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Wireless Capabilities Off after Windows 8 Clean install

Okay, so... After wrestling with my computer for a bit, I have a fully functioning yet unactivated clean installation of Windows 8. My computer is a Lenovo U410, my wireless adapter is an Intel Centrino Wireless-n 2230.

My Problem:
I cannot connect to anything via WiFi. I am "Not Connected-No connections are available." I can connect with ethernet (but it's a laptop... so that's not much of a solution).
I ran some tests:
Windows 8 says I need to "Turn on Wireless Capability."
Intel Manual Diagnostics says my problem is "Hardware radio is OFF"
My device is recognized, functioning and has all the latest drivers (So unless you have any suggestions related to drivers other than a) Trying Lenovo's drivers from their website, b) Trying the correct Intel drivers. or c) Uninstalling the drivers and trying both again, please don't mention drivers). Every test has also shown that my device is not faulty, and is enabled (It has functioned before as well).

I tried some other various tests from around the internet... (Unplugging battery for 5 minutes, running various powershell commands, trying in Safemode) nothing worked. There is no external wireless on-off switch (I WISH it was that simple), and I can't turn it on through the Windows 8 settings (Slider is greyed out).

Outstanding Issues:
"Hardware Radio" is off
Windows 8 has not yet been activated (I am trying to fix this Wireless issue first)
Besides those two items, nothing else seems wrong. Please let me know if you need more information.

So if anyone has any experience with this problem, or just has suggestions in general, please give some input. I am willing to try anything!

Thanks,

DonQuixoteMC
36 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about wireless capabilities windows clean install
  1. You've obviously missed a driver from Lenovo. They use a software switch to control the wireless radio. It would be under "Wireless", "Wireless LAN", or even "Keyboard".
  2. ex_bubblehead said:
    You've obviously missed a driver from Lenovo. They use a software switch to control the wireless radio. It would be under "Wireless", "Wireless LAN", or even "Keyboard".


    Funny you should mention that. I was just looking for that exact thing, but It would appear such drivers don't apply to IdeaPads. I found several for ThinkPads, but unfortunately nothing for mine.
    If you have any idea where such drivers could be found for the Lenovo U410, by all means let me know! However, as far as I saw, there never was such a function key combination that could turn on/off Wireless (Other than an Airplane mode toggle. Which is off.)

    Next, I'll be using one of my old Linux LiveCDs to test the WiFi outside of Windows 8. I'll try this after I'm done formatting my HDD.

    Thanks for your help!

    DonQuixoteMC
  3. If your W8 install was an 'upgrade version' it could have been activated by immediately performing a 'Refresh your PC', i.e. with your Installation Media still in place, type 'Refresh' and from settings choose 'Refresh your PC' (any recent additions of software will be lost during the process, which is why it should be done immediately...) Another possibility would be Telephone Activation.
    As for the wireless prob. have you tried F7??
  4. dodger46 said:
    If your W8 install was an 'upgrade version' it could have been activated by immediately performing a 'Refresh your PC', i.e. with your Installation Media still in place, type 'Refresh' and from settings choose 'Refresh your PC' (any recent additions of software will be lost during the process, which is why it should be done immediately...) Another possibility would be Telephone Activation.
    As for the wireless prob. have you tried F7??


    Yeah, I was going to activate it when I knew this problem was fixed, just because I don't want to activate it on a machine I'm not able to fix. And yes, I tried F7. It doesn't change anything, and airplane mode is off.

    I just noticed something else yesterday, in my device manager I have three items missing drivers. I'm positive one is the Nvidia GPU, and one is called a PCI Simple Communications Controller. I'm convinced that this is my issue, because when I installed Windows 8 a few days ago, Device manager did not show that device as lacking drivers, and I did not have this WiFi problem. It's the only thing that changed, and to me seems like the only thing that could be causing it. Any suggestions?

    On a side note, my Windows 8 Version is the "System Builder."
    Thanks for your help!!

    DonQuixoteMC
  5. Nope. It wasn't that. I now have the drivers for the pci simple communications controller... And still no wireless (Even after reboot)
  6. You can re-install as often as you like but it may reject after 5 times. If so

    1) Press Windows key + R, then type: slui.exe 4

    2) Next press the 'ENTER' key

    3) Select your 'Country' from the list.

    4) Choose the 'Phone Activation' option.

    5) Stay on the phone (do not select/press any options) and wait for a person to help you with activation.

