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Microsoft Windows 8 clients cannot connect to Cisco wireless networks.

Symptom

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.

Affected configurations

The above symptom is associated with, but not limited to, the following systems:

  • ThinkCentre
  • ThinkPad
  • Idea Tablet
  • IdeaPad
  • IdeaCentre

Applies To:

  • Microsoft Windows 8

Additional Information:

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:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2749073

Solution

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:

    https://supportforums.cisco.com/docs/DOC-27213

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.

Workaround

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 and 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.


  • Alias ID: SF13-D0025
  • Document ID: HT076685
  • Last Updated :17/06/2014
  • (c) 2014 Lenovo