If you are migrating notebooks at work, from friends or family you will always hit same problem after the new one is ready for use. Most documents and user settings can be migrated in some kind (ntbackup,robocopy and the Windows transfer wizards) , but when migrating the wireless network setting you may need additional script to perform that. Recently I have been asked to reinstall couple of tools and migrate import user documents including the wireless network. I received both notebooks without the wireless access point and after all important things were moved to the new notebook I started running the netsh command to export the wireless settings/networks into a text file.
See my howto I performed to get this done on my own Windows VISTA notebook.
- Run CMD.exe to get into the command prompt and run “netsh wlan show profiles”
- I am interested in exporting the “NetworknetForFree” WLAN SSID into a text file which I can import on another notebook.
- I am still in the command prompt and than I execute “netsh wlan export profile name=”NetworknetForFree” folder=C:\” to export NetworknetForFree to C:\ drive.
- NetworknetForFree wireless network profile has now been exported to a file named “C:\Wireless Network Connection-NetworknetForFree.xml” and I can copy this file to a usb drive. If you want to export all your wireless profiles just run “netsh wlan export profile folder=C:\“
- The netsh tool generates a XML based file with all the settings for the wireless profile.
- Start a CMD.exe command prompt on the new notebook and import the XML file located on the usb drive. You can copy the XML file first from the usb dirve to C:\ and than import the file. Type and execute “netsh wlan add profile filename=”c:\Wireless Network Connection-NetworknetForFree.xml” user=all“
The wireless SSID “NetworknetForFree” network has been migrated without knowing the exact settings like SSID, authentication type and the password. I was also trying to perform these steps with a Windows XP SP2 client but too bad that this feature is only for Windows Vista and not XP.