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Weird problem, need to reinstall wifi card drivers every boot

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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January 16, 2012 8:51:34 PM

Hi there,

it's been a while since I got a PCI wireless card, and it's been awful. I've honestly tried everything I've thought of.

Core I3 540, Intel DH55TC mobo.

Here's the deal:
I purchased a PCI wifi card, a TP-LINK TL-WN350G model. I installed it, downloaded the drivers from the manufacturer's site, and it all worked just fine. The next day, no internet connection. At first, I thought the service was simply down or something, but my brother was using his laptop without any trouble. I reinstalled the drivers, rebooted my PC and got it working again.

The thing is, this keeps happening everytime! Everytime I turn my PC on, I have to reinstall and reboot to get the connection working. It's driving me crazy. Today, it took me several attempts today to get it working, while usually only doing it once is enough. What the heck?

Here's what I've tried so far, to no avail:
- Reinstalling the drivers. That's what I have to do everyday.
- Installing from the CD. It just has an interface, contrary to the lite installer I downloaded, but the drivers seem to be the same.
- Looking for more recent or specific-to-my-problem drivers from the site.
- Uninstalling the drivers in the Device Manager and rebooting.
- Changing the selected driver in the Device Manager.
- Fiddling with the settings in the Device Manager (i.e. there was an "energy saving option" that could supposedly turn off the card's function, or that's what I understood at least, it was on so I turned it off). Doesn't make a difference at all.

-I doubt my internet, modem or physical position is a problem. My brothers can use their laptop right beside my PC and get a perfectly good signal.

-Everytime I turn the PC on, the card is simply not detected. I can't even see it in the device manager, it magically disappears until I reinstall+reboot.

-This is something I just noticed! when I boot, a black screen with some text runs during POST, but it's so fast I can't read it. Something about Intel Bridge? I'm sure this message didn't display before installing the card. I installed a HDMI cable at the same time, wonder if it could have something to do.

Any ideas? This really annoying, I really hope we can solve this :) 

Thanks in advance!
January 19, 2012 5:14:53 AM

I found multiple reviews on Newegg stating the same problem as you did with that card. If you already checked to make sure the card is properly seated within the motherboard then my guess is it just may be a lower quality internal wireless adapter. You may want to spend a little more for something better.
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January 26, 2012 12:45:47 AM

skaz said:
I found multiple reviews on Newegg stating the same problem as you did with that card. If you already checked to make sure the card is properly seated within the motherboard then my guess is it just may be a lower quality internal wireless adapter. You may want to spend a little more for something better.


You're right, I just checked those reviews and there are others with the same problem. Shame on me, when I was buying it I thought "well it's only a wifi card, not a cpu or anything complex", so I simply walked into a store and asked for that thing without doing previous research.

still, if the card was simply bad I wouldn't get connection at all, would I? I do have to install at every boot but it works just fine afterwards, good speed and all, so wouldn't it be a driver issue? If needed I'll end up buying something more decent, but for now I'd like to see if this can be solved.

cheers
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January 26, 2012 2:16:36 AM

Yeah it sounds like it could be a driver issue if not some sort of internal hardware flaw and the adapter manufacture would have to fix that. I couldn't find any possible fixes online but maybe you will have better luck searching.

Just a quick note, have you tried taking the adapter out and re-seating it? Or even trying a different PCI slot?

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January 26, 2012 4:35:24 AM

skaz said:
Yeah it sounds like it could be a driver issue if not some sort of internal hardware flaw and the adapter manufacture would have to fix that. I couldn't find any possible fixes online but maybe you will have better luck searching.

Just a quick note, have you tried taking the adapter out and re-seating it? Or even trying a different PCI slot?


Yeah, I've tried taking it out and putting it back in place, to no avail. My mobo's an Intel DH55TC, so there's only one standard ivory-colored PCI slot (newbie question here, what are the PCI express 2.0 small black ports for? could the wifi card be installed in there? I doubt it, they're smaller than the card itself..)
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January 26, 2012 4:47:29 AM

You can purchase wireless cards that fit into the PCI express 2.0 x1 slots. I used a asus wireless adapter in the past that worked off a PCI express 2.0 x1 slot and it worked fine. They are basically pci express with only one lane. 2.0 per lane is like 500 MB/s I believe. More then enough for a wireless adapter.

Here's an example of one that would fit. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 29, 2012 6:37:32 PM

I see, so there are wifi cards that fit into PCI Express 2.0x1 slots. Would you recommend them over common PCI ones, or they make no difference?

Tech support on TP-Link already gave it up, they told me to use my guarantee to replace it or change it, which I'm about to do. It might be that my particular card is faulty, but still I've read some more and lots of people are having the same trouble with it. This is the first and last time I buy with no previous research, even stuff as simple as a small wifi card can be a living hell if I am careless.

Thanks for all your input, and let this example be of use for others!
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September 1, 2012 5:29:04 PM

sibela said:
I see, so there are wifi cards that fit into PCI Express 2.0x1 slots. Would you recommend them over common PCI ones, or they make no difference?

Tech support on TP-Link already gave it up, they told me to use my guarantee to replace it or change it, which I'm about to do. It might be that my particular card is faulty, but still I've read some more and lots of people are having the same trouble with it. This is the first and last time I buy with no previous research, even stuff as simple as a small wifi card can be a living hell if I am careless.

Thanks for all your input, and let this example be of use for others!


got it to work

don't use their built in installer

instead point to where the drivers are located from device manager or when the Plug and play dialog in windows pops up
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!