Windows 7 Starter Hides Networking Feature

Michael Santo's picture

Windows 7 Starter, much like Windows Vista Basic, is a very trimmed-down, basic version of the operating system. As such, many features are disabled, and one such feature is ad hoc wireless networking. However, an influential and studious tech blogger seems to have found that feature is just hidden not missing.

Ad-hoc mode is a basically a way to network without an access point or router. Operating in ad-hoc mode allows wireless devices within range of each other to discover and communicate in peer-to-peer fashion. According to Microsoft's marketing materials, that's unavailable in Windows 7 Starter. Not so, says Rafael Rivera.

In effect, the feature is not disabled, but rather hidden. If you use the Start Menu search function and look for "adhoc" (sans quotes) you can find it. Essentially, what Microsoft did was simply disable ad hoc networking in the connection option dialog for "Set Up a Connection or Network."

In reality, this sort of issue should have been expected. Microsoft has said that in order to upgrade to different versions of the OS, all you have to do is buy a license key. This differs from Windows Vista, in which you'd have to stick in a disc and install a bunch of "bits."

That means, in all likelihood, all the code is on your drive no matter what version of Windows 7 is installed. It simply needs to be activated. In this case, ad hoc networking should not operate using the above workaround, but it does. Basically, it's a bug, that will likely be fixed in the future.

Written by Michael Santo

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