Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Windows 8.1 Causing Wi-Fi Connectivity Issues

By - Source: Softpedia | B 79 comments

Apparently, Softpedia is still trolling the Microsoft Community forums, as the site has come across another problem Windows 8.1 upgraders are experiencing: limited or no Wi-Fi connectivity. The site reports that the problem was first related to the Surface tablets, but customers on PCs and other non-Microsoft Windows 8.1 tablets are facing the same issues.

"I have the same problem. Did everything. Read the web. Installed 8.1 twice. Now back to factory settings. Have all the latest updates on everything. I too believe it is a hardware issue," reads one complaint. "I own a laptop I bought at BestBuy only 6 months ago. It drops on me after several minutes. I reset my router, called the cable company, called Microsoft and still no fix."

"Same computer system as the user above however, I cannot connect AT ALL unless I plug straight into the router. Makes having a laptop very inconvenient," reads another complaint. "I have reinstalled drivers, updated my IP settings, run an IPConfig - very frustrating. I am at the restore point which is obviously a last resort."

A Microsoft rep explains that a limited connection means the device has connected to a router, but the PC wasn't assigned a valid IP address. However, Internet connection problems are most commonly caused by disconnected cables or by routers and modems that aren't working correctly, the rep says. The rep then points to links for wired and wireless network problems, and why users can't connect to the Internet.

"This is horrible response and I've seen it given by other MS engineers," another complaint reads. "Thousands of people are having this problem since the 8.1 release. I highly doubt all of us had our routers go bad at the same time. Own up to this Microsoft and please fix it. The standard response will not cut it anymore."

On a personal note, I had wireless connectivity issues after upgrading to Windows 8.1; the operating system would not recognize the 5 GHz spectrum. To fix this, I did the following:

  • Downloaded and installed the adapter's latest drivers
  • Entered "Network and Sharing Center"
  • Clicked "Changed Adapter Settings"
  • Right-clicked on the adapter in "Network Connections" and its "Properties"
  • Clicked on the "Configure" button and clicked on the "Driver" tab
  • Chose "Update Driver," "Browse My Computer" and then "Let Me Pick..."
  • Here there should be two drivers: the Windows 8.1 version and the new ODM drivers
  • Chose the ODM drivers and suddenly the 5 GHz network appeared

Granted, this won't help everyone, as most of the problems listed in the thread seem to be Intel Centrino related. Still, this seems to be an ongoing issue, with suggestions including installing an old driver, disabling Bluetooth to changing the channel in the wireless router.

Discuss
Display all 79 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 7 Hide
    sean1357 , December 30, 2013 12:55 PM
    Go back to Windows 7. Problem solved.
  • 6 Hide
    dimar , December 30, 2013 12:56 PM
    I've encountered this with several notebooks that use Broadcom wifi chipset. Installing latest Windows 8 driver in Windows 8.1 had the same issue, as with preinstalled driver. Loading Windows 7 driver solved the problem everytime so far.
  • -3 Hide
    jimmysmitty , December 30, 2013 1:11 PM
    Quote:
    Go back to Windows 7. Problem solved.


    How is that a solution when it has been seen to happen on 7 as well?

    Quote:
    I've encountered this with several notebooks that use Broadcom wifi chipset. Installing latest Windows 8 driver in Windows 8.1 had the same issue, as with preinstalled driver. Loading Windows 7 driver solved the problem everytime so far.


    I am not surprised as Broadcoms WiFi chips are at best mediocre. I have a HP ElitePad with 8.1 and it uses a Intel Centrino WiFi adapter and I have had 8.1 since release with no issues.

    What's interesting is that it has been 2 months since the release and these reports are just now surfacing. Makes me wonder if it is a specific WiFi adapter that had a driver update that is causing it.
  • -6 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 30, 2013 1:18 PM
    or avoid windows 8.x altogether and go back to windows 7. seems like windows 7 fixes a lot of peoples issues with windows 8.x
  • 0 Hide
    itzdanielp , December 30, 2013 1:59 PM
    I actually encounter this relatively often with the clients I rolled out. And the solution I found was to restart (not shut down / power on) the computer. Fairly often it is because there are updates pending.
  • -2 Hide
    itzdanielp , December 30, 2013 2:16 PM
    I actually encounter this relatively often with the clients I rolled out. And the solution I found was to restart (not shut down / power on) the computer. Fairly often it is because there are updates pending.
  • 0 Hide
    iamadev , December 30, 2013 2:20 PM
    I have and am responsible for multiple win8 and 8.1 machines, I have yet to see this type of thing that hasn't been resolved by running windows update.

    I realise when problems affect you and others talk about it it seems like it is a far reaching issue that is affecting a large portion of users but often they are very limited cases of hardware issues or some driver. Yet people will still blame an OS that has been out for months over an issue that has been happening for a couple of weeks.