    6) Explain your problem clearly to the support person.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950929/en-us

    Could it be the 'Smart Connect' software requ. for the Wireless?
  7. dodger46 said:
    You can re-install as often as you like but it may reject after 5 times. If so

    1) Press Windows key + R, then type: slui.exe 4

    2) Next press the 'ENTER' key

    3) Select your 'Country' from the list.

    4) Choose the 'Phone Activation' option.

    5) Stay on the phone (do not select/press any options) and wait for a person to help you with activation.

    6) Explain your problem clearly to the support person.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950929/en-us

    Could it be the 'Smart Connect' software requ. for the Wireless?


    Do you think the fact that it's unactivated could be causing the problem?
    And where did you find the drivers in the image you posted?

    Thanks!
  8. Update: I don't have wireless while running Linux, so this appears to be a hardware thing. I'm going to open up my laptop and see if I screwed something up along the way.
  9. Do you think the fact that it's unactivated could be causing the problem?
    And where did you find the drivers in the image you posted?

    Possibly! Stranger things have happened, but I doubt they would cut off your means of activation...
    http://support.lenovo.com/en_GB/downloads/default.page?selector=expand
  10. dodger46 said:


    Do you think the fact that it's unactivated could be causing the problem?
    And where did you find the drivers in the image you posted?

    Possibly! Stranger things have happened, but I doubt they would cut off your means of activation...
    http://support.lenovo.com/en_GB/downloads/default.page?selector=expand


    Yeah, very true. Stranger things have happened. I looked up the limitations of an unactivated Windows 8, and there's nothing about loss of networking (and Ethernet works so, that would be an inconsistent limitation.) Plus, it doesn't work under another OS either.
    Thanks for link, I'll try that before I open my laptop up again!

    I'm only hesitant to activate my machine with faulty wireless, just because if I need to change hardware, I don't want to change the hardware signature and be unable to reinstall/activate Windows because I'm using a "different computer." I don't know if it actually works like that, but it could happen. So I'm going to be overly paranoid about it.

    Thanks for your continued help, Dodger! I'll let you know what I find.

    DonQuixoteMC
  11. Well. This isn't going well at all. I think I'm stuck. I'll try to contact Lenovo tech support or something.
    Thanks for your help Dodger, if you can think of anything else, please give me an update. If you need any information, let me know!

    Hardware Radio is OFF... If only I could turn it on.
  12. Somewhat baffling. Unless it's a hardware failure. Check your Chipset drivers are ok. Have you tried System File Checker?
    sfc /scannow from Command Prompt (Admin)
  13. dodger46 said:
    Somewhat baffling. Unless it's a hardware failure. Check your Chipset drivers are ok. Have you tried System File Checker?
    sfc /scannow from Command Prompt (Admin)


    Thanks! I'll try that right now
  14. Completed successfully with no errors found... COME ON. THROW ME A BONE HERE, COMPUTER!
  15. One thing I haven't seen answered yet:

    Did you install ALL of the drivers and software for your laptop that are available at Lenovo?

    If not, do so. You may have to run some installers in compatibility mode.
  16. ex_bubblehead said:
    One thing I haven't seen answered yet:

    Did you install ALL of the drivers and software for your laptop that are available at Lenovo?

    If not, do so. You may have to run some installers in compatibility mode.

    Second that...I assumed he had installed all, but the request for a link to drivers suggests this may not be the case....and there are a lot of drivers.
    Dodger
    (Ex HMS 'Revenge', SSBN Navcentre)
  17. I have installed all drivers that seemed necessary, but I will check again.

    I'm not too convinced that the problem is driver related, as both Windows and the Intel Proset Manual Diagnostics say that my device is functioning perfectly, and has all the related drivers. Both say the same thing (different wording): Hardware Radio is off.

    Another thing that leads me to believe that it's not driver related: Every linux distro I have run with a liveCD (That previously had out of the box drivers for my Wireless adapter) have the same issue.

    So, what I'm going to do is try to repair this within Linux, as several Lenovo U410 users running ubuntu had a similar problem. It only took a few terminal commands to fix.

    I'll let you know how it goes.
    Thanks!

