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Intel 3945ABG wireless behavior inconsistant

    Question

  • Dell XPS M1710 notebook PC with integrated Intel 3945 mini-card wireless.  Default install of Vista Beta 2, Ultimate Ed., no problems.  Upon boot up, wireless light comes on and connects with default wireless network ok.  After a short period of time, I notice I have lost network connectivity.  The Network Center still shows connected with Excellent signal strength, but the wireless radio LED on my laptop is out, which means there is no connectivity.  Attempts to perform a disconnect in Network Center causes hangs of Network Center, ultimately requiring a restart of the PC in order to regain wireless connectivity (which it ALWAYS reconnects fine after restart). 

    Does anyone know if there is a site at intel.com for Vista beta drivers or does anyone have any other ideas?

    Thanks.

    Friday, June 2, 2006 12:25 AM

Answers

  • I have used Dell laptops for over 10 years, and their desktops for nearly 18 years. Each new OS has the probelm of early Dell driver support. You may be unlucky . FWIW, the wireless card on my Dell Inspiron 9300 works well under XP, but no where near as well under Vista, so I suspect your issue is a driver problem.

    Checking in the Intel site, they show support for XP and 2000 only for this device. and at http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/cs-020936.htm they say explicity that there are no beta drivers yet.

    The generic drivers are at http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/cs-010623.htm and if you have not tried it, you might get lucky with these. But it sounds unlikely - sorry!

    Can I suggest you file a bug report and post details back here?

    And when the link to the beta drivers comes live - try them and let us know??

    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 2:42 PM

All replies

  • I have used Dell laptops for over 10 years, and their desktops for nearly 18 years. Each new OS has the probelm of early Dell driver support. You may be unlucky . FWIW, the wireless card on my Dell Inspiron 9300 works well under XP, but no where near as well under Vista, so I suspect your issue is a driver problem.

    Checking in the Intel site, they show support for XP and 2000 only for this device. and at http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/cs-020936.htm they say explicity that there are no beta drivers yet.

    The generic drivers are at http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wlan/sb/cs-010623.htm and if you have not tried it, you might get lucky with these. But it sounds unlikely - sorry!

    Can I suggest you file a bug report and post details back here?

    And when the link to the beta drivers comes live - try them and let us know??

    Wednesday, June 7, 2006 2:42 PM
  • The latest generic drivers can be installed on 5472 with a bit of tweaking :-

    1. Run the self extracting installer. It will fail but extract the files to c:\intel\...
    2. Edit the .inf file (it's a very simple inf) so that the Vista line points at the XP installer
    3. Navigate to the installer. Right click and run in compatibility mode for XP + as Administrator.
    4. Run the installer (or optionally run the other installer from within the XP folder that the .inf points to.
    5. It might throw up an error toward the end of the install. Ignore the error box until the install has finished, then close the error box.
    6. Reboot and enjoy your new drivers.

    They work very well for me.

    Note: I've recounted this procedure from memory but it's pretty close. Good luck.

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006 8:11 PM
  • Hey, this looks hopefull :)

    When you say "edit the .inf" file, do you just delete the Vista install script and leave the XP script?

    Monday, September 25, 2006 12:30 AM
  •  thekiwiguy wrote:

    Hey, this looks hopefull :)

    When you say "edit the .inf" file, do you just delete the Vista install script and leave the XP script?



    No, you make it so that both the vista and xp lines point to the same installer (the XP one)
    Monday, October 9, 2006 1:49 PM
  •  

    I have just installed Windows Vista RC1,most of the stuff is working except for my wireless that is. I have a Gigabyte W551N Notebook with a Intel WM3945ABG wireless adapter. I have installed my Intel Pro software but it just gives an error - (No supported wireless adapters available in the system) The wireless lights are flashing but it seems like its not really on.... Please help! I really don't want to reload the pc to Xp......

    Regards

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006 11:58 AM
  • Try uninstalling any existing drivers + check the option to delete them, then reinstall using method above.  Good luck.
    Tuesday, October 10, 2006 12:03 PM
  • Thanx for the advice, I removed the Intel pro software and followed the steps as above. The setup did install Intel pro Software again exacly like above. I rebooted and the software came back up with the same error. It did install the drivers for the bluetooth though? Any other ideas?