    This reeks of driver update or broken hardware. Some of the machines I have use Broadcom wifi and I have no issue.
  • -2 Hide
    sykozis , December 30, 2013 2:55 PM
    This problem isn't related just to WiFi. It's networking in general. I have an HTPC running Win8.1 that is receiving the "unidentified network" message. The only way I've found to get around it, short of a clean install, is to assign a static IP to the affected systems. This should prevent the issue from reoccurring in the future as no network detection has to occur with a static IP.
  • -2 Hide
    sykozis , December 30, 2013 2:57 PM
    This isn't a broadcom only issue either. My HTPC uses an Intel Gigabit NIC and receives this same message.

    Going back to 7 isn't a solution either as this problem has existed since at least WinXP....
  • 1 Hide
    slate , December 30, 2013 3:19 PM
    I only have the problem with my Vaio (Centrino N 6200 AGN); worked fine in W7 and W8; but with 8.1 it is a problem again and again... often when the laptop has been at sleep. I run Network repair and it is fine again.

    The other laptops, tablets no problems; stationaries and servers are cabled and no problem.,
  • 2 Hide
    dylanlloyd , December 30, 2013 4:19 PM
    Hello we had this issue on our office network, we use aruba networks which have 802.11K turned off by default but if you turn it on then it will cause issues with your intel wifi cards, I would turn off 802.11K if your access point supports it and it is on.
  • -1 Hide
    Innocent_Bystander , December 30, 2013 4:20 PM
    "Go back to Windows 7. Problem solved. "

    It's funny, I had the exact opposite experience. Windows 7 kept dropping my network connection, Windows 8.1 is rock solid.

    I think a lot of these have to do with the cheap realtek network cards that cheaper laptops insist on using. Sony's community forums are full of these reports.

    Those users might have to open their computers and replace the network adapter with a proper one (Intel Centrino cards seem to work well).

    IB
  • 1 Hide
    Lewis Vicinus , December 30, 2013 4:29 PM
    I had the opposite problem...i had very poor wi-fi connection in Windows 8 (only 5 Mbps) after the upgrade to Windows 8.1 my wi-fi connection went to 28 Mbps (which is what the adapter was achieving on my old Windows 7 computer)
  • 1 Hide
    everygamer , December 30, 2013 5:21 PM
    Based on your own experience, it was a driver issue. The wireless card vendor had not provided Microsoft with the newer drivers for your hardware to be distributed via a standard update. If you can fix the issue with a drive update, its not Microsofts problem, its the hardware vendors.
  • 0 Hide
    everygamer , December 30, 2013 5:35 PM
    And to follow up, this type of issue could effect thousands of customers across multiple computer vendors, you might have HP, Lenovo, Acer, etc using the same wireless chipset in different products, they would each have this issue if the driver needed to be updated and the wireless chipset vendor was behind on publishing it to the manufacturers. The manufactures then need to provide Microsoft with the updated drivers for each of their products using it.
  • 0 Hide
    sun-devil99 , December 30, 2013 6:35 PM
    Hmm...glad I haven't gotten around to installing Windows 8.1 on my main desktop PC. I use the built wireless adapter for connectivity. Plugging directly into the router is an option, but would require me to run a CAT5 cable down the middle of the room or go out and buy a 20-foot cable so that I could run it along the walls.
  • -1 Hide
    rickpeterso , December 30, 2013 7:19 PM
    didn't see any issues... install the correct drivers... enter the correct key to the correct router... was pretty automatic...
  • 3 Hide
    Koushik Majumder , December 30, 2013 8:16 PM
    Windows compatibility centre shows clearly that most of the broadcom, atheros and ralink wifi adapters do not work in windows 8.1 Strangely cheap and very old usb adapter which is 802.11 b only from belkin works fine.
  • 0 Hide
    maddad , December 30, 2013 9:25 PM
    I have been running Windows 8, and now Windows 8.1 almost since it came out. I have a home built no name computer. I have zero problems with windows 8/8.1. If you are just going by what others have said and you have not used Windows 8 yourself; then you should try it. Some things are different than Win 7, but overall it is a faster and I believe more secure operating system. Don't believe the haters.
  • 1 Hide
    jimmysmitty , December 30, 2013 9:44 PM
    Quote:
    Windows compatibility centre shows clearly that most of the broadcom, atheros and ralink wifi adapters do not work in windows 8.1 Strangely cheap and very old usb adapter which is 802.11 b only from belkin works fine.


    It is all about driver updates. It is much like what happened with LGA775. Most mobo vendors stopped after a new chipset with BIOS updates but I found a Asus P945 chipset LGA775 mobo one time that supported everything from the first Pentium 4 775 CPUs to the at the time latest Core 2 Quad 9000 series 775 CPUs.

    Most hardware will work with 8.1. It is up to the hardware vendors to write the drivers for it. A lot of them stop after 1-2 years but good companies keep on going.
Display more comments