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  1. #1
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    Am I looking at a hardware wireless module failure, or a software one?

    I am in a mild pickle, being the family tech support person. My mother has a HP Pavilion 500-437c computer that originally had Windows 8.1 installed. I upgraded it to Windows 10 Home without a hitch. Since then, it has self-upgraded to WinX AU (Windows 10 Anniversary update) with no problems. Then, suddenly, at some point between the 17 of September of this year and the 9th of October of this year, this computer's wireless networking capability (802.11g/g/n) went AWOL...Windows Device Manager seems to say it is not present at all, not just misbehaving.

    I tried all the usual suspects, such as making Device Manager rescan for new devices, and going to HP's support site and downloading any and all current WinX/Win8.1-related driver updates, especially networking-related ones, for that particular machine, and then attempting to install them one by one. I had to go and buy a USB wireless "dongle" (I'd call it a "wart", since it does not dangle from a short cable, but that's me) to at least get her back on the home LAN until I got more info on this question...am I looking at a hardware failure in the built-in wireless module, or is there a chance it is a difficult software issue, somewhat similar to the multitudinous USB camera issues I've read about after Microsoft pushed an update (I'm lucky in not yet buying a camera to use Windows Hello iris recognition on my own computer)? If it is a hardware issue, then my buying that USB wireless dongle was a correct answer, the other being to buy and run an Ethernet cable from the router to her computer. The second answer is more secure...but it is not a fun thought to crawl up into the attic to run cable, and drill new holes in the ceiling to drop those cables ends through. If it is software, however, what are my chances on reviving the mere presence of the built-in module, considering that when I installed the alleged current networking drivers...each one seemed to experience a "hard crash"...no error windows, just a sudden closure just before reaching what I would think was a successful install?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Another duplicate thread??
    Also posted here: http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...-never-existed
    Last edited by lumpy95; 2016-11-14 at 18:03.

  3. #3
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    Can you open a Command Prompt (Admin) and enter netcfg -d to see if that reinstates your wireless adapter - if you get any error messages, reboot and try it again.

    This is a known problem following the Anniversary Update, but because that wiped the restore points, the only other way to go back at the time was to roll back to the previous build in which you only had 10 days from the AU install to do.

    As the family tech support person, don't suppose you created an external system image either before or immediately after the Win 10 upgrade ?

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Your HP Pavilion 500-437c appears to use a Realtek RTL8188EE wifi adapter (see http://h20564.www2.hp.com/hpsc/doc/p...r_na-c04440370).

    Google searches shows that HP have used the same adapter in HP laptops as well. Unfortunately the same Google searches show that many (hundreds of) people are having the same problem that you are after upgrading to Windows 10 from an earlier version.

    The most damning posts indicates that this is a problem that HP have been aware since the introduction of Windows 10, that HP have been ignoring it and that there is no fix but to replace the adapter completely.

    For a possible solution, please see the post by ChelBell marked BEST ANSWER (dated Jun 28, 2016, 3:08 PM).

    Hope this helps...

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    My two Toshiba upgraded laptops use Realtek 8188CE.

    The upgrade installs a 2016 driver for those but you can take it back to your Win 8.1 driver - I'm using a previous Win 7 from 2013 on my wireless and an April 2015 on my Ethernet.

    Go to Device Manager/View/Show hidden devices/Network adapters - right click on the 8188EE and select Update Driver Software - Browse my computer - Let me pick...

    It may just show your wireless drivers or you may have to scroll down the list for Network drivers, but in the list you will see the dates of the previous ones.

    Click on your choice and press Next where it will install that driver - but the adapter has be displayed before you can do this.

