WAN Miniport (ATW) #2

By SHunt
Mar 8, 2009
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Device Manager shows the dreaded "yellow exclamation point" next to the WAN Miniport (ATW) #2 Network Adapter. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling, and get error message #10 - device cannot be started. Any direction would be appreciated. I'm running XP on a Dell Desktop, using DSL from Bell South, and an old Alcatel USB modem. My wife runs AOL - and in other threads I think I've seen that the driver for this device is actually installed by AOL? But it wasn't clear. AOL tech support denies it could possibly be them, of course. BTW - the modem is fine; it's what I'm using to make the connection to post to this thread on a different machine.
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    1. Make sure you have the latest drivers installed
    2. Make sure all Windows Update are installed (go to Windows Update site and choose Custom. Assure no hardware optional installs are listed.
    3. If steps 1 and 2 don't fix it: Check if Windows reports any problem devices
      • Click Start->Run, enter: msinfo32
      • Click the + sign next to Components to expand it
      • Click Problem Devices. Anything appear?
      • If yes, click on it, then Edit->Select All, Edit->Copy Paste into next post
    4. If nothing else, i can give you the command to uninstall the WAN miniport (but i need the output from above first). Then AOL (or whoever put it there in the first place) will re-create it whenever it's actually needed
  3. SHunt

    SHunt Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thanks, lookinaround.
    This showed up as the only problem device.
    The Device name is "WAN Miniport (ATW) #2"
    The PNP Device ID is "ROOT\NET\0001
    The error code is "this device cannot start"
    I can't cut and paste; it's a different machine than what I'm using to post here.
    This problem keeps me from making an internet connection. Will uninstalling it then running AOL (even though I won't be able to sign in to AOL w/o the internet connection) re-create it?
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    Let's start by going over a few things so we both understand the underlying issues
    1. I understand your wifes computer connects to the internet OK. I;ll refer to here machine ComputerW. I'll refer to the one with the WAN miniport problem as computerH
    2. As i undertsand it, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is Bell South. You have a DSL modem which connects to Bell South.
    3. You must also have some type of router as well if you and your wife can both be logged on and using the internet connection at the same time. That would mean either
      • You have a separate router connected to DSL modem and your computers connect to the router OR
      • Your DSL modem is actually a combination modem and Router. in which case you'd have only piece of equipment that connects to Bell South as well as to your own computers.
    4. (Ignoring AOL for the moment) Computer H and W both use Bell South for their internet connection: Each computer can get all internet services (browsing, email, etc.) over the internet service (from Bell South) using Bell South's DSL Modem.
      • The WAN miniport is only needed to allow AOL to "piggyback" onto Bell South's internet connection to your home computers. AOL can then offer you a "bundle" of services all within AOL. But fyi.. those services are all also availalbe over the internet connection itself and doen't require AOL except for whatever single interface type features you get.
      • Important point to understand: You shouldn't depend on AOL to work in order for you to connect to the internet
    With all that said... there are really 2 issues to address
    • ComputerH should be able to connect to the interntet regardless of WAN miniport status or even its existence. (I still have AOL on one machine as i still use select AOL features infrequently. I can DISABLE the wan miniport on all other machines without affecting any non-AOL internet function)
    • If you need AOL on ComputerH, then we need make sure WAN miniport works
    So... to get started, the questions are:
    1) Do you want to keep AOL on computerH
    2) Even regardless of step1 above, the starting point is making an internet connection from ComputerH to Bell South

    So the following is needed so i know what we have / need to communicate
    1) Do you know the Make/model/specifics of ComputerH. If it's a dell, go to dell site, support link, Drivers and Downloads. Let Dell scan your computer for the service tag and it will tell you the make / model as well as download page for all the current drivers. Then i need the make/model and link to the download page
    2. Look at your DSL Modem (and router, if you have a separate) router. Each will have a tag on it stating it's mfr / make / model. I'll need that info ot
  5. SHunt

