WiFi Network Adapter troubles... anyone have experience with this?

wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
edited December 1969 in The Commons

Hi all,

I've been fighting with my network adapter for quite a while now. The darn thing will shut off and it'll be a bear to get it back on. I believe it may be a conflict, or it may be a hardware issue.

I'm using an Intel Centrino N WiMax 6150

I'd really like to know if anyone could point me in the right direction to start tracking down this issue... I've tried to find support out and about, and... well, it's not exactly easy to find it, so I'm asking you guys :)

Thanks all.

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Comments

  • SpitSpit Posts: 1,609
    edited December 1969

    I don't have an answer for you but whenever I have a problem I use google. There are gadzillion support forums out there which cover specific products. Use the exact product name but precede that with a short description of the problem. Your search term will be large but you'll usually find some info within the first couple of returned pages and not just places to purchase. The info you glean can help you make your search specific.

  • edited December 1969

    If this is on a windows machine:
    If I'm not mistaken there has been a update for Intel wireless recently (Nov-Dec 2012)
    (optional update list, windows update)

    If you have the problem prior to that, check it out, this could solve the problem.

    if you did install this update: That could be the problem, maybe it is not fully compatible with your card.

    Ether way: the problem might be fixed or created by this update.

    Other things you could try:

    Reset you settings of this card to basic, maybe something else is wrong.
    Reset you bios settings


    Just thinking out loud here ;)

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 7,936
    edited December 1969

    Built in...right?

    Have you tried the latest drivers (motherboard and network)? From laptop manufacturer or Intel directly? (I hope not Windows Update...NEVER let WU install driver updates...EVER!)

  • CluricaunCluricaun Posts: 17
    edited December 1969

    Have you tried turning off the power managment for the adapter?

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited January 2013

    Cluricaun said:
    Have you tried turning off the power managment for the adapter?

    No, I have not! How do you do that?

    I'm running an ASUS U56K Laptop i5 with Windows 7, by the way.

    MJC, WU doesn't update this driver. I did go and instal Intel Wireless Proset software, and it's helped some, but hasn't resolved the issue.

    I fought to get back online all day Tuesday, but couldn't get my network adapter to re-appear. I gave up on it Wednesday, and it magically re-appeared last evening...

    And just now, it crapped out again :(

    Very frustrating.

    Safeunderdark, according to Intel, I have the latest driver that I installed after I started experiencing problems.

    Product Detected Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N + WiMAX 6150
    Current Driver Installed 15.3.1.0
    Current Intel® PROSet/Wireless WiFi Connection Utility Installed

    Other things you could try:

    Reset you settings of this card to basic, maybe something else is wrong.
    Reset you bios settings

    I don't know how to do either. Can you elaborate?

    Post edited by wancow on
  • CluricaunCluricaun Posts: 17
    edited December 1969

    On Windows 7:-

    Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings.
    Right click on specific adapter -> Properties.
    Click on Configure button.
    Select 'Power Management' tab.
    Make sure 'Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power' is NOT checked.

    Hope that helps.

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    Cluricaun said:
    On Windows 7:-

    Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings.
    Right click on specific adapter -> Properties.
    Click on Configure button.
    Select 'Power Management' tab.
    Make sure 'Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power' is NOT checked.

    Hope that helps.

    It was CHECKED! I have unchecked it! Thank you! I have some inkling that may have been the entire problem!!!! Thank you! I will let you know in a couple of days if I experience it again.

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 7,936
    edited December 1969

    wancow said:
    Cluricaun said:
    On Windows 7:-

    Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings.
    Right click on specific adapter -> Properties.
    Click on Configure button.
    Select 'Power Management' tab.
    Make sure 'Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power' is NOT checked.

    Hope that helps.

    It was CHECKED! I have unchecked it! Thank you! I have some inkling that may have been the entire problem!!!! Thank you! I will let you know in a couple of days if I experience it again.

