Thursday, January 31, 2013

Windows 8 Pain Point #3 - Intel Centrino Wireless-N 6150

So, I've been on Windows 8 for a couple months now, and all in all it's not too bad.  One trend that has started to irritate me quite a bit is the fact that my WiFi connection continually drops.  It's intermittent, but for whatever reason, my adapter just disconnects from the WiFi router.  Then, when I go to reconnect it, Windows tells me I can't connect back to the network.

When this first happened, I thought okay, let me try a different WiFi signal.  Nope!  No matter what other WiFi signal I chose, my adapter basically said it had eaten enough packets.  So, what's the classic solution in these circumstances?  Reboot!  Sure enough, everything started working fine again.  I dealt with that for a couple days before I decided having to reboot every time was ridiculous.  My next troubleshooting effort led me to re-install the driver.  No luck - the problem intermittently persisted.  Then, just out of curiosity, I disabled the network adapter and re-enabled it.  BOOM!  Fixed...temporarily.  Now I just have to disable/re-enable the network adapter, which is less irritating than having to reboot, but still a pain.

I didn't have this issue in Win7, so the only thing I can think of at this point is that the driver is causing issues.  My driver version is 15.5.0.43.  I'm not sure if I can stand to wait for an update.  I think I may go back to Win7.  Anyone else having this issue?

Update #1: just went to Intel's site, and there's an update for the software suite.  To detect if your adapter needs an update, check out Intel's scanning web-app.  You'll have to enable Java for the scanning to work, so only do it if you trust Intel.

By the way, here's the output of the scanner: 
Product DetectedIntel® Centrino® Wireless-N + WiMAX 6150
Current Driver Installed15.5.2.0
Newer Intel® PROSet/Wireless WiFi Connection Utility Available:15.5.6

I have my fingers crossed!

Update #2: After updating directly from Intel's site, the problem appears to be fixed.  I'll keep monitoring in case the situation changes, but it looks to be corrected.  NOTE: anyone expecting the Windows Update to fix this should instead go to the links above to download the driver directly as Windows Update does not correct the problem.