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suddenly no automatic connection to preferred network

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I use my laptop at work and at home. The wireless networks at both places are in my preferred networks list. So when I get to work from home and vice versa, I have a smooth transition in connectivity. Since I have wireless zero configuration enabled, my laptop (802.11G internal adapter) effortlessly recognizes the WEP-enabled base stations at work (802.11G, belkin) and at home (802.11B, MN-500), and connects appropriately without any further user input (since the WEP keys are already entered).

Suddenly I have this weird problem. When I get home, I get this message on startup: "unable to connect to preferred network". Upon looking in the network connections, I see the SSID of my MN-500 and I click "connect" - and I am asked for the WEP key. When I put it in, it connects without any further problem. But it does not do this automatically as it used to; moreover, I have to do this every time I reboot for whatever reason, though my wireless is always on.

I cannot help thinking that this may reflect some larger, more serious issue which I have not been able identify yet. I would be obliged if someone could comment on this. I am running Win XP SP2, with 1 gig of RAM and 100 gig HDD.

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