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Windows 8 pro and 8.1 pro WiFi connection issues RRS feed

  • Question

  • I hope to start a meaningful dialogue with Microsoft about the WiFi issues that Windows 8 and 8.1 have.

    I've been deploying Windows 8 and 8.1 since the Surface Pro was released.  Since then we've deployed about 50-75 Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Dell Latitude 7000 series, Lenovo Yoga 13 IdeaPad and Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad devices.  Some have Windows 8 pro, some have been upgraded to 8.1 Pro, and some were purchased with native 8.1 Pro builds on them.  All of these devices have difficulty with wireless in one form or another.  We were able to reduce some of the problems (not eliminate) on our corporate LAN over the last year by turning off Windows' ability to turn off the wireless adapter to save power, or turning off some of the offload or chimney or other advanced capabilities of the adapters.  Problems were still present, but less so.  Many of our users were able to be on the wired LAN, so the issues were somewhat glossed over. 

    We were finally able to fix our Wireless LAN issue (we believe everything is working as expected after 2 weeks of testing and observation) by updating the controller and AP firmware for our Aruba wireless infrastructure (we have one controller and 11 ap's across 5 well connected sites).  This is great- sort of...

    The problem is that while it's now very obvious that in our case, updating the firmware on our corporate WiFi is able to get the various 8 and 8.1 devices working on our LAN, this is not a true fix as it does not address our mobile and wireless capabilities while:

    1. traveling

    2. working at a partner's or customer's location and connecting to their WiFi

    3. Working from Home

    4. Etc.

    We obviously can't update everyone's AP/wireless router firmware.  The solution, by necessity, must reside on the Windows 8/8.1 machine and it's inability to reliably connect and stay connected to existing Wifi networks.   I want to know the current state and thinking that Microsoft has regarding this persistent issue (searching for "Windows 8.1 wifi" in the "Windows 8.1 IT pro" forums on TechNet returned 4000+ results).  Ignoring or not addressing this problem head on is a huge mistake.  Let us know the root cause (SOMETHING has changed in the Network/IP stack) and a solution to work around the cause. 

    I'll conclude like this: I KNOW that some Wifi issues can be resolved with firmware updates to WiFi routers/APs.  I KNOW that some WiFi issues can be resolved with driver updates or, in some cases, downgrades.  I KNOW some Wifi issues can be resolved by uninstalling Intel ProSET, or getting manufacturer direct drivers.  I KNOW some issues can be resolved by turning off Windows' ability to turn off the adapter when "not in use" to save power.  I KNOW some owner's of Windows 8/8.1 machines have downgraded to Windows 7 or XP or abandoned Microsoft altogether and move to Linux or Mac.  The ONLY common problem across all of these solutions, is Windows 8/8.1.  Therein MUST lie the ultimate answer.


    DLovitt


    Monday, March 3, 2014 8:50 PM

All replies

  • Hi Darius,

    This is really a hot issue, I think the main cause of the issue is that the structure of driver development has changed since Windows 8. And the original device and firmware may not compatible with the new driver architecture.  

    Wi-Fi Direct Miniport Initialization and Configuration
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh440289(v=vs.85).aspx

    Would you please provide the most similar event logs from several computers? so that we can do deep research on this common issue.

      


    Kate Li
    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014 9:42 AM
    Owner
  • Hello Kate,

    Thanks for the response.  This is the first admission I've seen from Microsoft that there is actually an issue with the OS, it's implementation, or the hardware partners of Microsoft and their drivers/firmware/whatever. 

