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Windows 7: WiFi won't work after disk transplant to identical machine

26 Feb 2016   #1
apb

win 7 pro x64
 
 
WiFi won't work after disk transplant to identical machine

My problem is similar to, but probably caused differently than this one: wireless capability is turned off

My old Lenovo T61p laptop died, so I bought a new identical old one. I transplanted my old disk into the new machine. Everything works perfectly, except for WiFi. I know the WiFi is good because the machine came with win xp, and under xp, the WiFi works perfectly.

I tried using device manager to "update driver," but it claims I have the latest driver. I ran windows update to get the latest, greatest everything. I unchecked in device manager "allow computer to turn off this device to save power."

What I observe is that the WiFi LED is on, but turns off momentarily every 5 secs or so. I have no idea what that means. Because the apps that tell me what incoming signals are present show nothing, this is not an access authentication problem. It seems to be some kind of driver issue.

One thing that bothers me is that in device manager there are 3 devices under "Other devices" with yellow ! signs: 2 of "Base System Device", and one "PCI Memory Controller". I don't recall seeing those issues on the old currently dead machine. At least the "PCI Memory Controller" one I noticed failed to be found at first boot in the new machine.

I should also clarify that I lied about the old and new machines being identical. The new machine does not have WWAN unlike the old, and it does have a fingerprint reader, which the old one lacked. Also, obviously the MAC address of the new WiFi card is different.

Another thing that bothers me is that Device Manager refers to the WiFi device as "Intel(R) Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN #2", although in the details section of "device description" it is just plain "Intel(R) Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN". This makes me think that the driver thinks the previous card is around somewhere and is confused about which one it is communicating with, or some such.

Can anyone cast some light on the meaning of these things, or what else I might be able to do to fix it?

--peter


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Mar 2016   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Peter mate I have a sneaking suspicion that the machine does not have a WLAN driver for the 7 OS as you can see form this search I did Laptops :: ThinkPad T Series laptops :: T61p Laptop (ThinkPad) - Lenovo Support (US)

Now having said that you could try this https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimdrivers.php I use it on such occasions but please do be careful not to download anything else but the Slim Drivers it will access the manufacturers sites and that is the only way in my opinion to get the correct drivers - the Windows feature is pretty pathetic really.

Now before you install that install this and keep it as it is good at blocking those rotten add on sites that plague one sometimes Unchecky - Keeps your checkboxes clear

Having said all this I always uninstall Slim Drivers when finished with it as it is a terrible nagger and will set itself up in msconfig as a start up item and to avoid that see point 9 from this Optimize Windows 7
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02 Mar 2016   #3
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by apb View Post
Another thing that bothers me is that Device Manager refers to the WiFi device as "Intel(R) Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN #2", although in the details section of "device description" it is just plain "Intel(R) Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN". This makes me think that the driver thinks the previous card is around somewhere and is confused about which one it is communicating with, or some such.
What you need to do is to "Show hidden devices" in Dev Mgr and then remove all instances of the WiFi device. which will uninstall the drivers brought-over from your dead machine.

This should inspire Windows, when you try next "Scan for hardware changes" under Action to install a proper driver. If that doesn't work you'll need to make sure you've ID'ed the WiFi hardware correctly and then DL from the Intel site the correct driver for your board and your OS.

I suppose another thing to consider is to simply swap the WiFi chip from your defunct laptop into your new; thus the driver should work! It seems likely to me that WiFi board is probably still just fine.
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02 Mar 2016   #4
apb

win 7 pro x64
 
 

@maxseven: Thanks. One thing I had not yet done, awaiting doing full disk image backups (now in progress), was to completely uninstall the driver, and see what happens as you suggest. I did not think of also looking for "hidden devices". I did also consider just transplanting the previous wifi card, but that's a fair amount of work. Those teeny connectors are a pain. That would be my last resort.

I have no doubt that the wifi card itself is fine, because it works just fine under win xp.

I did look at the Intel website for drivers, but for this device it says it will install Intel software, but will NOT update the drivers. That is probably I guess in deference to the laptop makers.

It has also occurred to me that it could be a BIOS issue. So, I probably should also flash BIOS to the latest.