    DonQuixoteMC
  18. Okay, well I haven't had the chance to try anything today, but I'd like some opinions:

    ex_bubblehead, I think I was very stupid to disregard your suggestion. At this point, I think that I turned off my wireless with the Fn+FX keys at some point, and now I can't turn wireless back on because I don't have the drivers for them. I'm still looking for the drivers, but I have yet to find anything. (So do you think I should invest the time to look for them?)

    and

    My other plan will be to try to force it on while running Linux using some terminal commands. I'll try that in the morning. (Does this just sound like a bad idea? I've read some threads of people running into the same problem on the same model laptop, and fixing it with the commands I'm going to try)

    Just would like some input on what you guys think of this plan. Thanks!

    DonQuixoteMC
  19. ...and I think I just installed about every driver Lenovo offers for my computer. Here goes nothing!
  20. Best answer
    Think I'd have bought an Edimax Nano Wireless adapter long before now!
  21. dodger46 said:
    Think I'd have bought an Edimax Nano Wireless adapter long before now!


    Haha considering my Laptop's spotty wireless record anyway... that wouldn't be a bad idea.
  22. Last try...
    I still have two "Unknown Devices" listed in the Device manager

    I tried looking them up on PCI Database, but I found no results. The Hardware ID looks different than the other IDs I have seen, so I'm at a bit of a loss. See what you can make of them:

    Unknown Device 1: ACPI\VEN_VPC&DEV_2004
    Unknown Device 2: ACPI\VEN_AOA&DEV_2011

    Sorry for bothering you guys for this long. If this attempt falls through, I'm going to some sort of IT support.

    Thanks,

    DonQuixoteMC
  23. DonQuixoteMC said:
    Last try...
    I still have two "Unknown Devices" listed in the Device manager

    I tried looking them up on PCI Database, but I found no results. The Hardware ID looks different than the other IDs I have seen, so I'm at a bit of a loss. See what you can make of them:

    Unknown Device 1: ACPI\VEN_VPC&DEV_2004
    Unknown Device 2: ACPI\VEN_AOA&DEV_2011

    Sorry for bothering you guys for this long. If this attempt falls through, I'm going to some sort of IT support.

    Thanks,

    DonQuixoteMC

    Power Management Software/drivers
    http://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles/em8.0.2.3.exe
  24. DonQuixoteMC said:
    Last try...
    I still have two "Unknown Devices" listed in the Device manager

    I tried looking them up on PCI Database, but I found no results. The Hardware ID looks different than the other IDs I have seen, so I'm at a bit of a loss. See what you can make of them:

    Unknown Device 1: ACPI\VEN_VPC&DEV_2004
    Unknown Device 2: ACPI\VEN_AOA&DEV_2011

    Sorry for bothering you guys for this long. If this attempt falls through, I'm going to some sort of IT support.

    Thanks,

    DonQuixoteMC

    Power Management Software/drivers?
    http://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles/em8.0.2.3.exe
  25. DonQuixoteMC said:
    Last try...
    I still have two "Unknown Devices" listed in the Device manager

    I tried looking them up on PCI Database, but I found no results. The Hardware ID looks different than the other IDs I have seen, so I'm at a bit of a loss. See what you can make of them:

    Unknown Device 1: ACPI\VEN_VPC&DEV_2004
    Unknown Device 2: ACPI\VEN_AOA&DEV_2011

    Sorry for bothering you guys for this long. If this attempt falls through, I'm going to some sort of IT support.

    Thanks,

    DonQuixoteMC

    Power Management Software/drivers?
    http://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles/em8.0.2.3.exe
  26. I tried that as well, but it did not affect my WiFi.
    This seems like it should be a simple fix! Turning on "Hardware Radio" shouldn't be this complicated...

    Thanks for sticking with me
    Best,

    DonQuixoteMC
  27. 2 tries left... upgrade BIOS and get drivers for all "unknown devices"
  28. I give up.
  29. Just had to do the same on an HP laptop, reckon it's a mobo failure. Edimax Nano a lot cheaper than replacing Mobo,... and it's fairly unobtrusive...though I still believe there's a software answer to your problem out there somewhere!
  30. I know this thread is kind of old, but have you tried seeing if you can flip the so called hardware switch from inside windows 8.

    Go to the start screen type wireless, click apps , select the first result on the upper left "wireless" ..toggle the switch for airplane mode and/or wifi.. this solution worked for me once before. (alternatively access this menu via charms bar, settings, change pc settings, wireless) Another time the option was greyed out.

    The solution then was to clear cmos. You have to disconnect the ac, disconnect the battery and disconnect the cmos battery, wait 10 minutes, reconnect everything and reboot.