    To be very frank, I'm not at all interested in troubleshooting this issue in this forum.  I'm not inclined to waste any of my time in an effort like that.  Microsoft has the ability and the duty to setup labs/tests/whatever to come to a resolution to this problem.  I think Microsoft has the resources to go out and buy some WiFi routers/APs, get a handful of 8/8.1 machines and go to town with collecting all of the log files from all of the MANY sources available on a machine to "do deep research on this common issue".  If Microsoft can't do this, I'll donate some of the many old APs I have lying around.  I'm obviously engaged in hyperbole at this point, but I think you get my meaning.  Taking my time is completely unnecessary and uncalled for. If I'm mischaracterizing your request or approach to this issue, please let me know.  I am happy to help to come to a resolution, I'm just not willing to waste my time and effort for a seemingly monumental problem with the current Windows operating systems that Microsoft should be doing EVERYTING in their power, to the exclusion of all other problems, to remedy.  Surely you see how important to the future of the Microsoft enterprise this is?  A full 17 months after the RTM of Windows 8, and this problem still exists... Microsoft will lose customers permanently.  It's us unfortunate IT Director schmucks and business enterprises we work for who are trapped in the requirement of running Windows in our businesses that are left with NO good options when dealing with this problem.  And to complicate the issue even more, Microsoft has removed downgrade rights on Windows 8 so we can't install a working Windows 7 environment on defective computers- not legally anyway.  I'd expect class action suits are on their way.  This is not a threat, just me looking into my crystal ball a bit.

    So I'll ask again, what is Microsoft's stance on this?  What is the current status of efforts to remedy this problem?  If there are steps I can take, short of what are in my opinion wasted troubleshooting efforts, I'll take them.  As it sits right now, I have a load of computers with manufacturer defects.  I have purchasing decisions I need to make immediately.  If a resolution is forthcoming, I can decide one way.  If not, I'll have to decide another. The sh** will hit the fan eventually, I just want to know when to duck.


    DLovitt





    Tuesday, March 4, 2014 6:40 PM
  • I hope to start a meaningful dialogue with Microsoft about the WiFi issues that Windows 8 and 8.1 have.

    I've been deploying Windows 8 and 8.1 since the Surface Pro was released.  Since then we've deployed about 50-75 Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Dell Latitude 7000 series, Lenovo Yoga 13 IdeaPad and Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad devices.  Some have Windows 8 pro, some have been upgraded to 8.1 Pro, and some were purchased with native 8.1 Pro builds on them.  All of these devices have difficulty with wireless in one form or another.  We were able to reduce some of the problems (not eliminate) on our corporate LAN over the last year by turning off Windows' ability to turn off the wireless adapter to save power, or turning off some of the offload or chimney or other advanced capabilities of the adapters.  Problems were still present, but less so.  Many of our users were able to be on the wired LAN, so the issues were somewhat glossed over. 

    We were finally able to fix our Wireless LAN issue (we believe everything is working as expected after 2 weeks of testing and observation) by updating the controller and AP firmware for our Aruba wireless infrastructure (we have one controller and 11 ap's across 5 well connected sites).  This is great- sort of...

    The problem is that while it's now very obvious that in our case, updating the firmware on our corporate WiFi is able to get the various 8 and 8.1 devices working on our LAN, this is not a true fix as it does not address our mobile and wireless capabilities while:

    1. traveling

    2. working at a partner's or customer's location and connecting to their WiFi

    3. Working from Home

    4. Etc.

    We obviously can't update everyone's AP/wireless router firmware.  The solution, by necessity, must reside on the Windows 8/8.1 machine and it's inability to reliably connect and stay connected to existing Wifi networks.   I want to know the current state and thinking that Microsoft has regarding this persistent issue (searching for "Windows 8.1 wifi" in the "Windows 8.1 IT pro" forums on TechNet returned 4000+ results).  Ignoring or not addressing this problem head on is a huge mistake.  Let us know the root cause (SOMETHING has changed in the Network/IP stack) and a solution to work around the cause. 

    I'll conclude like this: I KNOW that some Wifi issues can be resolved with firmware updates to WiFi routers/APs.  I KNOW that some WiFi issues can be resolved with driver updates or, in some cases, downgrades.  I KNOW some Wifi issues can be resolved by uninstalling Intel ProSET, or getting manufacturer direct drivers.  I KNOW some issues can be resolved by turning off Windows' ability to turn off the adapter when "not in use" to save power.  I KNOW some owner's of Windows 8/8.1 machines have downgraded to Windows 7 or XP or abandoned Microsoft altogether and move to Linux or Mac.  The ONLY common problem across all of these solutions, is Windows 8/8.1.  Therein MUST lie the ultimate answer.


    DLovitt


    THIS.

    I have been going through the same efforts as DLovitt with no joy.  I have ruled out all variables which leads directly to something with Win 8/8.1 being the problem.  Very frustrating that I cannot find a fix anywhere.