The thing is, Windows already believes it has the right driver; the problem seems to be that it thinks there are 2 instances of the wifi card. Maybe if I can uninstall enough stuff, it will clear whatever is in the registry to make it think that.

Another thing I may do is try a fresh install of Win 7 (on a different disk!) and see if it works under those conditions. Also a lot of work.

Incidentally I bought TWO replacement machines with the exact same hardware, and the behavior is identical on both.

@ICIT2LOL: Thanks. I'm pretty sure there is a win 7 driver for that card because (a) windows claims I already have the right driver, and I doubt it would say that if the card were not supported under win 7, and (b) I had what I believe to be the identical wifi card in the old machine, and it worked perfectly under win 7.

I will have to check if I can find a driver on Lenovo's website. The latest install I did of win 7, though, I did not install anything directly from Lenovo because I found their software to be very buggy and phoning home all the time. I just installed whatever Windows Update wanted, which included many HW drivers from Lenovo. However, Lenovo does have their own "system update" software that parallels what windows update does, and it might find a better driver, or some missing stuff.

Another reason to believe that correct drivers do exist is that this machine when bought from Lenovo was licensed for both XP and Vista, although it only has XP, so that implies that Vista drivers must have existed, and I believe those would be the same as for win 7?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2016   #5
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

That Windows says "no better driver out there for you" is IMO misleading at best i.e. I have rarely found that dialog to be trustworthy.

You might consider also a tool like DriverStore Explorer which enables you to selectively clear-out old drivers that may be lurking in your system. Windows likes to keep all that old junk around...
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02 Mar 2016   #6
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Great advice from Max and if you want to find the driver for the new network card see my ditty to find out detailed info on the card you have installed then get the driver from the manufacturers site (some machines come with several drivers for example for the Network for their boards and they may be Broadcomm, Atheros, or even Realtek so you need to make sure you are getting the right one) .
My pic is for example.
Using HW Info
PART A:
You can test the volts on the PSU with HW Info HWiNFO, HWiNFO32/64 - Download < download the right bit version and close the right hand window select Sensors and scroll down to the power section where you will see what the volts are doing see my pic. Now the section you want will be labelled - fpr example Asus boards usually have "Nuvoton" and Gigabyte boards "ITE" in any case the section you want will have Vbatt or VBAT in it (dead give away)
The original right hand window shows the machine running and is handy for that but for looking at the components in some detail close it and use the main left hand side panel
FOR OTHER COMPONENTS
PART B:
Open each small square with + in it on the section the components are in and then click on the individual component/s (it will highlight in blue) - in the right hand side will appear all sorts of details including brands speeds and other essential info that particular device. See pic for example.
Use PART B:


Attached Thumbnails
WiFi won't work after disk transplant to identical machine-drivers.png  
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02 Mar 2016   #7
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

You don't need any driver program, Lenovo has drivers for it, I wouldn't worry about drivers phoning home.

For those "Other devices" I would start with the chipset driver here,

Laptops :: ThinkPad T Series laptops :: T61p Laptop (ThinkPad) - Lenovo Support (US)

For the wireless, I would download this driver,

Intel Wireless LAN (bg, abg, abgn) for Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), Vista (32-bit, 64-bit), XP - ThinkPad - Lenovo Support (US)

Then uninstall the one with the reference to #2, then install the one you downloaded above.

That you are having only a few problems by putting a hard drive from another laptop is a good sign, at least you can boot it up.

There may be other things found once the chipset is installed, by your own words they were not exactly identical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2016   #8
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Script:
Lenovo has drivers for it 
Hum well I couldn't find anything on the Lenovo site and I was under the impression that there was to be a new card installed??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2016   #9
apb

win 7 pro x64
 
 

@derekimo: Thanks for finding those for me! Will try.
@ICIT2LOL: I already had HWiNFO installed. It isn't reporting anything I didn't already know from device manager, and all voltages seem good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2016   #10
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL View Post
Script:
Lenovo has drivers for it 
Hum well I couldn't find anything on the Lenovo site and I was under the impression that there was to be a new card installed??
Interesting, I used your link in post #2 to find the ones I posted.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by apb View Post
@derekimo: Thanks for finding those for me! Will try.
You're welcome, let us know how it goes.
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