    SHunt Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Lookinround - First, thank you so much for the insight (and patience)! You're understanding is almost on-target; I probably wasn't as clear as I need to be. Wife's computer (H) does not connect to the internet, while mine (W) does. I don't have a router; I use computer W at home so rarely that I simply unplug the modem from H and into W when I want to connect. At home, both connect thru Bell South DSL. And, when I started this thread last nite - I was connected thru Bell South on computer W. Now, I'm at work.
    My fundamental problem is inability to connect to the internet on computer H - the one that runs AOL. The first clue was computer H not even opening the desktop shortcut I have to my DSL Network Connection; double-clicking the icon wouldn't 'open' this connection to allow me to sign on. So, I deleted this connection, and created a new one. No luck. It seems that, by default, any new Network Connections that I create try to make use of this WAN Miniport Network Adapter. I reinstalled my DSL software - no dice. I did a little digging on my own, and found this WAN Miniport adapter 'problem'. So, I uninstalled and reinstalled it. No dice - and get the error "cannot start the device". That's where I am. I was hoping to be able to just download an updated driver onto computer W, put it on a minidisk, then replace it on computer H. But, searching for this driver was not clear-cut. I stumbled across this forum, and decided to join and post. Thanks!
    Some other answers:
    I don't currently have AOL loaded on computer W; nor does it have the WAN Miniport Network Adapter.
    Clearly, I don't want to depend on AOL for anything; but wife loves it and getting rid of it would be a bigger pain that this problem has been! However, see above - I can't make a new Network Connection (using the Wizard) w/o it 'using' this adapter! So, computer H can't connect to the internet (or I just don't know how to create a new network connection that doesn't use the WAN miniport) - thus can't download anything to it!
    I hope this helps.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    Thanks for the updated info in your reply
    As you’ve already found, WAN miniport (ATW) is from AOL. The fact you see WAN miniport (ATW) #2 makes me wonder if either
    => you actually have TWO wan miniports installed or
    => this happens to be the second installed (and the first was already removed)

    Regardless of the situation above, my advice at this point:
    • We uninstall AOL software (and we verify it removes any and all WAN miniports with it!)
    • We then rebuild a working Internet connection to your ISP
    • Then you can update drivers and Windows updates, etc.
    • And last, after all the above is completed, you can re-install AOL (which will also rebuild the WAN minport adapter)

    With that said, I’ll ask you for:
    => The make/model of your computer (look for a tag: usually on the bottom of laptops or backside of a tower if a desktop) The tag should indicate manufacturer, make and model info
    => Similarly, look for a tag on your DSL modem and give me that info too

    I’ll put some instructions together for you. Please don’t attempt any uninstalls yet before I give instructions. Hopefully we’ll get your internet connection working again sometime soon!
  7. SHunt

    SHunt Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks, again - Lookinaround. It all makes sense to me.
    The computer is a Dell desktop - Dimension E521, running XP.
    The Modem is an Alcatel SpeedTouch USB.
    I'll sit tight until you direct me.

    Questions:
    is the WAN Miniport an actual hardware device that gets enabled by a driver (a la a printer) or is it something else?
    Why would the Network Connections Wizard, even with this WAN Miniport uninstalled, still try to 'use' this device when creating a new Network Connection?
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    Good questions. The second one I was also wondering about myself as it seems odd…

    Here’s some general info (which may also help answer your questions)
    1. As I understand it, WAN miniport is a “logical” device. It gets associated with a “physical” network connection
      • So I’d also expect (and, until now, have always seen) network connection entries for things like LAN and Wireless Network Connections (never before seen one for the WAN miniport)
      • I don’t know if your case may have to do with you're using a USB network adapter (vs. an ethernet network adapter. More on some differences below)
    2. Also, whether it's a good or bad thing, Windows loves to “hide” things
      • So as regards my earlier observation of seeing WAN adapter #2 I can’t help but wonder if the problem (or part of it) is that WAN adapter #1 really does exist and is hidden! And the problem is the fact you have two!
      • We’ll also explore this possibility in my instructions below
    3. From the info you provided I’ll point out:
      • The Dell E521 comes with an internal ethernet network adapter. You’re using an Alcatel USB modem. Your network connection is established using USB (vs. using ethernet) connection
        • This is perfectly OK, but you should be aware, in general it's better to connect with an ethernet adapter
        • Performance improvements of ethernet over USB is less important while you have a DSL connection (with DSL connection speeds typically at 1.5Mbps vs. cable connection speeds of 5.0Mbs and above)
        • Assuming both your computers already have ethernet network adapters (and probably both do) you should consider getting an ethernet DSL modem if you ever have occasion to change it. (Likewise, ethernet cable modem if you ever switch to cable)

