard will start.