    For most laptops, the power settings for 'unplugged' are way too 'quick' to engage...and often times the 'plugged in' settings are just duplicates of the 'unplugged'...my wife's laptop started cutting things off after five minutes...and when you are listening to streaming music or watching a video...that 5 minutes is way too short.

    Turning it off under the adapter settings prevents the OS from turning the card off at all...tuning the overall power profile will extend the time before the OS will shut it off...I've set my wife's to 'never' under the adapter settings. I'd almost forgotten that she was having that problem, I did it a few hours after she got it. But be warned...if you do update the device driver, you may have to do it again, as the driver may reset it back to the 'default' value.

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    Unfortunately, I just experienced it again :( I was truly hoping that was the problem.

    The Network Adapter somehow craps out, and shows that it's still on and enabled. When I use windows to diagnose it, it "resets" the network adapter. Sometimes this will delete the driver (apparently, because it dissapears) and sometimes it will simply make it so I have to manually shut down the laptop and go to safe mode, if the driver is still there, and it's often not, I can re-enable it in the device manager and log on (at least for a short time)...

    Grrr...

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 7,936
    edited December 1969

    wancow said:
    Unfortunately, I just experienced it again :( I was truly hoping that was the problem.

    The Network Adapter somehow craps out, and shows that it's still on and enabled. When I use windows to diagnose it, it "resets" the network adapter. Sometimes this will delete the driver (apparently, because it dissapears) and sometimes it will simply make it so I have to manually shut down the laptop and go to safe mode, if the driver is still there, and it's often not, I can re-enable it in the device manager and log on (at least for a short time)...

    Grrr...

    That's sounding more and more like a hardware problem...

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    :(

    That's not exactly surprising you'd say that, but it's not exactly what I wanted to hear :(

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 7,936
    edited December 1969

    wancow said:
    :(

    That's not exactly surprising you'd say that, but it's not exactly what I wanted to hear :(

    One way to find out...get a cheap USB adapter (there's a bunch in the $10 range...) and disable the onboard. If it still drops out then it's something OS related...but if like I suspect, it doesn't then you'll know.

    Another way to check (this may not help...it could) it to boot to another OS. In this case a Linux LiveCD (not sure which ones would support that adapter, without messing around too much...but most modern distros natively support a wide range of network adapters). If it works, without dropping out, then it's Windows...if it doesn't then it's hardware. And I'm suspecting it's hardware....

  • LeatherGryphonLeatherGryphon Posts: 1,854
    edited December 1969

    mjc1016 said:
    Built in...right?

    Have you tried the latest drivers (motherboard and network)? From laptop manufacturer or Intel directly? (I hope not Windows Update...NEVER let WU install driver updates...EVER!)

    A bit sure of yourself aren't you? Absolutes don't always apply.

    Yes, I've had a few issues with new drivers, mostly video drivers, but for the most part I let Windows do the driver updates until I suspect a problem. I can't say I've run across any driver other than a video that didn't work as advertised. NEVER say NEVER. :-Q

    As for the WiFi problem. Which operating system (XP, Vista, Win7, Win8)?. Is the Wireless adapter a built-in chip, a circuit card, or a USB plug-in?

    If it's a USB then is the USB socket powered? I got one laptop that has two powered USB sockets and 1 unpowered socket.

    Some USB devices require more power than a single USB socket can deliver. That's why there exists "Y" cables so that you can connect one device to two sockets. (the 2nd connector only has the power lines, no data).

    How old is the WiFi adapter? I've had some Linksys adapters that worked great in WinXP but worked sporadically in Win7 even after I got the supposedly Win7 compatible drivers from Linksys. Gave up and retired them.

    Are you running the manufacturer's configuration panel or are you letting it use the Microsoft Wireless configuration? If I can't get the manufacturer's configurator (they're often pieces of crap) work right I fall back to the Windows Wireless configuration.

    What type of wireless router are you connecting with? I've had Hell's own time sometimes dealing with some of the cheap routers like Netgear.

