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Problem with Wireless on Dell Computer


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#1 warcat

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 01:53 PM

The hard drive in this computer went out, and I put in a new one and installed Windows 8.1. Now I am having problems with the wireless on it. (Please see  below for specifics.) I have installed the drivers from Dell, but the wireless still does not work. I can turn it on and off from the keyboard (Airplane Mode on or off), but it does not provide me with any options to connect wirelessly. Looking in Device Manager, there is an Unknown Device described as a Network Controller. The device PCI is as follows:

 

\VEN_168C&DEV_0036&SUBSYS_020C1028&REV_01\4&7a7034c&0&00E2

 

I believe this is the wireless card. The PCI indicates it is an Atheros device. I looked on the Atheros site for a driver, but it redirected me

to Dell. I even ran Dell's driver utility and diagnostics, but it tells me everything is working OK.

 

The specifics on the computer are as follows:

 

Manufacturer: Dell

Model: Inspiron 15-3542

RAM: 4Gb

Hard Drive: 320 Gb Western Digital

Processor: Intel Core i3-4030U, 1.9 Ghz.

OS: Windows 8.1, 64 bit

 

Any help in resolving this problem would be greatly appreciated.

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 02:21 PM

According to pcidatabase.com this is an Atheros AR956x chipset. But, this seems to be a Dell proprietary chipset. I am still looking for the driver. Atheros has a separate driver site with the above chipset but the subsys number you provided is not in the inf driver file. 

 

Is this the driver you downloaded and installed?

 

Edit: I found your driver with the Vendor and Device ID on the Atheros site. If the above does not work then go here. Click on the green "Click for Download" button. It will take a bit before the download begins. Unzip the file to a folder on the desktop. Delete the three files without an x suffix. These are 32bit drivers. 

 

athwb.cat

athwb.inf

athwb.sys

 

Right click the device in Device Manager. Update the driver per the following instructions.

 

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/9695-driver-install-device-manager-windows-8-a.html


Edited by JohnC_21, 10 February 2016 - 02:49 PM.


#3 warcat

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 04:16 PM

Thanks John. Yes, the first driver is the one I installed. As soon as the computer is available again -- I thought I'd try installing some critical Windows updates -- I'll download the driver from your site and see if it works.



#4 raymac46

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 06:37 PM

I have this wifi chipset in a Lenovo laptop and it has given me a lot of trouble. It randomly drops the wifi connection and I have to disconnect and reconnect. I have now disabled it in BIOS and replaced it with a TP-Link USB adapter.



#5 warcat

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:32 PM

Sorry it took so long to get back and reply, but I finally got the wireless working. While the computer was installing Windows updates, we had a power outage, the battery ran down, and I could not even do a restore. I reinstalled Windows, downloaded the drivers from Dell again. This time, when I installed the wifi driver, I unchecked the option to install the Bluetooth driver, and the wifi now works like a champ. Also, Windows installed its own drivers for the Bluetooth, so that is working just fine as well. I appreciate everyone's help with my issue.






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