    Thanx

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006 2:05 PM
  • Same problem for me, except I have the Intel 2915ABG wireless card. What's frustrating is that on Beta 2 it installed drivers for my wireless card with no problem. Now on RC1 it can't do it (I'm running the x64 edition). Ideas? Please? ;)
    • Proposed as answer by kenny dalglish Wednesday, June 8, 2011 7:36 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by kenny dalglish Wednesday, June 8, 2011 7:36 AM
    Tuesday, October 10, 2006 6:11 PM
  •  

    Good day all! I have decided to go back to my normal os which is Windows XP SP2. My wireless is working but it is inconsistant, eventhough i have loaded the correct driver the darn thing gives me an error. Most of the time it happens when i restart my machine...My Intel Pro software just says no supported wireless adaptor in the system. If it does this and I shut down the machine and back on it is fine? Why?

    Thanx

    Friday, October 13, 2006 9:43 AM
  • The default setting for the 3945abg is moderate roaming aggressiveness. What this means is that "at the drop of a hat" that it will look for a better signal (maybe your neighbor's?). If you want to stay "locked on" to a particular router then set the roaming agressiveness setting to its lowest.  Also when troubleshooting your connections, turn off encryption until you solve the problem. Make sure that transmission power is set to maximum. Once solved, you can turn it on again. I recommend using G frequencies, as they have a better signal/noise ratio than A. (B is just too slow) Don't expect more than about 40 feet of coverage at 54mbps. Speed drops off proportionately as the distance increases to where you're going to get about 1mbps at somewhere around 300 ft. (All this depends, of course, on how many walls etc you have but the numbers I'm giving you are pretty average. Remember if you're in the kitchen, when you turn on the microwave, you're likely to drop signal coverage and if you're in an office there is electronic "noise" all over the place, including flourescent lights. If you want to move further away than the distances I've told you then get a signal extender. Networks that have a lot of noise will spend a lot of time retrying to send packets and after awhile will get out of sync sometimes. It will appear to you that your wireless lan is "hung". If you know how, turn off packet bursting in this case.

    One other thing-if your router is "hiding" the essid of your network, turn it back ON (as long as your system is encrypted) and your clients will connect faster. (The trouble with the Vista driver is that it doesn't give you an option to connect to the AP's MAC, instead of the essid)

     

    Tom

    Memphis

    Monday, October 23, 2006 2:29 PM
  • These instructions don't work on the M1710 Dell laptop with the wireless 3945BABG card.  I've tried it a number of times using the Dell drivers and the one from Intels site.  I've using Vista RC1 and can't go wireless on the laptop anymore. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Thursday, November 30, 2006 3:47 AM
  • Hi all.

     

    Its very simple really, Intel made a mistake with the latest driver.

     

    Go to your driver settings, and rollback to version 10.x.x.x.

     

    Thats it.

    Kenneth

    Saturday, May 19, 2007 10:44 AM
  • Hi,
    Intel updates the Driver on 4/27/2007 to version 11.1.0.100 my be the problem is gone ...
    Monday, May 21, 2007 8:20 AM
  • I've tried the latest Intel driver and the one before but nothing. the only one worked is the one Made By Microsoft that came with the Vista OS
    Monday, May 21, 2007 10:41 AM
  • Which version of the driver?  11.1.0.100?

    Also,
    HappyHippo, are you saying 11.1.0.100 has addressed your problem?
    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 10:59 AM
  • and "set the roaming agressiveness setting to its lowest." = yes, this works fine.
    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 1:58 PM
  • I have the roaming agressiveness set to lowest.

     

    While I did have the network drop, it didn't require a reboot and no Errors in the event log.  All I did was turn off Wifi using the physical switch and back on and it recovered.

     

    This occured after a Sleep event.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 4:14 PM
  • NOTHING WORKED FOR ME BUT THE MICROSOFT DRIVER
    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 7:35 PM
  • As said before:

     

    Has anyone tried simply pushing the rollback button to set it to version 10.x.x.x.x ?

     

    Its been working for me for for a while now.

     

    Try it! :-)

     

      

    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 7:58 PM
  • I did, and yes, I was "more" stable but still had "drops" of that forced me to turn the physical Wifi switch off/on to reset the adapter.

     

    Now, with the latest, I'm at the same state - equal in stability to the 10.x.x.x driver, but better reception with the 11.x driver that's up on Intel Downloads.  No more errors in the EventLog either so they fixed that issue.  Of course, it would be helpful if Intel posted the release notes and what they fixed.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2007 8:19 PM
  • Crash today.  Driver is still poor.  Back to 10.x
    Saturday, May 26, 2007 12:43 AM
  • Just posting since this is the first place I've seen a discussion similar to my problem. Will keep you updated.