  • DigiDotzDigiDotz Posts: 122
    edited January 2013

    hey, try using mac address filtering if your router supports it.
    my connection drops when others in the house connect their smartphones etc if i dont use filtering

    edit -i mean to see if others connections are interupting yours

    Post edited by DigiDotz on
  • LeatherGryphonLeatherGryphon Posts: 1,854
    edited January 2013

    OK, so I got off my butt and did some research.

    Your device is apparently an Intel internal card. Probably in a laptop.

    A simple Google yields this empathetic reply:
    http://communities.intel.com/message/176156

    I've had one laptop that developed similar problems. Gave up and bought an external USB adapter rather than deal with opening a customer's laptop to replace the card (I leave that to professional laptop repair businesses that have insurance). I've opened my own laptops but sweat blood all the way. A replacement internal network card may only cost $40 but getting a professional to replace it could cost $100 or more. Unless you have an active warrantee.

    You can find tiny USB adaptors these days that only stick out from the laptop about a quarter inch. Might be worth considering.
    Google for "micro usb wireless adapter"

    One other environmental issue to consider is as implied in the post above this one. Competition for bandwidth.
    There is a free application that graphicly shows the band overlap of your neighboring routers. If you're in a busy band you can easily check to see if there is a better band to move to. Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InSSIDer

    The other possibility is to move to a dual band wireless system to try to find a less used transmission band but you'd need a compatible router and adapters in your system.

    Post edited by LeatherGryphon on
  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    LeatherGryphon, thanks for all that info. I'm using the public library wifi for the most part. I had no idea those little wifi adapters existed!!! And they are cheap! Soon as I have some money, I'll get me one!

    Excellent, thank you very much!

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 7,936
    edited December 1969

    mjc1016 said:
    Built in...right?

    Have you tried the latest drivers (motherboard and network)? From laptop manufacturer or Intel directly? (I hope not Windows Update...NEVER let WU install driver updates...EVER!)

    A bit sure of yourself aren't you? Absolutes don't always apply.

    Yes, I've had a few issues with new drivers, mostly video drivers, but for the most part I let Windows do the driver updates until I suspect a problem. I can't say I've run across any driver other than a video that didn't work as advertised. NEVER say NEVER. :-Q

    .

    As for WU and drivers...9 times out of 10 they are at least 1 version back from the latest...and in some cases that means don't have the particular fix you need, so you still have to go to the manufacturer and download/install another set. Then that 1 out of 10...they are a problem, in and of themselves...

    And as for the opening laptops...yeah....it's easier to replace a network adapter with an external, than it is to replace the internal one. That internal is probably salvageable...but would require a 'reflow'. The described problem is often the symptom of a bad solder joint...and tends to develop after a few months to year of being used...it's the heat inside the laptop that causes the joint to pull apart.

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    mjc1016 said:

    And as for the opening laptops...yeah....it's easier to replace a network adapter with an external, than it is to replace the internal one. That internal is probably salvageable...but would require a 'reflow'. The described problem is often the symptom of a bad solder joint...and tends to develop after a few months to year of being used...it's the heat inside the laptop that causes the joint to pull apart.

    That's pretty consistent with my circumstances. This computer is not quite a year old, and the issues started about three months ago... I think the best solution will probably to get one of those little plugin adapters... you guys have been fantastic at tracking this problem down. Thanks to all of you!

  • JohnDelaquioxJohnDelaquiox Posts: 1,075
    edited December 1969

    check your drivers, firmware, and network settings

    if all else fail you can get a pci or pci one for cheap

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 7,936
    edited December 1969

    check your drivers, firmware, and network settings

    if all else fail you can get a pci or pci one for cheap

    It's a laptop...needs to be a USB one, as that's what most newer laptops have available for expansion.

  • JohnDelaquioxJohnDelaquiox Posts: 1,075
    edited December 1969

    Yeah a usb one works too

    Also check to make sure that the wifi service is on in the services

  • LeatherGryphonLeatherGryphon Posts: 1,854
    edited January 2013

    wancow said:
    ... you guys have been fantastic at tracking this problem down. Thanks to all of you!

