How to install and configure Bluetooth devices in Windows XP Service Pack 2

By | May 30, 2013
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To install a Bluetooth device, you only have to connect it. Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) includes drivers for many Bluetooth devices. If Windows does not recognize a Bluetooth device, you can still use it by using the generic software support that Windows includes, or you can use the driver that the device manufacturer provides. To add a Bluetooth device to your computer, you can use the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard. To configure a Bluetooth connection, you use the Bluetooth Devices item in Control Panel.You can join an ad hoc network between Bluetooth devices by using Personal Area Networking (PAN). When you use PAN, your computer and other Bluetooth devices use TCP/IP networking to communicate. If you have a Bluetooth device that supports dial-up networking, you can use it as a modem. You can use the Add Printer Wizard to use a Bluetooth printer wirelessly. Finally, you can transfer files between Bluetooth-ready computers or devices by using Bluetooth. This article includes step-by-step procedures for these tasks.


This article describes how to install and configure a Bluetooth device in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).Note If you install a Bluetooth adapter that is not supported in Windows XP SP2, follow the recommendations that the Bluetooth adapter’s manufacturer provides.

Installing a Bluetooth adapter that is on the list of supported adapters for Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) is only a matter of connecting the device. No configuration is needed before you make the connection.

When you install a supported Bluetooth adapter in Windows XP SP2, the adapter becomes active together with the following Microsoft components:

  • Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator
    This component enumerates Bluetooth devices and capabilities.
  • Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network)
    This driver supports Personal Area Network (PAN) connections between devices.
  • Bluetooth Device (RFCOMM Protocol Transport Driver Interface [TDI])
    This component supports dial-up networking (DUN). It also supports other types of connections between devices.
  • Bluetooth Support Service (BthServ)
    This service maintains and updates device pairing information. It also performs other functions that are related to Bluetooth features.

These components are available in Device Manager after you install a Bluetooth adapter. Other drivers and components are also installed.

Bluetooth radio support

If you connect a Bluetooth adapter to your computer that Windows does not recognize, Windows XP SP2 may provide generic software support. If you experience problems with the generic software support, you can install the third-party provided driver that was included with the Bluetooth adapter.

For additional information about the Bluetooth radio drivers that are included in Windows XP SP2, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

841803 List of Bluetooth radio drivers that are included in Windows XP Service Pack 2

Configuration and devices

You can use the Bluetooth Devices item in Control Panel to configure Bluetooth settings. By using Bluetooth Devices, you can do one or more of the following:

  • Add or remove a device.
  • View the properties of a device.
  • Change your Bluetooth options.
  • Add a COM port.

In Bluetooth Devices, the Devices tab shows all the devices that are currently configured on your computer. By using theDevices tab, you can add a device, remove a device, or view the properties of a device.

Device properties

When you view the properties of a Bluetooth device, you see the following information:

  • The device type
  • The hardware address of the Bluetooth adapter
  • The date and time of the last connection
  • Information about whether a passkey is used for pairing with the device

You can also change the name that Windows uses for the device. This change also affects the name that is used by the Bluetooth File Transfer Wizard and by Add Modem.

The Services tab shows information about the services that the device supports. For example, when a Bluetooth phone or a personal digital assistant (PDA) is connected to your computer, this tab may show COM ports that are available for synchronization. This tab may also show Internet dial-up networking connections. You can also select the services that you want to use.


The Options tab in Bluetooth Devices provides options that control how devices discover and connect to your computer. The main option is Turn discovery on. This option lets devices discover your computer so that you can make a connection.

Other options on this tab include the following:

  • Allow Bluetooth devices to connect to this computer
    This check box controls whether any devices can connect to your computer. If this check box is cleared, no devices can connect to your computer.
  • Alert me when a new Bluetooth device wants to connect
    This option controls whether you receive notification when a device tries to connect to your computer. If this check box is cleared, you do not receive notification.

Other options on the Options tab let you turn on or turn off the Bluetooth icon in the notification area and restore default settings.


Typically, your Bluetooth-enabled computer will discover other devices. Therefore, you only have to turn on the Turn discovery on option when your computer acts as a device. For example, you might want to turn on this option when your computer is connected to another computer by a Personal Area Network (PAN). When computers are connected by a PAN, one of the computers must have discovery turned on.