     

    System configuration:

     

    Alienware Area-51 M5790 Laptop - Vista Ultimate

    Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG

     

    Changes that I just made:

     

    Had driver version 10.x.x.xx (was something like 10.0.6.29 10/30/2006). Just upgraded to 11.1.1.11 4/30/2007 Intel.

    Also changed these settings:
    --Roaming Aggressiveness - From 5. Highest to 1. Lowest
    --Transmit Power - from 5. Highest down to 1. Lowest and then back to 5. Highest
    --Wireless Mode - From 6. 802.11a/b/g to 3. 802.11g

     

    Issue:

     

    It would seem to randomly drop the connection. If I just supposedly disconnected from the network (Network and Sharing Center: Disconnect) and then reconnected to the same network it worked. Diagnose and Repair never seemed to work. Always would want to get a new IP address from the router (Linksys WRT54G).

    I noticed it tended to drop the connection under higher loads (e.g. Google Maps (zooming in and out a lot), Google Video/YouTube, downloading Real video sermons from a church site) but was never always consistent with this. One time I thought it was the cable connection or the modem (Vonage phone dropped out exactly at the same time). But after it kept happening one night I connected direct to the modem and it never gave any problems. Also I've been having problems this morning with it and I just connected direct to the router. So far no problems.

    Another laptop (XP) that uses the wireless doesn't have a problem and a desktop (98SE) wired to the router doesn't have problems.

    Thursday, May 31, 2007 7:07 PM
  • as with you guys, im facing the same problem.

    Spec:  ASUS S6Fm   with Vista Ultimate

    Upgraded to 11.1.1 (latest one) and problems still remained the same only it requires a full restart to get it working again

    Dropped back to 10.x.x (microsoft) problems still there, requires a wireless switch on and off to get it working again

    Now using 10.6.0.46 (19/12/2006) problems still there, requires a disable and enable wireless to get it working again.

    I used to use XP SP2 PRO and if i remember correctly, the problems never occured. (not so sure, i forgot, its been 6 months)

    Just to double check with you guys, does it work fine under XP?  with all this inconsistent drop outs, I'm just about prepared to go back to XP SP2 Pro.

    Sunday, June 3, 2007 12:16 PM
  • Update:
    I've been having issues with this a bit since I last posted but nothing really enough that gave me consistent enough issues to try and debug it.

    Last night and today it started to happen pretty bad when I was downloading some large files (300 MB each) from a server that was serving up files at a good clip 600+ kbps (impressive for me).

    I lose the internet connection but still seem to maintain some connection with the network (I think, I actually didn't debug this part). To get back the internet all I do now is disconnect from the network and then reconnect. Seemed to sort of work ok. But then it started really locking up on me and I couldn't do that nor disable the network adapter (actually it appeared to be automatically disabling the wireless network adapter and I couldn't re-enable it). At that point I decided to roll back to the old driver:

    Driver Publisher: Intel
    Driver Date: 10/30/2006
    Driver Version: 10.6.0.29
    Digital Signer: microsoft windows hardware compatibility publisher

    At this point it actually locked up the computer to a point I had to do a hard shut down (actually it locked up so I started trying to shut down running processes (probably shouldn't have) and I must have shut down a process that you need to shut down with because Vista wouldn't let me shut down.

    Anyway after booting back up the driver appeared to have rolled back (to the one mentioned above) and everything seemed to work ok. But after downloading a couple of these large files it started acting up on me again.

    What seems interesting is I switched to Firefox at this point and it seemed to work a bit better before it would kill the connection (maybe it's just my imagination). I do like the fact that it has the download manager so I don't have to restart the download form the beginning.

    But eventually I started having the same problem there so I connected to a hard line. And so far I've had no problem except one time it stopped on me and I think the wireless had reconnected and it tried to use that adapter to access the internet with. Since I have disconnected it I have had no problems downloading these large files.

