Vista Sprint EV-DO Workaround

Mitch Ratcliffe's Vista-Mac user experience comparison hit a driver-related bump in the road. Vista required a workaround to connect to Sprint's network. Here's the step-by-step guide to getting connected to Sprint's broadband wireless network.

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Mitch Ratcliffe's Vista-Mac user experience comparison hit a driver-related bump in the road. Vista required a workaround to connect to Sprint's network. Here's the step-by-step guide to getting connected to Sprint's broadband wireless network.
This EV-DO card must be activated using a Windows XP system.
EV-DO cards must be activated using two 10-digit telephone numbers, the Carrier Mobile Directory Number (MDN) and the Carrier Mobile Subscriber ID (MSID), and a six-digit locking code, called the MSL. Telling the card this information the first time you use it is essential to making it work, because the card and the network exchange these numbers to identify the account and control data.
Once the EV-DO card is activated—that is, once it knows the MDN, MSID and MSL—a simple dial-up script can start the connection process.
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In the Network and Sharing Center (which you can open from the Control Panels window or by right-clicking the network icon in the Windows Tray), select "Set up a new connection or network."

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The next dialog presents a list of types of connections that can be created. You have two options here:
* Connect to the Internet, in which case you should go to the next step.
* Set up a dial-up connection, in which case you can skip ahead two screens to Step 5.
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Vista may already have a connection to the Internet. Creating a new connection will not disable the existing connection.
Choose "Set up a new connection anyway."
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Even though the Sprint service is wireless, the connection to select is Dial-up.

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If the computer has recognized the EV-DO card, it will be listed along with any other modems in the device. Select Pantech PC Card.

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This step is much simpler than it appears. Because the EV-DO card is activated and ready to negotiate the connection with the network, all you need to do here is enter the dial-up phone number #777, leaving the User name and Password fields as they are, blank.
Check the Remember this password box and name the connection. In this case, we'll call the connection "Sprint."
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Here is the dial-up configuration as it should be before you click the Connect button.
Vista's default values for the User name and Password are blank, despite the text that appears.
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Vista logs on and the EV-DO negotiates the network connection with Sprint.

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This dialog relates to Vista's network security settings. Each of the choices represents a default set of preferences regard network sharing access and discoverability by other computers.
* Home: Sets the network to provide promiscuous access to local devices and for other systems to easily discover and log on to your computer. If you have a home network, this would allow other systems to share your connection through Sprint.
* Work: Similar to Home, this choice opens your system to discovery and device sharing.
* Public location. Even though this sounds like the most open of the choices you have, it is the most closed. Sharing is limited and discovery made more restricted so that someone sitting nearby cannot access your computer.
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I've selected the Public location setting, so that my computer is not accessible when I use the Sprint connection. Vista displays a dialog confirming the settings and that the computer is connected to the Sprint network.

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Okay, let's imagine that we've left home and do not have access to a local network, but have not yet connected to Sprint.
In the Network and Sharing Center Control Panel shows that Vista has no network connection.
Click the Connect to a network link in blue beneath the Not connected icon.
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This dialog may display multiple options, including available Wi-Fi networks. Select the Sprint option and click the Connect button at the bottom of the dialog.

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The dialog that opens now is already correctly configured, because the EV-DO card contains the account and login information. Leave the User name and Password fields blank.
The "Save this user name and passoword" box should be checked and the dial-up number should be "#777".
Click the Dial button.
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Once connected, Vista will confirm that the computer has reached the network.
Let's look back at the Network and Sharing Center....
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The Network and Sharing Center displays a network map showing the Sprint network as your link to the Internet. Additionally, the park bench icon indicates the network is set to "public location," and so is more tightly secured.
If you have a second connection, such as a Wi-Fi network, both will be displayed here. The network icon will be "multiple networks" and both connections will be listed.
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When disconnected from the Internet, Vista will display a dial-up dialog on the Desktop that will connect the computer to Sprint.

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EV-DO Rev. A offers faster connectivity than the first release of EV-DO. On this day, over this connection, Sprint delivered 996 Kbps downstream and 128 Kbps upstream speeds.

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