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Windows 7: Ralink WLAN Refuses To Appear After Factory Restore


22 Nov 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium Sp1 64 Bit
 
 
Ralink WLAN Refuses To Appear After Factory Restore

Ok so there is a lot of back story to this, so I'll put the main summary of the problem at the bottom.

I got this Alienware Aurora R3 almost 2 years ago now. I knew it had built in wireless, and the router is in the other room. It was I guess too convenient. I connected it to the router wirelessly, about an hour later it disconnects then reconnects then disconnects then just sits there with zero bars. Puzzled I restarted it, logged in and it's just completely gone, not even listed in device manager. Instead of trying to order a new one I just got a small netgear usb adapter and have used that up until a month ago. I don't know what I installed, or updated, or uninstalled, or activated, or deactived, but an 802.11 randomly showed up, and I used slimdrivers to update it, and just out of nowhere the built in wireless card was back and could connect to things. I didn't need the netgear usb adapter anymore so I gave it to my friend who coincidentally has a broken wlan chip in his laptop. Then today I randomly get some blue screen error telling me about power to the driver failure or something. So I was getting sick of the crap I had and didn't need or care about so I made a separate partition about 70 gb and transferred my Pictures and Music and a couple games then just bombed the rest, I did leave the Recovery Partition alive though. Reinstall Windows 7 from the disk that came with my computer, and most of the drivers are missing, like the Video adapter, and sound adapter and the WLAN. Thought it was normal and just plugged my ethernet into my laptop, and shared the connection to it from there so I could connect on my desktop without lugging the thing into the other room. Download CCC which took care of most of it, then download slimdrivers to help find the rest and the Ralink WLAN Card is just missing... Slimdrivers can't find it, Device Manager can't find it. HWinFO64 can't find it... I was convinced it was completely gone, until I tested to see if ubuntu running off a cd could find it... and it could... I even maintained connection for more than hour. Windows just refuses to acknowledge the thing, and I've tried downloading and installing every Ralink Driver+Utility. I have read what feels like half of google trying to find out what's wrong with these things and apparently most people just uninstall the driver and let windows default 802.11 take care of connecting instead. I would gladly do the same but I don't have a driver to uninstall to begin with, or at least a driver that actually knows the thing exists.



How do I get Windows to detect a built-in Ralink WLAN Card from a fresh install, when it doesn't even appear in the Device Manager?

--I've tried installing several Ralink Driver and Utilities as well as uninstalling them all separated by restarts.
--I have tried system restoring, which didn't do me much anyway since I just installed the operating system.
--I have tried the drivers on the Resource CD provided with my computer which were an atheros driver and bigfoot driver... Just the least resourceful resource cd ever...

I just have no idea how to get the drivers for a device that isn't even listed as a device... Please help me

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Nov 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lettuce2 View Post
Ok so there is a lot of back story to this, so I'll put the main summary of the problem at the bottom.

I got this Alienware Aurora R3 almost 2 years ago now. I knew it had built in wireless, and the router is in the other room. It was I guess too convenient. I connected it to the router wirelessly, about an hour later it disconnects then reconnects then disconnects then just sits there with zero bars. Puzzled I restarted it, logged in and it's just completely gone, not even listed in device manager. Instead of trying to order a new one I just got a small netgear usb adapter and have used that up until a month ago. I don't know what I installed, or updated, or uninstalled, or activated, or deactived, but an 802.11 randomly showed up, and I used slimdrivers to update it, and just out of nowhere the built in wireless card was back and could connect to things. I didn't need the netgear usb adapter anymore so I gave it to my friend who coincidentally has a broken wlan chip in his laptop. Then today I randomly get some blue screen error telling me about power to the driver failure or something. So I was getting sick of the crap I had and didn't need or care about so I made a separate partition about 70 gb and transferred my Pictures and Music and a couple games then just bombed the rest, I did leave the Recovery Partition alive though. Reinstall Windows 7 from the disk that came with my computer, and most of the drivers are missing, like the Video adapter, and sound adapter and the WLAN. Thought it was normal and just plugged my ethernet into my laptop, and shared the connection to it from there so I could connect on my desktop without lugging the thing into the other room. Download CCC which took care of most of it, then download slimdrivers to help find the rest and the Ralink WLAN Card is just missing... Slimdrivers can't find it, Device Manager can't find it. HWinFO64 can't find it... I was convinced it was completely gone, until I tested to see if ubuntu running off a cd could find it... and it could... I even maintained connection for more than hour. Windows just refuses to acknowledge the thing, and I've tried downloading and installing every Ralink Driver+Utility. I have read what feels like half of google trying to find out what's wrong with these things and apparently most people just uninstall the driver and let windows default 802.11 take care of connecting instead. I would gladly do the same but I don't have a driver to uninstall to begin with, or at least a driver that actually knows the thing exists.



How do I get Windows to detect a built-in Ralink WLAN Card from a fresh install, when it doesn't even appear in the Device Manager?

--I've tried installing several Ralink Driver and Utilities as well as uninstalling them all separated by restarts.
--I have tried system restoring, which didn't do me much anyway since I just installed the operating system.
--I have tried the drivers on the Resource CD provided with my computer which were an atheros driver and bigfoot driver... Just the least resourceful resource cd ever...

I just have no idea how to get the drivers for a device that isn't even listed as a device... Please help me
Try shutting down completely, unplug the power from the system and push the start button to bleed off leftover power. Pull out the card and reinstall it. Plug back into power and restart, this will sometimes allow for Windows to see the card again. Sometimes clearing the cmos is required to restore connectivity.

If that doesn't work try running the sfc /scannow command in an elevated command prompt them reboot to complete repairs if required.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium Sp1 64 Bit
 
 

Ok thanks for the response.

I'm going to sound like a total noob here but I can't seem to locate the Wlan in the PC... I know one is there, but I have no idea what it looks like or how to access it... I did bleed it out of power and I'm now running scannow in an elevated command prompt... while it scans I guess I'll be looking up guides for taking apart an Aurora R3.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Nov 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lettuce2 View Post
Ok thanks for the response.

I'm going to sound like a total noob here but I can't seem to locate the Wlan in the PC... I know one is there, but I have no idea what it looks like or how to access it... I did bleed it out of power and I'm now running scannow in an elevated command prompt... while it scans I guess I'll be looking up guides for taking apart an Aurora R3.
Don't worry about finding and reinstalling it for now.

Look in Device Manger under Network Adaptors and see if it shows up there after the scan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Ralink WLAN Refuses To Appear After Factory Restore




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