SOLVED Intel Wireless Drivers Disappearing


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Hello,

As mentioned in the title, I have been experiencing strange disconnections on my MSI GS70 2PC Stealth Pro. At seemingly random times my visible WiFi networks will vanish, save for the one that I am currently connected to (There are typically 3-4 available networks from my apartment). However, that connection becomes Limited, and I am unable to access any websites, download, etc. If I try to disconnect and reconnect, the connection fails and the only remaining network disappears (it is as if there are no available WiFi networks in range).

What is strange, however, is the behavior in Device Manager. Whenever I look at the wireless adapter (it is an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260), the device description is that it is working properly. When I try to interact with the driver in any way, however (change an Advanced setting, try to update drivers, etc.) Device Manager will freeze. If I force quit and return to Device Manager, the description has changed to "There are no drivers installed for this device." This is what I mean when I say the drivers are, "disappearing."

When I reboot the computer, things return to normal. However, the WiFi always crashes again, given time. The only way I seem to be able to provoke a crash is to move the computer in space, i.e. move it more than a foot in any direction. Every time I have done this, the card crashes.

Additionally, whenever the machine displays that there are no drivers installed for the adapter, my USB ports fail as well. I.e. anything plugged in will continue to work, but if I disconnect and reconnect a device (say, a mouse) the computer will not recognize the device. The computer will also fail to shut down, barring a hard shutdown. Neither of these symptoms occur until after the driver for the device is not found.

List of things I have already tried:
-Updated latest Windows 10 drivers off of Intel's website
-Changed Advanced settings (Ht Mode, Roaming Aggressiveness, and many more; I found lots of advice online haha)
-Reverted to the PC's original OS (Windows 8.1 64bit)
-System Refresh
-System Reset

Not exactly sure which diagnostic files you will need, but I've attached msinfo32 and the results of an ipconfig (before and after adapter failure) to start.
 

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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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Check device manager and confirm that this is not checked
PowerMgmtTab.JPG


On your Intel Wireless adapater.
 
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That system does have Windows 10 drivers on the MSI site? I would try those if able.

Have you tried uninstalling the Wireless driver? You may need to disable the adapter before uninstalling or performing other actions.

The other day my 7260 stopped seeing the other networks and the Network troubleshooter showed a service had stopped and I think is was the WlanSvc (WLAN AutoConfig).

The comments you make about other problems may indicate some type of basic problem effecting more than one system. Event Viewer may give you some insight into the types of errors happening.

Edit: I forgot to ask, are you using the 2.4 or the 5 GHz radios?

7260.JPG
 
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Firstly, thank you Trouble and Saltgrass for your responses.

I turned off the Power Saver option on the wireless adapter's driver settings, both when the machine had Windows 8.1 and when it had 10. Neither prevented the problem.

@ Saltgrass: I uninstalled the drivers multiple times, yes. Unfortunately MSI only had Windows 8.1 drivers available (though the computer was listed as Windows-10-compatible on their site). I installed drivers from Intel's website whenever I reinstalled drivers. I also used multiple rolled-back versions as well, all to no avail. WLAN Autoconfig was indeed terminating and failing to restart; I checked Event Viewer to see what was being thrown immediately after the WiFi cut out. A service called netwnb64 was failing to find the Event IDs of several events (5002, 5007, 7001, and more), indicating that the drivers holding that information were missing. However, there was no indication of what was causing the drivers to fail, so I eventually reached a dead end.

It seems to have been a hardware problem. I opened up the laptop today and re-seated the network card; connections have been stable since. However, the computer has gone up to two days without dropping a connection before, so I will keep an eye on it and mark the thread solved if it stays stable for a few days.
 

Trouble

Noob Whisperer
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Remarkable.... thanks for the follow-up, and.....
Fingers crossed here.
 
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@ Saltgrass: I uninstalled the drivers multiple times, yes. Unfortunately MSI only had Windows 8.1 drivers available (though the computer was listed as Windows-10-compatible on their site).
Well I guess the model of that system I checked, since I could not find a 2PC version, had the drivers but yours does not.

Otherwise, I hope your system stays stable...
 
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Unfortunately, the problem has returned. I will be booting to an Ubuntu USB to see how stability is over there. If it still fails, then it must be a hardware problem.
 
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Is there any chance you installed that Wireless card? When you reset the card did you notice the snaps to hold it in place and snap the wires securely? There is a situation if you install the card at the wrong angle it may not seat correctly.

Keep in mind that card also does the Bluetooth for the system.

Does moving or gently shaking the computer have any effect?
 
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Booted the machine to an Ubuntu drive; connectivity problems continued in the alternate OS. This would make it almost certainly a hardware problem, and definitely not in the purview of these forums. While I appreciate any last advice, I suppose this thread should be closed following any last comments.

@ Saltgrass: I did not install the wireless card myself, no. Of course, I "installed" it when I removed the card and put it back in. I did not notice any snaps when I inserted the card, but I did insert it firmly. I did not see any clips to hold the card in place at the time, so I did not expect any; I will reopen the computer and check for them after posting this.

I have no Bluetooth devices, so the functionality of the card on that level is largely irrelevant to me.

Shaking the computer has had no effect, and I did not want to do it past a certain threshold (hinges for the screen to be concerned about. The laptop is quite large). Moving the computer does provoke the error, however only when I move it a distance >1 foot.
 

Trouble

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Moving the computer does provoke the error, however only when I move it a distance >1 foot.
Sounds like an attenuation problem.
Depending on the design of the card.... is the antenna wire(s) firmly seated?
 
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In regards to the firmness of the card's seating, I forgot that the card is held in place by a screw. I was sure to fasten it tightly.

I am not 100% comfortable with the anatomy of a mobile wireless card, but what I assume are the "antenna" (brass knobs on the underside of the card) appear to be secure, yes.
 
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After reopening the computer, I tucked a thin strip of conducting tape *underneath* the seating of the network card. I wouldn't have thought that would do anything, in fact I was afraid it would cause damage. But the computer has behaved completely since making that little change.

Thank you for helping me with this issue, although it wasn't Windows 10's fault! Marking this resolved.
 

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