    To confirm, right click on the adapter again in Device Manager and select Properties and under the Driver tab will show the date of the driver.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2016-11-15 at 05:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Can you open a Command Prompt (Admin) and enter netcfg -d to see if that reinstates your wireless adapter - if you get any error messages, reboot and try it again.
    Egads, that worked! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I don't know WHY it worked, since the built-in card was not showing up at all in Windows...but I'm not looking the gift horse in the mouth. lol

    As for the system image...I made one for my Alienware machine, but I had gotten rushed at the maternal unit's place, and I had not done so for hers. I did contemplate using my system image, but as the two systems have such differences, I held back, fearing that doing so would make the situation worse. So, now I need to go snag a 8GB USB stick to make one for her system...and I have a spare Belkin USB wireless adapter out of the bargain!QUOTE]

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    Glad the cmd worked for you, but I'm talking about a full system image - not a recovery USB so an 8GB stick will not suffice.

    I use external 1TB HDDs for my system images, but a 500GB one would suffice for me - although it's best to have more than one external HDD to alternate should in the rare event one should fail.

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  11. #8
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Nice one... I'll have to try to remember that netcfg -d command.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    Nice one... I'll have to try to remember that netcfg -d command.
    If you open a cmd prompt and enter netcfg /? you'll see a couple of others that may be useful.

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    What does netcfg -d actually do? I checked on a Windows 7 system and though netcfg exists, it does not support the -d switch.

    And rather strangely, I can send this command random unsupported switches. The command runs, exits, and there is no error, no message, no activity at all.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    This is interesting, because about a week or two ago, wifi quit working on all of my devices. I don't have Windows 10 on anything -- I have Windows 7, Windows 8.1, iPhone, and a Canon wireless printer. None of them can connect -- the error message is that I am entering the wrong wifi password. I checked my router, and the password is correct. I have concluded that my router is the culprit. Since I rent it from my internet provider, I will call them and ask them to walk me through a reset of the router (to make sure I can get back into the router after the reset!), or a replacement of the router if the reset doesn't work.

    Meanwhile, everything is connected via USB or Ethernet cables. (The iPhone is using cellular for its data, rather than the home wifi.)

    Since the OP was able to get connected via a USB wifi adapter, then my problem is not the same as his, because I can't get connected at all.

  15. #12
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder View Post
    What does netcfg -d actually do? I checked on a Windows 7 system and though netcfg exists, it does not support the -d switch.

    And rather strangely, I can send this command random unsupported switches. The command runs, exits, and there is no error, no message, no activity at all.
    netcfg -d was introduced in Windows 10 and carries out a full reset of all network adapters, i.e. it removes the adapters and their settings. You need to carry out a reboot after using it; Windows should then find and re-install the adapters with default settings. It's a bit drastic so IMO should be a 'last attempt' fix for network issues.

    Hope this helps...

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  17. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    This is interesting, because about a week or two ago, wifi quit working on all of my devices. I don't have Windows 10 on anything -- I have Windows 7, Windows 8.1, iPhone, and a Canon wireless printer. None of them can connect -- the error message is that I am entering the wrong wifi password. I checked my router, and the password is correct. I have concluded that my router is the culprit. Since I rent it from my internet provider, I will call them and ask them to walk me through a reset of the router (to make sure I can get back into the router after the reset!), or a replacement of the router if the reset doesn't work.

    Meanwhile, everything is connected via USB or Ethernet cables. (The iPhone is using cellular for its data, rather than the home wifi.)

    Since the OP was able to get connected via a USB wifi adapter, then my problem is not the same as his, because I can't get connected at all.
    Probably best if you open your own thread for this - but log into the router and disable the WPA/WPA2 - PSK security and then try it.

    Re-enable regardless of connectivity or not.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2016-12-01 at 13:29.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Probably best if you open your own thread for this - but log into the router and disable the WPA/WPA2 - PSK security and then try it.

    Re-enable regardless of connectivity or not.
    Caught me! I should know better than to deviate like that on an already-existing thread.

    At any rate, in case anyone is curious, I pressed the little reset button on the back of my modem, and wifi has been restored. And, best of all, all of my settings remained intact. I didn't have to redo anything!

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    Caught me! I should know better than to deviate like that on an already-existing thread.

    Yes

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