    As regards Windows "hiding" some devices in Device Manager, For now, for our purpose, please do the following
    1. Let's look at all your installed network adapters (includes any hidden adapters)
      => Click Start->Run, enter msinfo32
      => Expand Components and expand Network->Adapters
      => Click File->Export and Save in a text file
      This provides a list of ALL (no hidden) network adapters. Would be helpful (but not critical) if you could transfer this file to other computer so you can include it so i can see it "as is". (You can attach it as a file using the paperclip icon. If you don't see paper clip, you may need to first click Go Advanced) But, in any case, look for yourself to see if one or more WAN miniport (ATW) adapters exist (doesn't count if it's other then WAN miniport (ATW) as is normal for other types of WAN miniport adapters to exist. Only need look for WAN miniports (ATW))
    2. Uninstall AOL
      => If you want, you can refer to any AOL documentation as well but this should work
      => Disconnect external storage devices (e.g. any flash or USB drives)
      => Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs
      => Click AOL Uninstaller. If prompted, allow AOL to scan for software
      => Check items it finds under C:\Program Files (let me know if it finds software elsewhere). The click Uninstall
      => If prompted about saving any data, click yes
    3. Once the uninstall is complete, repeat step 1) above to see Network Adapters. Verify no WAN miniports (ATW) exist
    4. Then you can reboot and attempt create a new network connection. Any better luck at creating Network Connections at this point?
  9. SHunt

    SHunt Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    thanks for the instruction, lookinground - I'll do that tonight.
    DSL provider is, in fact, sending a new modem which is Ethernet based, which might prevent this in the future.
    I'll try to post the .txt file you asked for later tonight.

    I attached 2 text files, showing all the Network Adapters 'as-is" called Adapters AOL, and also after uninstalling AOL called Adapters Post AOL.
    One of the WAN Miniport entries disappeared.
    I've not yet tried to create a new Network Connection - since I can only connect on one machine at a time - I decided to post here first.
    I'll give it a try and update later tonite.
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    we're off to a good start!

    I can see from what you provided
    • The AOL miniport adapter has been removed from your list of adapters
    • I would think that upon the uninstall AOL would also delete their miniport driver. But to be 100% certain it can't interfere, why don't you look for
      c:\windows\system32\drivers\wanatw4.sys.​
      It should no longer exist. If by chance it does, rename it something like wanatw4.sys.old
    • I see the computer's internal Ethernet adapter is installed (it's called Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller). Dell has a newer driver available but the current driver should be just fine till we get the computer connected via ethernet and then we can update it
    • Since you have an ethernet DSL modem on the way, i'd suggest you uninstall the Alcatel stuff first. Then we can see that the new Network Connections appear correctly. Look in Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs. Is there anything there for Alcatel USB modem?? Click Remove to uninstall from the entry you find there (this entry would uninstall not only Alcatel drivers - as you could do via Device Manager- but should you find an Add/Remove Programs entry, it will also remove any application level stuff Alcatel might have installed in addition to its drivers). If you don't find an Add/Remove programs entry, then you can go to Device Manager to uninstall
    • After Alcatel is uninstalled, you should also find its entry has been removed from network adapters list
    • Then try and create a New Network connection. I'd expect an LAN connection to appear (and it should be using the ethernet adapter you now have ready and waiting for its new modem!). So we can go the next step once the modem arrives
  11. SHunt

    SHunt Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    ok - I renamed the miniport driver to '-old' - it was still there in the Drivers folder.
    and I uninstalled the Alcatel Software. Actually, I had already uninstalled and reinstalled it! But, upon reinstallation - the computer no longer recongnized the modem - actually it reported it as 'unplugged' in the task bar - even though all the lights were solid green on the modem itself. So, I just re-uninstalled it again and, as expected, it no longer appears in the network adapters list.
    But, i just tried to create yet another Network Connection - and again it's trying to use the WAN Miniport!!!
    So, I guess it's wait for the new modem or....
    Upgrade to Cable.
    I guess you'd recommend Cable over DSL???

    another observation - I do have an existing Network Connection using the LAN and the Broadcom Network Adapter - but it's got the Red X - showing Network Cable Unplugged (of course)
     
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    Leave it to AOL. Uninstall their software, yet they still leave their drivers behind. Apparently not only wass the driver file still there, but their miniport driver is still defined in Windows! Would seem they never bothered to remove it with their other stuff! (i never woulda guessed AOL would do that!)

    Will provide further info but will be either later tonight or tomorrow..

