Microsoft Windows 8 clients may not be able to connect to existing wireless infrastructures using some Cisco wireless equipment, while Microsoft Windows 7 and XP machines are able to connect. This could present as a case where a new Windows 8 preloaded Idea machine has trouble connecting to an existing Cisco access point / router while other existing systems running Windows 7 or XP are able to connect. Alternately, it is possible that a system that was able to previously connect is upgraded to Windows 8 and the wireless then has trouble connecting after the upgrade.
IdeaPad, IdeaCentre or Lenovo essential series products running Win 8
Windows 8 may encounter an issue when trying to connect to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. If the client is using WPA or WPA2 key management with AES encryption, then the connection may fail. With "Debug Client" in effect on the Wireless LAN Controller, a message similar to the following is seen:
*dot1xMsgTask: Jun 12 20:23:37.471: 00:11:22:33:44:55 Retransmit failure for EAPOL-Key M1 to mobile 00:11:22:33:44:55, retransmit count 5, mscb deauth count 0
Windows 8 supports IEEE 802.11w (2009) natively in the operating system. The Client implementation complies with IEEE 802.11w specification. All Windows 8 certified WLAN miniport drivers are required to support IEEE 802.11w through Windows Hardware Certification program. When Windows 8 clients attempt to connect to Cisco’s MFP capable access points, the connection fails. This failure is the result of an interoperability issue between Windows 8 IEEE 802.11w implementation and Cisco’s MFP implementation on their access points.
The access point does not report the correct “Key Descriptor version” for M1 in a 4-way handshake. The client drops the unexpected M1 and then the 4-way handshake fails. Legacy clients that do not support 802.11w do not have this issue.
For more information, a Microsoft support article is located at the following URL:
Upgrade the Wireless LAN Controller to the updated Firmware Image.
The issue is due to Cisco’s MFP implementation. The Cisco reference for this issue is CSCua29504.
Cisco has fixed the issue in an update release.
The updated software can be downloaded at the following URL:
This image has a fix for reporting the correct “Key descriptor version” for M1 of 4-way handshake messages. 4-way handshakes complete successfully thus establishing a successful connection. This will resolve the connectivity issue described above and also allow use of all Windows WLAN 8 features.
Microsoft also suggests using a Windows 7 driver instead as a workaround. While this may work, Lenovo does not recommend using a Windows 7 driver as this may limit your support options. Also, this will disable Windows 8 specific WLAN features and the user experience will be equivalent to pre-Windows 8 features. The preferred solution is to upgrade the Cisco firmware.