How to Disable 802.11d Flag on Motorola/Symbol Handhelds

I recently had a customer that wanted to disable the 802.11d flag (setting) on their Motorola/Symbol handheld scanners.    Even when my customer disabled that setting manually, it came back upon reboot.  Apparently they were using Wavelink’s Avalanche system to centrally manage the scanners, which would download a fresh configuration each time it was powered up (including re-setting the 802.11d flag).

In this post, I will explain the research I conducted as well as two possible solutions.  First, here is a little background on 802.11d taken from Wikipedia:

802.11d, is an amendment to the IEEE 802.11 specification that adds support for “additional regulatory domains”. This support includes the addition of a country information element to beacons, probe requests, and probe responses. The country information elements simplifies the creation of 802.11 wireless access points and client devices that meet the different regulations enforced in various parts of the world.

The current 802.11 standard defines operation in only a few regulatory domains (countries). This supplement adds the requirements and definitions necessary to allow 802.11 WLAN equipment to operate in markets not served by the current standard. Enable the 802.11d feature/option if you are operating in one of these “additional regulatory domains”.

At any rate, I ran the issue with the 802.11d flag to ground.  These are the steps I took:

I found the 802.11d flag is a radio level setting specific to the handheld device – in this case, the Symbol/Motorola scanners.

Therefore, I tried to figure out if we could disable the 802.11d through Wavelink’s Avalanche tool.  I found the following Q&A on their support forum (and called into their tech support this morning to verify):

Q: Can you disable the 802.11d radio file through The AMC product?
A: No. This is a symbol radio file and we do not have the tools in our mobility center to disable specific radio files. These need to be disabled manually.

Then, I tried to figure out if there was a way to disable the setting centrally from Motorola.  I believe you can do this through Motorola’s MSP (Mobility Services Platform).  For reference, here are instructions to disable 802.11d through MSP:

Therefore, we had to disable the 802.11d setting in each device manually and keep it disabled through a cold boot.

Here are the steps on how to accomplish that :

1. Tap the Fusion icon (blue radio card icon) located on the lower
right hand corner of the display. Or Start\Programs Fusion WCLAUNCH
2. From the menu, select Options.
3. Tap the drop down arrow and select Regulatory.
4. Configure your regulatory settings and tap Save. (Uncheck the
5. Tap the drop down arrow and select Export.
6. Tap the Export Options button to name the .reg file you will be
exporting. (Leave the default Name)
7. Make sure the location selected is the Application directory.
8. Tap Save. An Options Exported message will appear.
9. Tap OK.


7 comments so far

  1. Keith Parsons on

    Thanks for documenting this online. I don’t have a need for it right now… but will bookmark this for further reference.


  2. MDC on

    Thank you very much for this post. I have a question or three though…

    I have this same issue, and Symbol/Moto is not being very friendly with me about getting the data I need out of registry to keep the disablement permanent.

    What are you considering the applications directory?

    I am trying to develop on a PDA that prints. I am using WinCE 5 and an LA 5127-1020-WWR. I make the change through options, and even with a forced cold boot, the settings stays resident. Only when the device’s backup battery fails do I revert back to enabled. This is why I’m interested in your registry export.

    Again, Motorola is not helpful here, so I’m trying to find out whatever workaround I can to keep this persistent or force the device to rebuild the registry to the disabled version.

    Please note that I am very new at developing anything for CE, and appreciate any assistance you can provide.

  3. MDC on

    I’m providing an edit to my own post…

    I just found out that there is a bug in the existing driver that is preventing this from working correctly. There are some issues where the dialog box that shows 802.11d is disabled, when it is not, and other related issues.

    When using the new driver, I am better off, but I have Avalanche issues since they do not play well together. It has now come to my attention that the drivers developed for the radio card when used in Symbol devices are developed in-house. The OEM drivers are developed in India, and supported the same through Symbol/Motorola.

    Thanks again for your post, as it gave me the boost I needed.

  4. TSP on

    I am able to do as i wish w/regards to changing any of the radio options (WCS) usin the AMC product. I currently disable 802.11d

  5. Vivek on

    I am using OpenNETCF to find wireless adapters on Motorola MC-75 device, but it do not show me any wireless adpaters. When i use “Wireless Companion” to search the wifi it does show all wifi.

