Feeds

Windows broken by Intel Centrino

Can't handle certain VPN clients

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

When it launched its Centrino mobile platform, Intel said it was targeting corporate customers. The trouble is, corporates like to use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software to allow remote workers to access the company LAN, and it has emerged that Centrino isn't very VPN-friendly.

A number of widely used VPN clients have been found to crash Centrino-based notebooks running Windows XP, invoking the OS' notorious blue screen of death.

The problem appears to be a conflict between the Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) within Intel's ProSet software - which manages many of the Centrino platform's key features, such as energy saving and wireless device profiles - and the VPN client. So says Nortel, which found that its Contivity VPN client is one of those that ProSet's not keen on. Some 50 million Contivity VPN clients have shipped since 1997, says Nortel.

Nortel sent an advisory notice to users of its software on 14 May, detailing the problem and providing a work-around which essentially disables the extra features enabled by the ProSet software and drivers but leaves the wireless card working. Customers can then use XP to manage the notebook's network adaptors rather than ProSet, Nortel said.

The trouble is, disabling ProSet disables many of the features that user choose Centrino for, such as its power conservation capabilities and smart network adaptor switching - both important features for corporate IT guys, alongside VPN support. Plus the consensus appears to be that ProSet provides better device management tools than XP.

Intel's web site publishes a warning that ProSet Adapter Switching should be disabled before using a variety of VPN clients, including code from Cisco, Checkpoint, Microsoft and... er... Intel.

According to PC World, that warning was published on 26 February, a few weeks before Centrino was launched.

Intel has said it is aware of the problem and is investigating a solution. ®

Related Stories

Intel to boost Pentium M to 1.7GHz next week
NEC UK beats Intel to launch 1.7GHz Pentium M

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.