WiFi Won't Stay Connected or Randomly Becomes "Limited"

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by jrapdx, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Unreliable WiFi connections with the SP2 has always been a problem, but worse in the last 2 days, immediately after getting the March updates 2 days ago.

    Every 5 or 10 minutes, WiFi disconnects or goes to "Limited" state. Using the "troubleshooter" connection will often be restored, but not every time. The problem seems much worse when using a Bluetooth mouse, so I've been avoiding using BT for now.

    I've checked and rechecked the configuration--everything is standard. I have disable powering down the WiFi adapter during sleep, since disconnection during sleep was an issue, but not the current problem. I have a good WiFi signal, and the router, etc., are the same as always.

    Because of the timing, I suspect one (or more) of the dozen updates received are implicated, but not sure how to figure that out, if it's even possible to do. Any good ideas are appreciated...
     
  2. jollywombat

    jollywombat Member

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    I have the March update and have not experienced this issue. Traveling out of state and have to use 2.4ghz where I am here and the MS Surface edition BT mouse. Are you able to try rolling back your driver version for the WIFI and see if this helps? Or just grabbing the .150 driver from the surface driver pack and manually swap over to it and see if you experience this still?
     
  3. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Yes, I thought of rolling it back, but not exactly sure how to do that. I don't think the old driver is still on the drive--at least I'm not sure where to look. Usually I'm not such a klutz, but sure seems this time I am. Do I need to look on line or am I just missing something obvious?
     
  4. jollywombat

    jollywombat Member

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    Nevermind, looks like it will not let you do a rollback due to the way they are implementing the updates. I would suggest trying the manual install of the older drivers then and see if it helps you.
     
  5. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Not sure why it has to be so convoluted. Found the driver "bundle" under system32\driverstore\mwlu97w8x64.sys..... Not clear how I actually install it. Device Manager won't do it with Update Driver. I'll try to look it up...
     
  6. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    If you go at a coffee shop or somewhere else where you have WiFi, do you have the same problem.
    Router and Wireless card incompatibility is nothing new. It doesn't happen often, but it happens. That is why if you check user reviews of routers... you'll notice that they all sucks based on them. You'll always have a bunch of people having a problem with them.
    Yes the wireless did work before in your case... but did it work well? Apparently they improved stuff with Bluetooth being on (I don't have Bluetooth device to test), so maybe by fixing or improving the situation, it now no longer likes your router.. well, the reverse actually. The router doesn't like your wireless card, hence why it goes limited.
     
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    In GoodBytes defense....

    Driver updates, router firmware updates and even the introduction of new wireless devices can impact compatibility between routers and devices. We've seen this with DD-WRT Firmware based Routers. It is quite possible that your Router and the Marvell WLAN were just barely compatible and the latest update broke it, if you want to roll back, go get the February Driver Download, remove the device and delete the drivers and use the older drivers.
     
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  8. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Go to the official Microsoft boards or call tech support; getting angry at a volunteer board like this as an extension of frustration will never help your case.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2014
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  9. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Defense, offense, OK I'll play along with the game. In the years I've been connecting wirelessly--on several different OS--the thing that's made it possible to do at all is conformance to standards.

    While signal strength is always a factor, when it is sufficient, a conforming router and adapter should communicate regardless of who made the parts or the OS the adapter talks to. Yes I know about theory vs. real-world, but up to now, once past the OS configuration hurdles, compatibility has never been an issue, so I have to regard it, in my experience, as a Surface Pro 2 oddity.

    The "new" device here is the SP2. The router is vintage 2008 (but up-to-date FW), and successfully accessed by many adapters, including a few less than a year old. If in fact the Marvell device was "barely compatible" with the router, a poor device it would be. And if broken by a software update, it would be a shameful blob of code to be sure.

    What I have just done is install a brand new, recently purchased, "high-end", dual-band router at home. (Hijacked for this test--it was originally intended for another location.) If this new router isn't compatible, hard to fathom which would be. So within a day or two, it should become clear if the old router was a culprit or not. Whatever the result I'll report it to this thread.

    One more thing, I already tried reverting the driver, but Windows didn't seem to "let go" of the new driver. At one point, it seemed that the previous "...150" driver had been installed, but after restarting the "...168" driver was still loaded. So if it turns out the old driver is preferable, how can I "remove the driver ...", etc.? Device Manager didn't work for the purpose.
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I replaced my Belkin N750 (purchased in 2009) mainly because Belkin EOL the router and was no longer giving updates. With the last Firmware which was released in 2011 I was only getting 5 MB/sec transfer on the network and only around 8 Mbps on the internet, replaced it with the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk, I'm getting 30 MB/sec internally and 58 Mbps on the internet.

    I also had intermittent limited connectivity on the Belkin.
     
  11. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Interesting. My old router is a DLink DIR-655. DLink has good support, they are still updating firmware for the router, most recently 8/2013. According to Windows, the connection speed with the DIR-655 was 130 mbps without BT, and 65 mbps BT on. Actually, I've not seen the SP2 achieve more than 130 mbps with any AP, so that's as good as it gets, at 2.4 GHz. The SP2 can do better at 5 GHz, according to Windows, fluctuating between 162 and 243 mbps in this location.

    The Nighthawk, per specs, looks like it should be a good performer. I've considered it among others for my home network, though its cost (around $200) is a factor.
     
  12. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    My Pro gets 270 Mbps on 5GHz and 180 Mbps on 2.4GHz with the Nighthawk, my Surface 2 gets 300 Mbps on 5GHz and 210 Mbps on 2.4GHz.
     

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