    I have unchecked the 802.11d and choose Motorola JEDI WIFI Driver. Does Motorola JEDI WIFI is WZC compatible? But same code is working on other HTC windows device.

    Please suggest.

  6. Mike Dimmick on

    @Vivek: If Motorola’s Fusion is managing the wireless network card, the Microsoft Wireless Zero Config APIs do not work. Use Motorola’s FusionPublicAPI instead; from their ‘EMDK for .NET’ use the Fusion.WLAN classes.

    Some Motorola devices now have an option to disable Fusion and enable WZC. This appears in the Fusion Options dialog. The MC75A I have in front of me does not have this option, however. Personally I would not recommend WZC as it is designed for Hot-Spot use with interactive input from the user, tending not to lock onto the desired wireless network and to forget, from time to time, the passphrase for remembered networks.

  7. Karen Nall on

    I have a question please. I am just a single woman who has had my computer hacked. I called to find out if my internet provider could do anything to help me but the rep I talked to kept saying he did not understand how someone could get into my computer. I kept my mouth shut but you can imagine what I wanted to say.
    I have a MacBook and a MacBook pro so I took them to the Apple store for help but the young kid acted like I was an idiot and offered no solution. So I asked if maybe they could erase everything and put it back like new if that would help. He said if that was what i wanted to do it would take about an hour. Well he left me hanging, another rep had to go look for him which took a while. When he did surface he wouldn’t even look at me and walked off letting other rep who noticed I had been sitting at the Genius Bar forever. He finished up, took it home but the minute i signed into my network they were right back in. I did this the same thing again, specifically telling them the problem. Again no help. I would tell people what was happening but nobody seems to believe me. In the meantime I decided to add the Qrome app to my phone and got message from Google that they were blocking me due to “Unusual traffic coming from my computer, automated traffic which includes automated queries, using software to send queries to Google to determine how a website or webpage ranks on Google for various queries, Meta Searching Google, and Performing offline searches on Google. It continued to say when Google detects this activity the error page usually displays a Captcha and to type the word in and i could continue using Google. And it goes on to tell me to visit their security site for programs to remove these programs. Ok now I had proof that I am not dreaming this up. My son in law told me to do a trial with Norton Kaspersky USA. Well I did that but realized after I installed it that when i went to their website it had redirected me and what I got was a bogus program. In the desperate attempt to get some protection right after I came home from having everything erased the second time I spent 77.00 on yet another bogus program. I could not get it to stop redirecting me so I took my chances. Money lost.
    I have spent many an hour delving into all the different applications this hacker has placed on my computer, spent many an hour looking at logs, etc.
    Not that I know what I’m looking for but just looking for anything that maybe can give me a clue.
    Some of the things I am seeing is bluetooth devices, many types of cameras, printers, lots of different languages and I Google a lot of it to get an idea what it is used for.
    What I have found is these devices are used to take pics of my screens, data etc. They set up bluetooth to access my public folder and I remove it but before I know it they have put it back. I also noticed when I go into preferances and look go to my network page and click on advance I see 802.1x. I remembered seeing something like it in the log at some time so I looked again today and I found this. Well I was gonna copy and paste it here but my hacker x’d my stickie before I got a chance. Anyway it said EN1: country code set to “US” When i looked it up i found this……
    802.11d is a wireless network communications specification for use in countries where systems using other standards in the 802.11 family are not allowed to operate.
    It fits right in with all the different languages I’m seeing in the logs and figured either someone is sending stuff to other countries or the hacking is coming from another country
    The reason I am writing is I just checked with Apple on when they would be done erasing my computer and was told they are having trouble getting some things off and wonder if it might be this. Sorry this is so long but wanted to paint a pic of what was going on. Do you think this could be the problem? If so I will notify the young kids working at the Apple store working on my computer and maybe it will help get it removed.
    I may be wishing but thought I would ask anyway.
    Thank you so much and hope to hear back from you soon please
    Karen Nall @ Phone- 469-951-5027 if you care to call

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