    We'll see how long this goes. Next I'll probably try turning off wireless security (I've been hesitant to do so because I don't want to leave the network open for a long period of time waiting for this to start again. I may even try and get a new router if that doesn't fix this. But I'm kind of betting on that this is the card in the laptop.
    Friday, June 8, 2007 8:52 PM
  • Whew! Had an error when posting this last post that it "couldn't find the specified file" on the confirming I want alerts page. Thought I had lost that post!
    [Still there too.]
    Friday, June 8, 2007 8:54 PM
  • Just tested it again (actually I wasn't intending to test it but it dropped the connection under light load surfing) and I couldn't even access the network. So all communications with the router was lost.
    Friday, June 8, 2007 10:42 PM
  • I have the Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG in a Sony VGN-SZ430NB MS Vista laptop (imbedded on Motherboard I am told).  OEM driver was a 10.6.X.X and had very intermittant connection and excessive packet loss with a 802.1b network (all other clients work fine).  Updated drivers to 11.1.0.100, 11.1.1.0 and 11.1.1.11 (4/30/07) and connection problems persist.    Even changed channels, changed to 802.11b/g in Hardware Manager and its still a no-go.   Now using an old Cisco PCMCIA 802.11b card and it works great.   Laptop's going back....

     

    Greg

    crossmod (at) comcast dot  net

    Thursday, June 14, 2007 1:34 AM
  • same problem here. Intel 3945ABG wireless would disconnect every once in a while. I changed the roaming aggressiveness, lets see if it solves anything...
    Sunday, June 17, 2007 4:17 AM
  • Having same problems described in this forum.  I too am setting the roaming aggresiveness in hopes of a turnaround.  Did not have this problem in XP.
    Monday, June 18, 2007 7:44 PM
  • Still having problems. Different networks, different routers, different locations. Same problem. Under higher bandwidth loads (and sometimes even low usage) the signal drops. And to get it back sometimes it is as simple as disconnecting and then reconnecting and at other times it's a matter of restarting the entire computer. Nothing is consistent so it makes it very hard to troubleshoot. Sad
    Wednesday, July 18, 2007 9:53 PM
  • I have the same problems as described by people in this thread (intel 3945 abg wireless + vista home premium 64 bit = disconnects). On Windows XP (Pro, 32 bit) the wireless connection worked without problem. The problem began immediately upon installing Vista and has persisted for several months. I have tried countless router/OS/driver settings to no avail. For what it's worth, I have enabled DEP.

     

    I'm using a Netgear fwg114p router with WPA encryption.

     

    EDIT:

     

    I am running Ubuntu on the same laptop, the connection is much better - two disconnects in four days, immediately reconnects. I am using the default drivers that came with Ubuntu, altough Intel provides linux drivers on their website. In comparison, at times wireless in Vista seems to disconnect every other minute and needs to be manually reconnected.

     

    Cheers.

    Sunday, July 22, 2007 2:23 AM
  • I just found this thread over at another forum concerning what appears to be the same issues at least I'm having. Lots of info that I haven't even read up on but going to. By the way I just switched back to the 11.1.1.11 driver (4/30/07). Not sure if that'll help or not.

    Here is that thread: http://thevistaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=9834
    Friday, August 3, 2007 4:33 AM
  • Post 35 of the thread mentioned above ( http://thevistaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=9834 ) seems to be the fix for this problem. Have already done it and will now test it. There is even another more complicated fix that seems to work for the few that are still having problems. Haven't found what thread that is in yet though. Yes! I hope this works!
    Friday, August 3, 2007 4:46 AM
  • Just download the driver from windows update..there is a new driver on vista update ..it's version 11.1.1.16 and it works fine
    Friday, August 3, 2007 11:21 PM
  • Fine! Did you have a link to the update? i can´t find it on windows update. Thank you!

     

    Monday, August 6, 2007 7:39 AM
  • Just found this forum - great stuff.  I can confirm essentially identical behavior with XP Pro.  Reboot seldom fixes my problem - cannot find the hardware. 

     

    i have found that entering Setup and 'Restore Defaults' works to at least make it see the hardware, but only until the next time it drops.

     

    Great stuff!

     

    Sunday, August 12, 2007 9:10 PM
  • Had a similar problem with Intel 2200BG wireless adapter on a Dell Inspiron 6000 (Windows XP).  Was finally directed to microsoft.com knowledge base article 871122 ...

     

    To start the Wireless Zero Configuration service, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type %SystemRoot%\system32\services.msc /s, and then click OK.
    2. Double-click Wireless Zero Configuration.
    3. In the Startup type list, click Automatic, and then click Apply.
    4. In the Service status area, click Start, and then click OK.

