Hi. I'm running Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit on a fairly powerful desktop computer. For the last few years, I've been connected to the internet through this wireless adapter. Up until this fall I was running windows xp; the adapter performed beautifully.
Last month, however, I began running into inexplicable problems. While windows 7 installed the drivers fine to begin with, recently my wireless signal has just been... turning off. I will have several bars, and then none. After maybe 5 minutes I will get the signal back. Some days are better than others, but in the last few days it has just been turning on and off.
I bought a pci-wireless adapter that was supposed to work on windows 7, installed it, and it did not work at all.
So now I'm at a loss. I have to use wifi to get internet, there's no way to run an ethernet cord from the router to my computer without tearing up some walls.
1) Is my current adapter dying, and should I buy a new one? If so, what are the best pci adapters (I don't want a USB one) that are CONFIRMED to work with windows 7 x64. Are there any at all?
2) Alternatively, does anyone know the solution to my problem?
It does sound like your USB adapter is on the way out. USB adapters have a tendency to run hot due to the form factor, and heat takes its toll over time. So I wouldn't be surprised to see some bite the dust from time to time.
Instead of USB or PCI, you might consider a wireless Ethernet bridge.
It has several advantages. Since the wireless is managed OUTSIDE the PC, there are no OS dependencies or driver availability/compatibility issues to deal with. Signal strength is typically better since it doesn’t rely on the PCI/USB bus for power (it has its own AC adapter). They can be easily moved or re-oriented for best reception (limited only by the length of an Ethernet cable, up to 100m). If it has more than one wired port, it can support multiple wired devices (not just PCs, but network printers, IP cameras, network storage, dvrs, blu-ray players, ANYTHING that has a wired Ethernet port). Some even support wireless bridging/repeating. And the next time any OS upgrade comes along, it will continue to work!
To be fair, a wireless Ethernet bridge has some downsides. It’s considerably more expensive than an equivalent PCI/USB wireless adapter (although prices have dropped over the past year or so, and some esp. good deals pop up from time to time). They’re also a bit more complex to configure since the device must be accessed and configure separately from your PC. And they obviously represent a bigger footprint (which is why I like them for desktops, not portables).
I personally only use wireless Ethernet bridges w/ desktops or any non-portable device.
So there are plenty of Windows 7 compatible PCI or USB adapters available (32 or 64 bit), take your pick:
Sweet, those sound perfect for my situation actually!
Can you suggest a good wireless Ethernet bridge? I looked up a few, they seem a tad expensive although within my means. What would be a good one that is both reliable and moderately priced?
-- also, on the issue of Win7 compatibility, I know about that page and in fact it says the pci-wireless adapter I bought "should" work... But it doesn't... Microsoft doesn't really rigorously test a lot of those, they say the Vista drivers work when in fact my computer totally rejected them. But this ethernet bridge should definitely take care of these issues.