    Glad we could help.

    I manage the computers for a small insurance/finance office (5 computers) and have gone wireless. Latest new computer in the office needed a new wireless USB device (old one wasn't compatible with Win7) so I tried one of the "D-Link DWA-131" adapters. Not a true micro (1/4 inch) but not much bigger than a dime (1/2 inch). Call it a "mini". Works great.

    I have no words of wisdom about how well a micro/mini would work when you're near the end of the transmit range but when reasonably close (20 or 30 feet) it works very nicely.

    Post edited by LeatherGryphon on
  • Alpha ChannelAlpha Channel Posts: 0
    edited January 2013

    If it's under a year old you've always got the manufacturer tech support that usually comes with these things.

    As for replacing internal wi-fi cards they are actually generally quite easy (depending on the laptop model or course) as you'll generally find them under one of the panels on the bottom of a laptop (the below photo is my laptops wi-fi card) and it is generally as simple as whipping off the panel, unplug the antenna (the gold connectors), unscrew it and remove, then just plug in a new one (the attached photo is the one in my laptop). That's assuming of course it's a hardware issue (something which a Linux Live CD would prove/disprove, Mint distro is usually quite good).

    Alternatively you've also got the option of an expresscard wi-fi adapter (a few options to save on the limited quantity of USB ports a laptop usually have).

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    1000 x 640 - 545K
    Post edited by Alpha Channel on
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 7,936
    edited December 1969

    If it's under a year old you've always got the manufacturer tech support that usually comes with these things.

    As for replacing internal wi-fi cards they are actually generally quite easy (depending on the laptop model or course) as you'll generally find them under one of the panels on the bottom of a laptop (the below photo is my laptops wi-fi card) and it is generally as simple as whipping off the panel, unplug the antenna (the gold connectors), unscrew it and remove, then just plug in a new one (the attached photo is the one in my laptop). That's assuming of course it's a hardware issue (something which a Linux Live CD would prove/disprove, Mint distro is usually quite good).

    Alternatively you've also got the option of an expresscard wi-fi adapter (a few options to save on the limited quantity of USB ports a laptop usually have).

    I've seen too many that stuff them under the keyboard or in some other harder to get to spot...

  • Alpha ChannelAlpha Channel Posts: 0
    edited January 2013

    Then I'll say that I'm quite lucky :-) every laptop I've worked on have all had them in quite reasonably easy to access ports like mine.

    Post edited by Alpha Channel on
  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 12,384
    edited December 1969

    Yes, most laptops I've worked on have the wifi card next to the RAM and accessed by the same cover. The antenna wires usually run under the keyboard, but the card itself is easy to replace.

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 7,936
    edited December 1969

    Most of the Dell's and IBM/Lenovo's I've worked on have had them accessible. HP/Compaq and Toshibas...not (my wife's almost 1 yr old Toshiba, its under the keyboard. Not seen enough Acer and Asus ones apart to know for sure. Sony...who knows and Macs...can you actually even open the memory without taking it to an Apple store?

    Also are they 'consumer' level (probably not accessible), business level (likely to be) or 'gaming'/high end/custom (yes, definitely accessible)...most of what I deal with are 'consumer' level models.

  • Alpha ChannelAlpha Channel Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Apple? not the latest ones, you can't do anything with them, they glue the RAM in so it can't be upgraded and they've added a firmware tweak with the machines so that if you buy any off the shelf hard drive all of the machines fans go ape and spin up to max revs, making sure that you have to go through Apple to get an upgrade/replacement (last I heard).

    I've worked on a few Toshiba's though the worst issues I've had with them is almost universally software based (bar one incident where the owners cat had pulled off a key, space bar if I remember correctly), solid machines.

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    I had two Toshibas before I got this ASUS... I loved my Toshibas! They never, ever gave me problems.

  • frank0314frank0314 Posts: 8,796
    edited December 1969

    We got my youngest son a Toshiba and we haven't had a single problem with it. I have a Sony that I also have never had a problem with.

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