    Subscribing to this thread in the hopes an answer is forthcoming.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:11 PM
  • Extremely not happy with the issues that this windows 8.1 has given to me and many others. I did not ask to update to windows 8.1 but yet I had no other choice and now I'm the one left suffering with very poor internet speeds. I've heard of various ways of getting around it with minimal amount of people actually succeeding. I am not happy to pay for my broadband with this issue that Microsoft has given to everyone... I had to download this 8.1 twice because the first time I and again others suffered when it downloaded without actually providing an automated product key. I had to system reboot everything which actually took away my Microsoft that was installed on here... when ringing them up they said that it would cost me to repair a fault of there's. This is ridiculous, I swear that I've been on windows 8.1. for around 2 weeks and now my internet has finally given up and works like a 1980's pc.

    Extremely dissatisfied and irritated. Unfair to the customers who have to reside and deal with this.

    Michael.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014 5:57 PM
  • I come to the same conclusion that the current Windows OS has some serious issues with networking. At my side, in my private test domain, I experienced several issues I never saw before. So far, the sum of all observations is, that something is wrong with credentials/authentication and Windows networking. In most cases the root cause is the new identity system that affect even local networks. For instance, Windows is mapping and accessing SMB network shares with online identities even if the credentials used to map a drive were completely different. Beside from that, various time out issues regarding WLAN, networks and server ressources have made Windows networking very tedious.
    Saturday, April 26, 2014 1:34 PM
  • The ONLY common problem across all of these solutions, is Windows 8/8.1.  Therein MUST lie the ultimate answer.


    Troubleshooters that don't work or are of inconsistent quality?   <eg>

    In my case, I eventually found my answer by using IE's "could not connect" troubleshooter.  Somehow my connection had stopped being an "always connect" one.  That was the only troubleshooter which knew that!  All the others would have had me doing all kinds of overkill actions or say that there was "no problem".



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Sunday, April 27, 2014 12:59 AM
  • DLovitt: Thank you for posting this.

    Somehow, I have come to the conclusion that the poor/unreliable Wi-Fi is caused by a change in how adapters and access points deal with each other. Since Windows 8.0 I've wasted money on four (!) new routers (TP-Link, D-Link, Sapido, Huawei) to find one that 'tolerates' Windows 8.x. None - none - does reliably; except: my Lumia 620 or Lumia 820 phones have both worked flawlessly with the variety of Windows tablets (Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Dell) I have owned and still own (yes, at first I thought the tablets were at fault - another waste of money). That is, those phones have worked as a 'router' for my tablets reliably, until, a few days ago, I upgraded them to Windows Phone 8.1 DP. Moreover, my two current Windows 8.1 DP phones (Lumia 620, Lumia 1520) suffer the very same problems when connecting to wireless access points.

    I'm retired and my monthly allowance for gadgets is quite limited. Spending that much money on trying to get something so basic and so essential for a tablet working reliably is quite hard to justify.  

    Has Kate Li gone into hiding?


    ________________ drahnier


    Sunday, April 27, 2014 2:10 AM
  • Hi Drahnier,

    Try these things

    1: Download the latest drivers for your card

    2: Turn off N-standard on the NW-card under properties -> advanced -> advanced

    /BM

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014 7:59 AM
  • Hi Drahnier,

    Try these things

    1: Download the latest drivers for your card

    2: Turn off N-standard on the NW-card under properties -> advanced -> advanced

    /BM

    Thanks for your post, but:

    1: I, of course, did install the latest drivers. For all but one combinations of W8.x/Router that didn't help.

    2: Turning off N? Same result as in 1. Besides: Why shouldn't I expect N to just work?


    ________________ drahnier

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014 9:26 AM
  • Bawzman, can you be more explicit in those steps?

    Have anyone try a fresh installation?

    Thanks.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:09 AM
  • Unfortunately, your question is a little late (Thanks anyway. It's a nice feeling not to be forgotten.). 

    Another iteration of wireless drivers and another new router seem to have fixed my issues. Pardon me, if I don't remember the exact steps I had taken initially and pardon my unwillingness to reinstall both the previous drivers and the previous router/s to refresh my memory.


    ________________ drahnier

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:32 AM