WiFi Card Burning Out?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by mrtimotei, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. mrtimotei
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    mrtimotei The Legends' Proxy

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    Alright, I'm just going to cut to the chase:
    I have an Intel(R) WiFi Link 5100 AGN WiFi card in my laptop. I've had this laptop for about 4 years now, and about 1 week ago, I started having this problem...

    Every time I turn on my computer, I connect to my network with no problem. But, maybe 30 minutes later (This actually varies. Sometimes 30 min., sometimes 3 hours), my WiFi card disconnects, and no matter what I do (restart the router, restart the modem, disable the security on the router, etc.), my laptop will not ever reconnect back to the network. Of course, if I restart the laptop, it will do the same thing. (Connect, time passes, permanently disconnect).

    Every time I try connecting to my network after that, it keeps telling me "Windows was unable to connect to *network*", and the Network Diagnostic tells me, "Problem with wireless adapter or access point". All other devices (other laptops/computers, iPhones, iPods, 3/DS', etc.), connect to the network, just fine. So, clearly, it's a problem with the wireless adapter, which is my WiFi card. And it's wired into the motherboard, so I can't just take it out and replace it.

    I've tried updating the drivers to my WiFi card, but Device Manager tells me I have the most up-to-date drivers. When I tried installing the latest drivers from Intel's website and Dell's website, Intel's tells me it's not compatible with my system(?), while Dell's says I'm up-to-date, and cancels the update. So, not a whole lot I can do there...

    Does anyone have any clue as to what the problem is?
    I've had to rely on this crappy Linksys WiFi adapter, which has a weak signal to my network from my room, and it cuts out every once in a while. My WiFi card use to connect to the network, full bars and everything, no problem... of course, until now.

    If the WiFi card itself burned out, then it shouldn't be detecting any networks at all, correct? It is detecting my network, and all other nearby networks, so it can't be completely broken...
    What the hell is wrong with it?
     
  2. The Milkman

    The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    Throwing milk at the bitches!
    Sounds like its going, I would invest in a better adapter (unless your going Ethernet :P). that would buy you some more time before you replace it. But, other then that, I would suggest saving up for a new one (or sending it back if you have an extended warranty)
     
  3. mrtimotei
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    mrtimotei The Legends' Proxy

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    Ugh... I was afraid of an answer like this...
    I hate having to upgrade hardware because of inconvenient problems...
    Honestly, I would go Ethernet, but my router is in my basement, and I'm up on the second floor to my house, so...
    I'm going to need one LOOOOOONG Ethernet cord...
     
  4. The Milkman

    The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    Throwing milk at the bitches!

    Well, im far from a professional (that would be Rydain or Trumpt or that other guy who posts a lot whos name I forgot) but it seems like the easiest and cheapest fix (the adapter I mean) but without a doubt its temporary.
     
  5. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Actually, have you ever considered Powerline Networking (Ethernet over Powerline)? This is a compromise between Wireless and Ethernet. It basically uses your power plug circuits for majority of Ethernet cable's length. Something like this,

    http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-PA211-KIT-Powerline-Adapter/dp/B0055XKBW4

    You plug one end to plugs near Router (which you connect a small Ethernet cable in between), while the other close to your laptop. Connection like this,

    Router > Ethernet > Powerline Adapter #1 (basement) > Powerline Adapter #2 (2nd floor) > Ethernet > Laptop

    The advantage of Powerline Networking is that it is mobile while retaining all the benefits of Etherent (consistent performance and full-duplex). Disadvantage is that performance varies depending on how good your electricity circuit is. Older home will likely have inferior performance.

    You should be able to replace the wireless card on your laptop. It is a Mini-PCIe card after all. If you don't want to open it up there is always the option of USB wireless stick.
     
  6. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    From what I've heard, these are very touchy. Like you say, it all depends on your wiring. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're willing to do some experimenting and potentially buy stuff you can't use.

    I won't rule out that it's shot, but I will say this:

    I've never encountered or heard of a WiFi card that has burnt out. I HAVE heard of driver issues causing a lot of the issues you're encountering.

    You can use "Programs and Features" to see if a recent Windows update has changed your drivers. If so, you can also uninstall it from there. Try to remove all traces of your existing wireless drivers from the system. After rebooting, attempt to install the most up to date driver for the card. If that causes the same issue, try again, but with an older version of the driver.

    Finally, if that doesn't work, try going in with an Ubuntu Live CD or something similar. IF Linux has the drivers for the thing (which unfortunately is a big IF) and it works as expected, use it for a bit and see if you end up with the same symptoms. If not, you know for sure its software related. If so, you know for sure it's hardware.

    Godspeed.
     
  7. mrtimotei
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    mrtimotei The Legends' Proxy

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    Yea... I don't want to experiment with the electrical wiring. I live with a big family, and if I blew the circuit board, I don't they they'd all be to happy about it...
    I mean, it's a neat idea, I would actually be willing to try it myself... but yea...
    Also, you mention my card is a Mini-PCIe card that I can simply open and replace... yet when I did open my laptop, the only thing that looked like it could be replaced was the RAM and HDD... I'd post a picture, but... it's 1 AM, and I'm unfortunately going away for the next two days... hehe, sorry...


    Wow, I would definitely give this a try if it wasn't so late at night at the time of posting this... and as I mentioned above, I'm going away for the next few days, so I won't exactly be able to give any kind of update until then...
    But, thank you for this suggestion.

    Thank you all for the feedback!
     
  8. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Powerline Networking is not going to blow up or trip your circuit breaker. I am using one right now for IP camera and they work just fine. When me and PityonU said experimenting we are saying that it may be fast or may be slow (or may not work at all). Powerline Networking works by transmitting data over a frequency higher than 50 to 60 Hz used in electricity. It is using the same principle as DSL/ADSL (data on frequency higher than one used in phonecall on RJ-45 cable).

    You don't want to plug Powerline Adopter into a surge protector though, as surge protector will think of it as a voltage spike.

    Circuit breaker monitors ground wire and amperage (current), while surge protector monitors the voltage. Hence Powerline Networking is not going be a problem with circuit breaker (and certainly not going to catch a fire).
     
  9. The Milkman

    The Milkman GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman

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    Throwing milk at the bitches!

    That sounds pretty ballin' if I didnt have such a small home I would try it.