I am trialing 802.1x on 20 dell notebooks. I can get 8021x authentication to work however the user has to be logged onto the domain previously for it to work. If a new user logs in they get domain is unavailable. I am using Windows 2003 server for the radius server and for the Certificate Server. There is a group policy that when devices are placed in that OU they receive a Certificate from the Certificate Server. The clients are windows xp SP3 using windows zero config utility for wireless. How can I get the wireless 8021x connected prior to the logon process?
For Windows XP clients you should be able to set the "Authenticate as computer when computer information is available" option Wireless Network Properties - Authentication tab. This certainly worked for XP SP2 and earlier but this appears to have changed with SP3.
For Vista (and apparently for XP SP3, I don't have an XP system to test) this must be explicitly enabled - the details for both are outlined in this MS kb article : "How to enable computer-only authentication for a 802.1X-based network in Windows Vista, in Windows Server 2008, and in Windows XP Service Pack 3"
For this to work your Radius server must support machine only authentication, your GPO must be deploying computer and not user certs.