So I have my Windows laptops using 802.1X for authentication to connect to my WPA2-Enterprise WiFi network. This works well except for one edge case.
These laptops are Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8 Pro.
As a background, I have only been able to get users to successfully log in to such a laptop if their profile already exists in some way on the laptop -- ie cached credentials are used for the login, which are then passed on to the 802.1X process for authorization to connect to the WiFi.
I am now being shipped laptops without physical ethernet connectors, meaning that I can't have users log in for the first time when connected by a wire. And therefore I have a chicken-and-egg problem:
- there are no cached credentials;
- the laptop doesn't try to connect to the WiFi because there are no credentials to pass through
- the laptop can't authenticate the credentials because there is no network over which to perform the authentication
What I want is a way to set the laptop to pass the authentication information to the WiFi network before it tries to authenticate the user as a user. In other words, set up the network with the passed credentials so we have a network with which to perform the authentication.
I have tried:
- the Enable single sign on for this network
- the Perform immediately before user logon
- the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run regedit update
- the Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative templates\System\Logon\Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon local policy change
The last two seem to depend on the network being a PSK network, not a Enterprise network, since network connect fails prior to logon because there are no credentials to use for connection.
Is there a way to make this work, or am I stuck buying a USB ethernet dongle and having users do their first logins using that?