By default, discovery is not turned on in Windows XP SP2, because a discoverable Bluetooth device may be less secure than a device that is not discoverable. We recommend that you keep the Turn discovery on check box cleared unless you want another Bluetooth device to discover the computer. When the connection is complete, the Add Device Wizard turns off discovery automatically.

Adding a COM port

You can add an incoming port that receives a connection from a Bluetooth device, or you can add an outgoing port that makes a connection to a Bluetooth device. To connect to a Bluetooth device using a COM port, follow these steps:

  1. Use the port configuration options in Device Manager to set the COM port configuration.For the correct data rate and for other settings, see the documentation for the program that you want to use over the connection.
  2. Set the COM port in the program to the port number that is specified on the last page of the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard.This port number is also listed on the COM Ports tab in Bluetooth Devices.

Bluetooth devices that use a COM port require special programs on your computer. These programs are typically included with the device. You can also obtain these programs from the device manufacturers. To set up your program to use a COM port, follow the instructions in the program documentation.


The Hardware tab in Bluetooth Devices lists the Bluetooth devices that are installed on your computer. This is the same list that is shown in the Bluetooth Radios category in Device Manager. When you select a device in the list and then click Properties, you see the same device properties as you would see in Device Manager.

Adding a device

When you add a Bluetooth device to your computer, address information is exchanged. Sometimes, access keys are also exchanged. This process is known as pairing or bonding the two devices. When you add a device, one of the devices must be discoverable. Some devices let you turn discovery on and off, and others are always discoverable. For example, some mouse devices are always discoverable.

When you use Bluetooth to connect two computers, the computer that is added as a device must have discovery turned on. You can turn on discovery by using the Options tab in Bluetooth Devices.

Steps to take on the computer

To add a device, follow these steps on your computer:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type bthprops.cpl, and then click OK.
  2. In Bluetooth Settings, click Add.
  3. In the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard, click to select the My device is set up and ready to be found check box, and then click Next.Note You cannot click Next until you click to select the My device is set up and ready to be found box. A device that has discovery turned off cannot be detected during a search.

    When you click Next, your computer searches for any discoverable devices that are in range. When the search is complete, the devices appear in the wizard.

  4. Select a device to add, and then click Next.After you select the device to add, you can enter a passkey for the device. A passkey is a code that is used to control access to a device. Using a passkey may help improve the security of your connection. However, the device that you add may not require a passkey.

When you enter the passkey, your computer tries to connect to the device to verify the passkey. When you connect to another computer, you receive a message that the computers are trying to connect.

Steps to take on the device

When you have completed the steps on your computer, enter the passkey on the Bluetooth device. If the device is another computer, this computer displays a message that indicates that you are requesting a connection. Follow these steps on the computer that you are adding as a Bluetooth device:

  1. Click in the message that indicates that you are requesting a connection.The Add Bluetooth Device Wizard starts and provides a field for entering the passkey.
  2. Enter the passkey. You may also choose to have a passkey generated for you.

When the passkey is verified, the connection is complete. The device is now visible on your computer. If the device is another computer, its computer name is visible on the first computer.

On the last page of the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard, you can turn discovery off on the computer that you add as a device. By default, the option to turn discovery off is selected so that the computer does not remain discoverable at all times.

After a device is added

After a device is added, it appears in Bluetooth Devices. You can view the device properties to examine the services provided, to change the name of the device, or to gather other information. You can also establish connections.

Joining a Personal Area Network

Personal Area Networking (PAN) provides ad hoc networking between Bluetooth devices. All devices that you want to network must support PAN to create a PAN network. To join a PAN network, you can use any one of the following methods:

  • Click the Join a Personal Area Network option in the Bluetooth taskbar icon menu.
  • Double-click the Bluetooth Network Connection icon in the Network Connections item in Control Panel.
  • Click View Bluetooth network devices in the Network Tasks pane in Network Connections.

Each of these methods opens the Bluetooth Personal Area Network Devices dialog box. This dialog box shows a list of devices that you can connect to. You can also add or remove devices from this list by using the options at the bottom of the dialog box.

