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Windows 8.1 Causing Wi-Fi Connectivity Issues

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.

  • sean1357
    Go back to Windows 7. Problem solved.
    Reply
  • dimar
    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.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    12309964 said:
    Go back to Windows 7. Problem solved.

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

    12309972 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    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
    Reply
  • itzdanielp
    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.
    Reply
  • itzdanielp
    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.
    Reply
  • iamadev
    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.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    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.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    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....
    Reply
  • slate
    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.,
    Reply