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Laptop Wifi Failure

laptop wifi network adapter

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#1 Camsie

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 07:28 PM

My dad's laptop seems to have inexplicably lost it's wifi capability. It's like the Wifi network adapter doesn't even exist anymore.
 
At first I just assumed that maybe the circuit fried or maybe just disconnected from the motherboard. But the thing that's really throwing me is that when I do a full check of device manager (i.e. "set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1 start devmgmt.msc" in the command prompt), there is no record of the computer EVER having had a Wifi network adapter.

I've had circuits fizzle in my computers before, but even when that happens, the computer still remembers that it used to have a working circuit inside it. In this case, the Wifi circuit seems to not only have died, but to have been completely erased from the computer's history.

My dad reckons all this began with a recent update of his Norton's 360 security suite which required a reboot. I'm inclined to believe that may be the culprit - it wouldn't be the first time Nortons has caused us grief.

However, I've done a full uninstall of Nortons and the problem still remains.


I've tried reinstalling the network adapter drivers as supplied by HP, and I've also tried sfc /scannow, which turned up nothing.


If this is a hardware fault, it's a bloody odd one, to have erased all trace of the working part from Windows' memory.

Can anyone offer any insights as to what might be happening, what I might try next?


The OS is Win 7 64-bit.

#2 Rybags

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 07:52 PM

Tried hotkey combination?  Most laptops have a hotkey combo e.g. Fn-F12 to either toggle Wifi or cycle through the 4 possible Bluetooth + Wifi combinations.

 

Windows is a right PITA regarding Wifi, even when an adaptor is present it'll often drop out of the system tray for no good reason and you have to go off hunting through the network control panels to find it.

As for Device Manager, fairly sure you don't need to enter that long-winded command sequence, there should be a "Show Hidden Devices" option under the View pulldown.



#3 Camsie

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:07 PM

Tried hotkey combination? Most laptops have a hotkey combo e.g. Fn-F12 to either toggle Wifi or cycle through the 4 possible Bluetooth + Wifi combinations.


First thing we tried. The LED on the key is permanently glowing orange - indicating no WiFi network connection.

As for Device Manager, fairly sure you don't need to enter that long-winded command sequence, there should be a "Show Hidden Devices" option under the View pulldown.


Yeah, there's a "Show Hidden Devices" option there, but it won't show old/disconnected devices without being opened with the command line sequence I note above. Don't ask me why.

#4 Rybags

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:25 PM

Yeah, Norton's.  Fark, get rid of that shit.

 

You might be able to do a system restore... though if the Norton's junk caused the initial problem it could well undo the fix before you get to see it working.



#5 Camsie

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 10:57 PM

You might be able to do a system restore... though if the Norton's junk caused the initial problem it could well undo the fix before you get to see it working.


Well, System Restore to a time when the Wifi was definitely working was a bust. The network adapter is still invisible.

#6 Rybags

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:32 PM

Is the actual adaptor on a seperate board?  You could pull it out, clean the contacts.  Then make sure if it's got antenna wire connectors that they're on properly.

Another thought was a PE Windows bootable DVD or flashdrive.  But I get the feeling they mightn't attempt wifi detection.


Of course the other thing is check the Bios or EFI settings though on some laptops they don't even include controls for it.


Edited by Rybags, 31 March 2017 - 11:32 PM.


#7 Jeruselem

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 12:45 PM

I'm guessing the WiFi drivers got corrupted by the new antivirus initially.

A lot of laptops have daughter boards for WiFi adapters but I think more recent ones have it on the motherboard.

Edited by Jeruselem, 01 April 2017 - 12:48 PM.

Having trouble with A [?]OS11.1?

 

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#8 Rybags

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 12:55 PM

I didn't ask the bleeding obvious - in Dev Mgr did you right-click > "Scan for hardware changes" ?



#9 Master_Scythe

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 01:48 PM

Remove the wifi card.

Reboot,

Reinstall the wifi card.

Reboot.

 

Had to do it a few times, but it's always a sign of a failing card.

Find a 'broken' laptop on gumtree or ebay and steal its wifi card.

I had to do that recently for a colleague at work.


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#10 Camsie

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 02:43 PM

Sorry. Sort of abandoned this thread after I discovered the nature of the problem myself. Turns out it was the Wifi card. When I went in and did a BIOS-level hardware check, the computer had no idea that it had a Wifi card present.

 

We since ordered a new PCI-e Mini card to replace it. Tried installing it yesterday - the computer refuses to boot with it installed. Can't even get into the BIOS screen. The message on the screen said something like "unrecognized Wifi Card" or maybe it was "incompatible" - I can't remember the exact wording. I'd think they should all adhere to the same PCI-e Mini standard, so I'm guessing that HP have rigged the laptop to only accept the cards they designate as acceptable.

 

The Laptop is a HP G6-1325TU, the old (broken) Wifi Card is a Ralink RT5390 and the replacement we brought was an Intel 7260HMW. I realize this is a longshot, but does anyone know of a way of reconfiguring the laptop to accept the Intel card? I've checked the HP website and the BIOS for the machine is the most up-to-date version.



#11 Master_Scythe

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 03:01 PM

Sorry. Sort of abandoned this thread after I discovered the nature of the problem myself. Turns out it was the Wifi card. When I went in and did a BIOS-level hardware check, the computer had no idea that it had a Wifi card present.

 

We since ordered a new PCI-e Mini card to replace it. Tried installing it yesterday - the computer refuses to boot with it installed. Can't even get into the BIOS screen. The message on the screen said something like "unrecognized Wifi Card" or maybe it was "incompatible" - I can't remember the exact wording. I'd think they should all adhere to the same PCI-e Mini standard, so I'm guessing that HP have rigged the laptop to only accept the cards they designate as acceptable.

 

The Laptop is a HP G6-1325TU, the old (broken) Wifi Card is a Ralink RT5390 and the replacement we brought was an Intel 7260HMW. I realize this is a longshot, but does anyone know of a way of reconfiguring the laptop to accept the Intel card? I've checked the HP website and the BIOS for the machine is the most up-to-date version.

 

If you can confirm the error message for sure we'd have a better chance of finding a workaround.

 

Otherwise, time for a USB Nano N adaptor.

 

http://www.msy.com.a...sb-adapter.html

 

tp-link-tl-wn725n-150mbps-wireless-n-nan


Wherever you go in life, watch out for Scythe, the tackling IT support guy.

"I don't care what race you are, not one f*cking bit, if you want to be seen as a good people, you go in there and you f*ck up the people who (unofficially) represent you in a negative light!"






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