    Friday, September 21, 2007 10:15 PM
  • There is no "Wireless Zero Configuration" service for me in there.... only Wired Autoconfig.

    maybe thats my problem... =\
    Thursday, December 13, 2007 6:09 AM
  • I have run this procedure and it works until I reboot.  Every time I shut down or close my computer I have to rerun the procedure.  any ideas?

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 2:00 AM
  • The version 11.X on dell  for the 3945ABG is no longer being offered and was replaced with version 10.x

     

    I'll try that.......

    Monday, April 7, 2008 1:41 PM
  •  

    I forgot to add that the "Intel 3945ABG wireless" is affecting the DELL Latitude D630

    with the latest version 11.x and latest windows update as of 04-07-2008

    On Windows XP.

     

    It would give a profile error even on a newly created profile it would make an error.

     

    Also checked DEP to make sure that "Dot1XCfg.exe" was in the exclusion list.

     

    The only way I could make it work was to disable intel wifi finder and use the built in Windows WIFI tool.

    After this I did a cold boot then re-enabled the intel proset/Wireless and it saw that windows used to connect to a wifi spot and was successful.

     

    So disbale intel proset/wifi and use windows built in wifi config tool. cold boot then once back in you can use

    the INTEL Proset/ Wireless.

     

    So yeah this is 100% buggy!     INTEL rushed this out too soon!

     

    Intel  stop firing your R&D staff!!!

    Monday, April 7, 2008 2:10 PM
  • My machine is one week old and it is a Vostro 1500 from Dell.  The OS is XP Home.  It would connect but the download speed was about 1/10 of what an older Dell got that was sitting next to it.  If I tried to download some podcasts from Cnet, I got lots of timeouts.  It came with an Intel driver that is now one revision old.  I upgraded to the current driver and that did not help.  I then moved over to the Microsoft driver and it now works.  It seems to run at about the same speed as the older machine and there are no more time outs.

    If you are seeing this issue, connect your machine up with a cable as mine worked find that way.  Download a big file and compare the speed to what you get on wireless.  My wireless was running with no security so that could not have been causing a problem.


    Thursday, April 24, 2008 3:03 PM
  • After making the above post, I rebooted my machine and it still has problems.  I called Dell again and they admitted there were issues around this card.  The Vostro came with the option to go with Intel or a 1395 card from Dell.  I am going to try the other card as the Microsoft Driver is much better but it does not fix the problem on the Intel 3945ABG.

    The symptoms now are that it runs full speed for a few minutes and then stalls.  It may take 5 minutes to change pages in hotmail.  After a while it starts working again correctly.

    Wilton

    Thursday, April 24, 2008 11:21 PM
  • I am having the same problem in the last two weeks. I am using XP. Please tell me, did you find a solution to your problem?
    Wednesday, September 10, 2008 9:25 AM
  • Yes I did find a solution.  I called Dell and they swapped out my wireless card for free.  I am now using the Dell card but it took some doing as the standard service procedure would not allow that.  I had to work through a customer care rep. to get it done.  My wireless speed is now what it should be and it is very consistant.

     

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008 2:34 PM
  • I read that bluetooth can cause interference with wifi. http://mindfulmusings.net/coexist/Articles/InterferencebetweenBlueto.html 

    Try to disable Bluetooth whenever you don´t need to use it. I never had any problems with wifi dropping the signal since I started doing that. Before with both Wifi and Bluetooth enabled the Wifi-signal at its worst used to drop every tenth second, hope this might help you too...

     

    Sunday, October 19, 2008 7:14 PM
  • I read that bluetooth can cause interference with wifi. http://mindfulmusings.net/coexist/Articles/InterferencebetweenBlueto.html  

    Try to disable Bluetooth whenever you don´t need to use it. I never had any problems with wifi dropping the signal since I started doing that. Before with both Wifi and Bluetooth enabled the Wifi-signal at its worst used to drop every tenth second, hope this might help you too...

     


    That is simply superb. Well done. I've had the same problem with the dropping regularly, since about 2 years ago on a Dell XPS M1530. Spent a loong time talking to support with no success. They recommended I reinstall Vista. :(

    I had a feeling that was just their way of saying "I haven't a clue" so have learned to live with it. (Massively annoying though.)

    Turned bluetooth adapter off and for the first time ever, my laptop wifi works seamlessly.

    Thank You. :)
    Thursday, January 21, 2010 5:42 PM