Intel has turned off the software used by its Centrino mobile chip set after notebook and laptop PC users suffered blue-screen system crashes when they tried to run virtual private network (VPN) client software.
Nortel Networks last week acknowledged that the operating system on Centrino-based PCs can stop functioning when Nortel's Contivity VPN software is installed. A posting on Intel's website indicated that the suspected cause of the system crashes could apply to any VPN client package.
Mike Schexnaydre, a software engineer at Nortel, said the conflicts between Contivity and Centrino stem from the use of an adapter-switching feature in the Intel-developed software used to manage wireless Lan setup profiles and other functions on PCs.
The adapter-switching component of Intel's PROSet software lets end users automatically switch from wired to wireless connections, Schexnaydre said. But a work-around developed by Nortel requires IT departments to uninstall the PROSet drivers.
Intel spokesman Daniel Francisco confirmed that the incompatibility issue involves the adapter-switching feature but said that Intel thought most Centrino-based systems are already being shipped with that functionality switched off.
WatchGuard Technologies and Secure Computing, two other suppliers of VPN clients, said they were investigating whether there are any conflicts between Centrino and the products they sell.
Bob Brewin writes for Computerworld