To make a connection, click the device that you want to connect to, and then click Connect. When the connection is complete, TCP/IP networking is available between your computer and the other device. (If you click a device that you are already connected to, the Connect button becomes a Disconnect button.)

Note When both PAN devices in a connection are Windows XP-based computers, the connection is a point-to-point connection, and you cannot use one computer to act as a router to a local area network (LAN) or to the Internet. To do this, you need a network access point (NAP).

Windows uses Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) to assign addresses to the computers in an ad hoc network. When APIPA is used, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is not needed. To view the APIPA address, type ipconfig at a command prompt, and then press ENTER. You receive output that is similar to the following:

Ethernet adapter Bluetooth Network Connection:
        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
        Autoconfiguration IP Address. . . :
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

The General tab on the Status dialog box shows the connection speed and the packet transmission information for the connection. The Support tab is the same as for other network connections. By using the Support tab, you can view information about IP addressing information, obtain details about the connection, or repair the connection.

Adding a modem

In Windows XP SP2, you can add a Bluetooth device that has support for dial-up networking as a modem. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type telephon.cpl, and then click OK.
  2. On the Modems tab, click Add.The Select Bluetooth Device dialog box opens.
  3. Click to select a Bluetooth device to use as a modem.

If you configure Windows to detect modems while a Bluetooth adapter is connected, Windows automatically opens Select Bluetooth Device when it detects a Bluetooth device that has support for dial-up networking.

After you select a device, you can configure the device by using Phone and Modem Options. To connect to the Internet, you can create a new connection in the Network Connections folder.

Notes on modem support

  • Windows XP automatically generates a passkey for the connection between the mobile phone and your computer. You can use this passkey or enter one of your own. Passkeys can have up to 16 characters. The passkey must be entered within 30 seconds, or authentication may not succeed.
  • Some mobile phones already have a passkey. If your phone has a passkey, enter the passkey in the Bluetooth Connection Wizard.
  • Bluetooth is not a secure wireless technology. Your data may be visible to other devices or computers that are in range.
  • If your mobile phone does not support dial-up networking, you cannot install the phone by using the Add Hardware Wizard. To install the phone, use Bluetooth Devices.
  • When a mobile phone is connected as a modem, it appears in Device Manager as a modem.

Adding a printer

Windows XP SP2 supports Bluetooth printers. You can use the Add Printer Wizard to access printer features. To start the Add Printer Wizard, click Start, click Printers and Faxes, and then click Add a printer.

When you select A Bluetooth printer in the Add Printer Wizard, your computer searches for Bluetooth printers. When your computer locates a printer, you can select it to install. To install the printer, you have to install drivers for the printer, just as you do for any other type of printer.

When the printer is installed, the printer port appears as a Bluetooth virtual printer port on the Ports tab of the printer’sProperties dialog box.

Transfering a file

You can transfer one file at a time between your computer and another Bluetooth device by using the Bluetooth File Transfer Wizard. For example, you can transfer files between your computer and a mobile phone or a PDA. You can also transfer files between two computers that use Bluetooth.

Sending a file

To send a file to another computer, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type %windir%\system32\fsquirt.exe, and then click OK.
  2. On the Do you want to send or receive a file? page of the Bluetooth File Transfer Wizard, click Send a file, and then click Next.
  3. On the Select where you want to send the file page, click Browse, click the computer or the device that you want to send the file to, and then click Next.Note The Use a passkey option is unavailable when your connection to the other device already uses a passkey.
  4. On the Select the file you want to send page, click Browse, and select the file that you want to send.Note You can only send one file at a time. Do not click Next until you have set the receiving device to receive the file. If the receiving device is not ready to receive the file, the transfer will not succeed.
  5. When the receiving computer or device is ready to receive the file, click Next.

Receiving a file

To receive a file from another computer, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type %windir%\system32\fsquirt.exe, and then click OK.
  2. In the Bluetooth File Transfer Wizard, click Receive a file, and then click Next.You receive a “Windows is waiting to receive the file” message.
  3. On the sending computer, click Next to start the transfer.Note During the transfer, a progress bar appears on the sending computer. When you transfer a file to a Windows XP-based computer, a progress bar also appears in the Bluetooth File Transfer Wizard.
  4. On the Save the received file page, type the name of the file in the File name box, click Browse to select the location where you want to save the file, and then click Next.

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