TIP: Backup Wireless Network Settings (Windows 7)

One of the many advantages of Windows 7 over its predecessors is the wide array of options in backing up the system. Already inherent in its line-up of tools is the capability to create its own repair disc. But the most overlooked capability, which I think is just as useful, is the capacity to backup wireless settings.

This feature can be beneficial to you in two ways -- a backup of the configuration and a way to share wireless network configuration to another computer. Since it can backup the wireless network security key, it also serves as a way to recall the that key.

In order to create a backup of the wireless settings, go to Start --> Control Panel --> Network and Sharing Center (if using the view by icons). If your Control Panel is displayed in Category view, choose Network and Internet --> Network and Sharing Center. A similar window like below is displayed.

Backup Wireless Network Settings Windows 7

Click on Manage wireless networks (on the top left column).

Backup Wireless Network Settings Windows 7

You will be shown a list of wireless network infrastructures or ad-hoc networks that your computer can connect to. Double-click the wireless network you wish to backup.

Backup Wireless Network Settings Windows 7

Next, click on "Copy this network profile to a USB flash drive".The backup process requires a USB flash drive (UFD) to write the configuration files to. If your computer doesn't have one, you may plug one in. Then, click "Next".

Backup Wireless Network Settings Windows 7

A few files will now be written on the UFD. The files "AUTORUN.INF" and "setupSNK.exe" are now present on the UFD, together with the directory "SMRTNTKY". These files contain the backup of the wireless network settings of the computer system.

You may choose to plug the UFD on another computer and run the executable "setupSNK.exe" to configure that computer to use the same wireless network settings as the original computer. This way you have imported the wireless network settings to another computer without having to do much work.

Backup Wireless Network Settings Windows 7

Since the UFD already contains a copy of the wireless network settings, it is a backup that you can secure in a safe place. You might be needing it one way or another in the future.

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