Friday, October 25, 2013

Windows 8.1 BSOD while connected to my Nokia Lumia 1020 on internet sharing

A few weeks ago I was still running the Windows 8.1 Preview and my laptop would BSOD (blue screen of death) within a few minutes after connecting to my Nokia Lumia 1020 in internet sharing mode.  I thought that maybe it was due to the Windows 8.1 Preview bits, so I just stopped tethering until I installed the release version of Windows 8.1. 

I upgraded to the full release version of Windows 8.1 last week and decided to see if the tethering was still an issue.  I connected to the Nokia Lumia 1020, and within a few minutes BAM!  BSOD.  So, it was definitely not an issue with the preview.  I started doing some research and found that the issue resided within the Network Connection properties of my tethered session with the Lumia. 

The short fix is that you need to enable FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) on the Wireless Properties of the connection to the Lumia.  The only problem is that the only way to set this property is to actually connect to your Lumia, which can be an issue when your machine will BSOD when you connect to you Lumia.  So, after a few crashes, the machine stayed connected just long enough to allow me to get to the settings. 

Here are the steps for enabling FIPS:
  • Enable Internet Sharing on your Lumia
    • Settings
    • System
    • Internet Sharing
    • Toggle the sharing option to ON.
    • Remember your Broadcast name and Password on this screen as you'll need it when connecting on your machine
  • Tethering to your Lumia on your Windows 8 / 8.1 machine:
    • Left click on the network icon in the system tray, and the list of available connections are shown on the right side of your screen.  Click on the network connection with your Nokia Lumia broadcast name, and then click connect.  You will need to enter the password for your phone's tethering (if you haven't done this previously)
    • At this point your machine is connected, and it may or may not BSOD immediately or it may BSOD within a few minutes.  The point is to not waste any time with the next set of instructions, it's now a race against time.  :)
  • Setting the FIPS property:
    • Left click on the network icon in the system tray and select:  Open Network and Sharing Center.  You will see your network connection on this screen.  Shown below is the network information for my internet connection with my Lumia:
    • You will now want to left click on the blue text (shown above as Wi-Fi (Nokia XXXXXXX), this opens the Wi-Fi Status screen shown below, click on Wireless Properties
    • On the Wireless Network Properties screen, click on the Security tab (shown below), and then click the Advanced Settings button.
    • Finally, this is the screen that allows you to enable FIPS on your network connection.  Hopefully you were able to get to this screen on the first try before your machine BSOD a few times.  :)
    • Simply check the Enable Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliance for the network, and you should never see the BSOD again when tethered to your Nokia Lumia.


  1. You can use the following approach in Windows 10 to enable the FIPS option BEFORE connecting to your phone network in order to avoid the crash altogether:

    1. Disable the WiFi on your laptop, so it can't discover any networks
    2. Change the broadcasting name of your phone hotspot (so it doesn't exist in your laptop memory of existing networks)
    3. Open "Network and Sharing Centre", click on "Set up a new connection or network", select "Manually connect to a wireless network", then enter the details for your phone hotspot and also tick the option to "connect automatically" and then click next to go to the next screen.
    4. On the next screen, you can chose to open the wireless properties for this new network and enable the FIPS. then click close.
    5. Now enable the WiFi on your laptop, and after a few moments it will connect to your phone network. But this time, with the FIPS option already ticked, no more BSODs!

  2. Thank you Amir! This worked. Since upgrading from Windows 7 to 10 I had been unable to tether wirelessly to my Lumia 1020 using Internet Sharing, and the BSOD was almost immediate each time I connected, not allowing me to change the FIPS setting.

    Your "new connection" technique worked perfectly. Thanks again.