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Windows 7: Working wireless pci-e card causing system freeze

12 Jul 2013   #1

64 bit windows 7 ultimate
Working wireless pci-e card causing system freeze

Hey there guys

I have a TP-Link wdn4800 pci-e card that I am attempting to install in my computer.

The computer is fully built, has fully updated drivers and updates and is a fresh install (and new components).

Without the TP-Link card in, there are no issues whatsoever, everything works absolutely perfectly.

With the TP-Link card in, nothing negative happens when internet is connected via ethernet on mobo (priority, but card is seated and working just not connected wirelessly).

As soon as I try to connect via wireless connection, the entire computer will freeze until I reboot (and very rarely BSOD which has no helpful information). It will ask for the connections password if it doesn't know the connection and upon attempting to connect the freeze will often occur. If the network is known, it happens almost immediately after attempting to connect.

I have used the event viewer to attempt to find out what was going wrong. Here's the interesting part. One of the Errors occurring (and what I thought was originally contributing to the freezes/bsods) labelled a computer name already connected to the network causing a problem. This made sense as my laptop had the same computer name (did not think this through, rookie mistake). So I edited the computer name and rebooted as required and VOILA! internet connected wirelessly. 20 seconds later it froze again. All the above was done with ethernet unplugged.

And the process of freeze-> sometimes bsod -> reset -> attempt to connect ->freeze ; continues

Any thoughts?

Yes, the network card works perfectly. I have a second build that has the exact same network card, so i swapped the working one out with what i assumed was a faulty one, and no issues. Internet connected fine wirelessly on that build, however it is at a different location. I will be testing this at the same location if all else fails.

I've tried numerous drivers - this computer (the working one, not the faulty card machine) loaded the drivers off the provided disc and worked right away no dramas upon install 6 months ago. This new build, I have tried both the drivers off disc, the same drivers off the internet and then even an older set of drivers to see if it was a driver issue. I have used 64 bit drivers every time (and am 99% sure this 6 month old card is using the 64 bit drivers too).

What other things may cause this problem?

Could it be a pci-e slot problem?

Both pcs have the pci card in the second pci-e slot, both boards running this second slot at x4 afaik.

I have tried disabling the ethernet onboard via bios. No joy.

Anything else??

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #2

64 bit windows 7 ultimate

Update: I'm not entirely sure but it seems to be an IRQ or other pci-e related problem. It only occurs when both gpu + network card are attached together and both are used. It won't BSOD or even freeze until I try to USE the net once it is connected (and i'm using the gpu)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Anytime you think you might be dealing with a IRQ problem the first step will always be to do a ClearCMOS procedure. This will reset the BIOS and force it to re-enumerate all of the connected devices, usually correcting any bus conflicts.

  • Note all your current BIOS settings
  • Shut down the computer > remove the power cord.
  • Remove the 3v battery.
  • Move the CLRTC jumper from pins 1-2 to 2-3.
  • Touch a metal part of the case and Press and Hold the reset button for approx. 30 seconds to discharge all power from the board.
  • Put the CLRTC jumper back on pins 1-2.
  • Replace the 3v battery > replace the power cord > boot.
  • Immediately go back into BIOS and reset BIOS Defaults and then reset all your preferred settings.
  • If the CLRTC worked you will need to reset the date and time.
Your motherboard is a little different in procedure:

Working wireless pci-e card causing system freeze-capture.png

See if that helps

My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jul 2013   #4

64 bit windows 7 ultimate

Okay so I thought I fixed the problem. Some part of the audio in the system seems to be conflicting with the networking card somehow and before reading your suggestion here I somehow thought to disable all the sound drivers/devices and then unplugged all sound devices from the ports. I had no problems for an entire day, until my partner moved the pc back to it's correct location and plugged everything back in (including speakers in the rear panel). Then it started freezing and crashing again. Then I decided okay it must be audio related so I again disabled all audio and unplugged the internal connectors (again) as well as all speakers. No problems (thoguh we were having a local network problem - i think it's time for a router upgrade) but that's okay.

I cleared CMOS as per your instructions and rebooted and instead of straight freezing -> reset again it did the first BSOD in 2 days. Also I may add it lost most of the systray icons even after resetting the expler.exe process. Well they are there, just invisible and cannot interact with them..

Any other thoughts?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

How long have you been running Windows 7 on this PC? I mean, is this a relatively new build, or has Windows been running on it without problems for a while and this just started?
Also: can you think of any changes you've made to the PC before the problem began?

The CLR_CMOS procedure should not affect the Windows installation except for one thing: enabled devices. So any strange behavior you see after a CLR_CMOS must be due to device conflicts, driver problems, or incompatible devices, as you have already determined yourself. So we have to focus on those devices.

I assume the sound device and the network device are both on the motherboard? You also mentioned previously you thought the graphics card might be involved. Go with your gut on that one - don't exclude it.

I suggest reinstalling all 3 devices. If it were me this is how I would do it:
  • Go into Device Manager and Remove the Sound and Network devices (you can do this one at a time or both), you will be asked to restart the computer to affect the changes - do so when all removals are complete.
  • When the computer restarts, go directly into the BIOS(UEFI) settings - do not let Windows start.
  • Find and disable the devices you have removed from Windows. Save changes and Exit - Windows will start up.
  • Check to be sure the devices are gone, and that there are no problems.
Now you want to perform a clean re-installation of the graphics card. You can rely on the driver installer's clean install option, but in cases like this where there is a device problem to solve I like to go old school:

    • Go to the ATI or nVidia website and download the most current known good driver and save it to an easy to find location.
    • Optional: go into Windows Explorer and in the C: drive find the nVidia or Program Files > ATI folder (inside will be Drivers > your driver version) and delete it (the whole folder).
    • Go into Start > Control Panel > Remove a Program and uninstall all programs for the video card. For nVidia, do PhysX and the Vision drivers first, then the main driver. The control panel will uninstall with the driver. For ATI, select “ATI Catalyst Install Manager” and click on “Change”, then “Uninstall All Components”. Do not restart the computer at this time.
    • Optional: Run DriverSweeper to uninstall all video remnants Guru3D - Driver Sweeper .
    • Reboot the computer.
    • When it reaches the desktop Windows will 'find new hardware' and will install it's own WDDM1.1 driver. Let it. You will be asked to restart. Do it.
    • Once back on the desktop you can now install the nVidia/ATI driver package for your card.
Once you have the graphics card cleanly reinstalled, test it for a while to be sure there are no problems, then add back the other devices one at a time. I would do the network device first. This is just due to personal experience with these kinds of problems: problem drivers seem to affect the sound driver files more than any other. By installing the sound driver last you might avoid these.

  • Go into the BIOS(UEFI) and re-enable the network device, then re-start the computer and install the driver for it. Windows might reinstall the old driver automatically. If this is the most current known good driver then let it.
  • Test that for a bit, then install the sound card the same way.
NOTE: all of the above should be done with all externally connected devices disconnected (wireless dongles, printers, external hard drives, etc) only keyboard and mouse connected.

If the PC has a wireless network card then it might be a good idea to reinstall that too.

Hope that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Working wireless pci-e card causing system freeze

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