Confusing Adapter Issues

Missing Details

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Feb 17, 2015
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Wow okay, where to start? About a year ago, maybe 10 months or so, I started having issues with my wifi adapter. Randomly and sporadically it would simply totally disappear off my computer, even in the middle of working. One minute I'm designing logos for my job and communicating over the internet with clients, the next minute my internet connection is gone and my wifi adapter has seemingly decided to leave my computer. Troubleshooting would quickly bring up a "No issues could be found" message, in fact, it would show up suspiciously fast as if it never even had time to check the adapters and the like for issues. Generally, however, I was in a rush and I would merely restart my laptop in no time and the driver adapter would be functioning perfectly for a while longer (generally a week or two before the issue would show up again.)

Well, within the past three months or so, the issue has gotten worse. Partially my fault I admit for not solving the issue before it got worse. Now not only do I encounter the same issue, but now it is more frequent (sometimes once every 15 minutes) and sometimes a reboot doesn't even fix the problem. Occasionally troubleshooting says it is resetting my wireless adapter and suddenly my connection is back. Though generally it only lasts for a moment before I lose connection again and troubleshooting says it cant detect any issues. Well, it's about around this time I start to get fed up and start doing some hefty research into the issue. Unfortunately, I've found literally nobody whose had the same issue I've had, at least nobody who didn't already find a solution which did not work for me.

Let's go over the specific issues when the adapter goes out.

1. Whilst I'm connected to the internet, suddenly I will get the yellow exclamation mark saying there's no internet connection through my router. It will stay like this indefinitely until I manually disconnect from the connection.

2. Upon pressing the disconnect button, it gives me the disconnecting status indefinitely until I manually close the network connections window entirely by clicking somewhere on the screen. (Win 10)

3. When I check my wifi icon on the taskbar, it says "Connections are available," however, upon opening the connections window, it says "No WiFi connections could be found."

4. I'll try troubleshooting network adapters and it almost always says there are no issues to be found. Occasionally it will reset the wireless network adapter which fixes the problem temporarily.

5. If troubleshooting doesn't work, generally I will check the network adapters myself. There are two, my ethernet adapter and my wireless adapter. The wireless adapter will say "Disabled" during this issue. Right-click and "Enable" brings up a window that says the adapter has been enabled, though upon returning to the adapter list the wifi adapter is still disabled.

6. Upon checking the properties of my now "disabled" wireless adapter, it says that no drivers are installed for the adapter. Weird, considering at this point there were working drivers as of two minutes past.

7. Updating drivers tells me that I am on the latest drivers (I always stay up to date on windows and driver updates for my computer), and when I click uninstall drivers it brings up a window saying they are being uninstalled. The window remains indefinitely, eventually freezing upon clicking on the screen and I have to close the window through task manager if I even want to get it off my screen.

8. Upon checking my device manager, sometimes the wireless adapter is there, and sometimes it isn't. When it isn't there (generally meaning the above steps^ aren't required as no wifi is available, to begin with), I can simply scan for hardware changes and the driver appears in working order. However, when the adapter IS there, scanning for hardware changes brings up a window informing me that they are scanning for changes however the window will remain there indefinitely, ultimately freezing if I click on it in any way (including clicking the exit button). Task manager is the only way to close the windows when they appear.

9. Attempting to uninstall the wifi adapter from the device manager will bring up the same "Uninstalling" window from before, which ultimately freezes and never correctly uninstalls.

10. Sometimes during all of this, I will get a watchdog violation bluescreen. It can occur randomly, but generally when my laptop is having a hard time restarting. This is a fairly rare occurrence, mind you.

11. Network reset does absolutely nothing and changes nothing, that I've noticed.

12. Going back to old wifi driver versions does not help in any way that I've noticed.

13. I've even factory reset my whole computer, only saving my photoshop files, malware bytes and steam games to a flash drive. This fixed the issue for about a month until one day it started happening randomly again.

I should note that I never, ever randomly download files from the internet in any way. The only place I've downloaded files from are secure sites which I have used on other PCs with no issues, such as Adobe, Nexus (for games), and updates for stuff off various PC sites (like Nvidia updates and MSI updates, sometimes Java.) That essentially totally eliminates the possibility of virus contamination, but even still I will occasionally run malware bytes just in case, and never have any notable issues appear.

I'm truly starting to believe my wireless adapter has just gone totally faulty and I either need to replace it or buy a new PC. I bought this laptop in May of 2016 for about $1000, and I was really hoping these issues wouldn't even begin appearing for another couple years at least (considering I'm very careful with it and always keep it updated and clean.) I'll post my specs below in case it's helpful in any way. Thanks for all responses.

Brand: MSI
Motherboard: GS60 2PE
OS: Windows 10 Home
CPU: Intel Core i7-4710HQ @2.50GHz
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M
Memory: 16GB DDR3
WiFi Adapter: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
 
It appears you have done all the things I would recommend. Intel drivers tend to be very stable but be very sure to get them directly from intel. Microsoft tends to push out drivers that may not be the newest. For nic cards it is not so bad but it causes massive problems when they replace things like video drivers.

You may also want to try the nic driver version from the laptop manufacture even if it is older. Some drivers on manufacture sites have custom tweaks. They don't do that as much as they did in the past luckily.

You may have already tried all the above when you say you tried other drivers.

At some point you just decide the hassle is worth the money to try to replace the card. There are a number of variations of your card based on the physical connections but all are fairly inexpensive...most under $30.

It all depends on how hard it is to get to the wifi card. Some laptops you remove one little cover on the bottom and remove it others you must completely dissemble the unit.

You might also consider a USB device. These tend to not work as well as the internal cards, mostly because the laptop has better antenna behind the screen. It is simple to install though.

If it was doing something like just not passing traffic you could suspect other software on the machine but when it disappears at the device level it has to be a driver or hardware issue.

 

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