    I have found that it happens after you hit fn+f5 or simply f5 depending on the hotkey setting in bios, after you trip that key it turns the wireless off but it wont turn it back on.
  31. cwk9852 said:
    I know this thread is kind of old, but have you tried seeing if you can flip the so called hardware switch from inside windows 8.

    Go to the start screen type wireless, click apps , select the first result on the upper left "wireless" ..toggle the switch for airplane mode and/or wifi.. this solution worked for me once before. (alternatively access this menu via charms bar, settings, change pc settings, wireless) Another time the option was greyed out.

    The solution then was to clear cmos. You have to disconnect the ac, disconnect the battery and disconnect the cmos battery, wait 10 minutes, reconnect everything and reboot.

    I have found that it happens after you hit fn+f5 or simply f5 depending on the hotkey setting in bios, after you trip that key it turns the wireless off but it wont turn it back on.


    The only thing that you mentioned that I didn't do was keep everything disconnected for 10 minutes. When I cleared cmos I only disconnected the AC, DC and cmos battery power sources for 5 minutes. I'm kind of doubtful that waiting another 5 would fix it.

    Though if you think it's worth a shot, I'll go for it.
    At this point I'm not too broken up about it. The USB wireless adapter performs better than my mini pci-e adapter (Lenovo U410's notorious wifi issues). The only thing that bugs me is that this is the first computer problem that I haven't been able to fix. :P

    Thanks for the follow-up post. It's always nice to get input about a possible solution!

    DonQuixoteMC
  32. Well... Sorry for reviving a rather old thread, but something interesting just happened. My Wireless issue was fixed, as of a few days ago. Although, I'm not too sure what happened...

    Recently, my SSD Panic Locked, so I removed that sucker and reinstalled Windows onto my HDD. Once the installation was finished, I booted up my laptop and Voila! I had wireless.

    I have NO idea why this fixed my issue, as a reinstall didn't fix it when I first had this problem. My only guess, is that in an attempt to use my SSD, I turned off "Secure Boot." Then I reinstalled Windows without re-enabling it. This might have allowed for the wireless driver to fully install/boot with the computer. That's my only guess, because it wasn't my SSD that caused the issue, and if you've read through the thread we couldn't find any other reason for the problem.

    If anyone else has this problem and wants to try this, just make sure your system is clean from malicious software that may try to take advantage of a disabled secure boot.

    I am curious to see what Dodger has to say about this!

    DonQuixoteMC
  33. DonQuixoteMC said:
    Well... Sorry for reviving a rather old thread, but something interesting just happened. My Wireless issue was fixed, as of a few days ago. Although, I'm not too sure what happened...

    Recently, my SSD Panic Locked, so I removed that sucker and reinstalled Windows onto my HDD. Once the installation was finished, I booted up my laptop and Voila! I had wireless.

    I have NO idea why this fixed my issue, as a reinstall didn't fix it when I first had this problem. My only guess, is that in an attempt to use my SSD, I turned off "Secure Boot." Then I reinstalled Windows without re-enabling it. This might have allowed for the wireless driver to fully install/boot with the computer. That's my only guess, because it wasn't my SSD that caused the issue, and if you've read through the thread we couldn't find any other reason for the problem.

    If anyone else has this problem and wants to try this, just make sure your system is clean from malicious software that may try to take advantage of a disabled secure boot.

    I am curious to see what Dodger has to say about this!

    DonQuixoteMC

    Speechless!
  34. dodger46 said:

    Speechless!

    Me too! I don't see how the "Secure Boot" thing could possibly have helped, but I see no other logical explanation. It is quite a mystery.
  35. Old thread but just as a comment for others: I have a Lenovo U510 on Windows 8 with the same Intel Centrio-N 2230 Wifi chipset. Every time that the battery level on the laptop goes down under around 10%, WiFi turns off and there is nowehere to turn it on (Windows 8 Energy manager, Wifi manager and device manager all have the switch greyed out and the keybord quickbutton does not work.) Only charging the computer and rebooting it lets me turn on the WiFi again. I have searched for solutions on internet since I got the computer but nothing found has helped. The Lenowo / Windows power management settings does not help, this problem continues also if selected that the computer is not allowed to turn of wifi in powes save modes. I have re-installed all drivers / power management software but does not help. Lenovo Support does not show any interest in the issue which is quite bad as many owners of the u410 / u510 series have reported the same problem on different forums.

    Ben
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