    As far as cable vs DSL my comments
    1) Cable offers far greater speeds then DSL. So, in part, is just what speeds you want/need. Though remember regardless of how fast your potential download speeds you're still often throttled by how fast the server at the other end will provide the data!
    2) In general cable setup is trivial compared to DSL setup (DSL requires all those modem and system setup screens that need configuring, etc. Cable is pretty much plugin and go!) tho i'll say these days (and will guess you'll find on your new DSL modem) the DSL providers seem to have made setup easier (but when there are problems DSL can be more painful then cable as you still need double check your setup screens)

    Will post again later or tomorrow with more info
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    There are some handy tools to easily manage Windows services and drivers.. but seeing as how you're still not Internet connected to download them.. we'll do it the old-fashoned way!

    • To open a command prompt window, click Start->Run, enter cmd
    • I'm guessing AOL's miniport driver is still defined, so if you enter sc query wanatw you will see somethink like
      Code:
      SERVICE_NAME: wanatw
              TYPE               : 1  KERNEL_DRIVER
              STATE              : 1  STOPPED
                                      (NOT_STOPPABLE,NOT_PAUSABLE,IGNORES_SHUTDOWN)
              WIN32_EXIT_CODE    : 1077       (0x435)
              SERVICE_EXIT_CODE  : 0  (0x0)
              CHECKPOINT         : 0x0
              WAIT_HINT          : 0x0
    • If you enter sc delete wanatw you should then see (fyi.. you need not rename that old driver file for this to work)
      Code:
      [SC] DeleteService SUCCESS
    • If you redo the query you should now get a failure message
    I'm thinking THIS should finally put a stake in the heart of AOL's miniport driver! BUT regardless fom what you described before sounds like your ethernet adapter is just ready and waiting for that cable to get plugged in! (p.s.i'm going to be travelling so might be a day or two before can reply again) Let me know how it goes!
  14. SHunt

    SHunt Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I got the new Ethernet modem yesterday (Motorola) - and all is well!
    I think I'll delete the miniport driver nonetheless.
    thanks so much, and safe travels.
  15. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    hey! great news :grinthumb

    Remember to go the Dell web site and get the update for your internal ethernet adapter! (it's good to be internet connected again, huh? :) )
  16. johnsonjr01

    johnsonjr01 Newcomer, in training

    help please lookinaroud

    can you give me the command to uninstall the WAN miniport
  17. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    It's nomal to have several WAN miniports installed.

    Are you specifically looking for the AOL WAN minport? You can check (specifically) if it's the AOL WAN miniport driver will appear as:
    > Driver Name: wanatw
    > Display Name: WAN Miniport (ATW)
  18. johnsonjr01

    johnsonjr01 Newcomer, in training

    well i got a new router its aZD-Link DI-524 and im trying to hook it up and it wont work. im with aliant and to connect to the internet now i have to connect through WAN miniport and my router wont recognize that so i think i have to delete the WAN miniport so it will work but im not sure. my internet works fine threw the modem but once i connect the modem and the router it wont connect so i dont no what to do i need help i wanna play xbox live thats why im doing all this hahaha
  19. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    Why do you think you have to connect through WAN miniport?

    But more important, if you use a D Link DI-524 you must be connecting to Alliant by a modem device.
    1) Please look for that tag on the modem you use and tell us the exact make/model
    2) Have you tried connecting your computer directing to the Alliant modem?
    >> Does it work when directly connected? Or
    >> Do you just have internet connection problems when trying to connect when also using the DLink router?

    As if the problem is just when Dlink is connected there can be several reasons. Best to start by telling us your modem make/model... and do you know if you are DSL? or cable? or ?
  20. johnsonjr01

    johnsonjr01 Newcomer, in training

    well how do i find the make model of the modem and my modem sais ADSL on it so im assuming ASL lol im not sure
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    look closely at the modem. there should be a tag on it (often on the back panel where you plug the cables into it). the tag would state make/model

    and yea, sounds like it's DSL :)
  22. johnsonjr01

    johnsonjr01 Newcomer, in training

    i dont see anything so i dont no
  23. johnsonjr01

    johnsonjr01 Newcomer, in training

    well to connect i have to go to this thing and it sais aliant1,connected,firewalled,WAN PPPOE and that wont connect whenever i hook up my router and without that my internet wont work well its works offline but not online so i think that i need to get rid of that but im not sure and i dont wanna screw up my computer im only 15 and i just wanna play my damn xbox live !
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