I have been reviewing a Nokia 620 – an excellent budget smartphone.
Yesterday I was travelling and used the Internet Connection Sharing feature. This is one of the best features of Windows Phone 8, allowing you to use your mobile data connection as a wireless hotspot.
Unfortunately it did not work properly. It could connect for a bit, then the PC (a Samsung Slate running Windows 8) would crash. The error is Driver_IRQL_Not_Less_Or_Equal and the driver mentioned is netwsw00.sys.
The fix is easy (once you know). Reboot, and before you connect to the hotspot (or before it crashes), view the properties of the wireless connection. Click Advanced, and enable Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) for the connection.
Presto! everything works.
If you want to know what FIPS is, see here. The question of what difference the setting makes though is not known to me, though there are some clues here.
Fortunately you do not need to know, just make the change.
I am glad Windows Phone 8 is FIPS compliant (why not?) but disappointed that some issues with Windows 7 and 8 (I repeated the problem in Windows 7) and this hotspot feature, possibly also involving third-party wireless drivers, causes such a catastrophic and repeatable crash.