Wireless network connection keeps stalling

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro' started by Browningate, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Browningate

    Browningate New Member

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    Fasten your seatbelts; this has been a tricky one:

    I recently picked up a used OG Surface Pro a couple weeks ago and have been very impressed with it so far. I had no idea that this caliber of device could deliver so much performance. Unfortunately, my impression was short-lived, as I quickly discovered an annoying problem with the Pro's built-in Marvell AVASTAR 350N wireless card. It spots and connects to my access point just fine, but will occasionally stop transmitting data on the network for a time.

    When this happens, the computer remains connected to the access point, (which I can verify on the access point itself) but nothing can be pinged or reached on the local network or Internet. The following is a screenshot of a continuous ping to my default gateway, showing the successful responses before the problem starts, as it is happening, and after it corrects on its own (which usually happens within a couple minutes or so).

    [​IMG]

    The trouble is that this has been extremely intermittent, but I have been most successful at triggering the issue by simply putting a good load on the connection (downloading a large file, loading Windows updates, or streaming video). Even when it doesn't drop out entirely, there is still a lot of variation in the ping response times. This is everything that I have tried up to this point:
    • Ran a manual check using Windows Update to make sure that all the drivers are up to date, especially for the Marvell AVASTAR 350N. They are (version 14.69.24054.176, dated 5/23/2014).
    • Unchecked "allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" on the wireless card's sheet in the device manager.
    • Changed the power saving mode for the wireless card on my current power plan (to "maximum performance").
    • Tried disabling packet coalescing & selective suspend on the wireless card.
    • Changed MTU for the Wi-Fi adapter from 1500 to 1400.
    • Tried various different versions of the AVASTAR driver, including 14.69.24019.88 (dated 2/19/2013).
    • Tried the strategies described in bullet points 2, 3, and 4 all at the same time.
    • Tethered the Surface Pro to a smartphone connected to the same access point and attempted to replicate the problem. This problem is only an issue on the Pro's built-in AVASTAR.
    This Surface Pro was running a fairly clean copy of Windows 10 build 15063 ("creator's edition") when I got it, but I wiped that out and started over fresh to eliminate software, settings, or upgrade remnants from the equation. The problem persisted. Next, I clean installed the latest-and-greatest build 16299 ("Fall creator's edition") of Windows 10 and ran into the exact same problem. Finally, this afternoon, I broke down and tried a clean install of build 14393 ("Anniversary edition"). Unfortunately, this too failed to yield any kind of improvement.

    In the days ahead, I plan on going all the way back and clean-installing Windows 8.1 before trying 8.nothing. If that doesn't solve it, then it would appear that there must be some kind of hardware issue, but if it does play nice with Windows 8 or 8.1, then I'm going to have to wonder why.

    At this point, does anybody have any tips or know of any tricks that might be good for troubleshooting? This seems to be a really solid computer aside from the wireless issue, and I'd really hate to have to abandon it over something so trivial.


    TL;DR? Surface Pro connects to access point, but randomly loses its ability to transmit data on the network for varying lengths of time, all while remaining connected to the access point. Various common fixes failed to fix, and the issue has been replicated across various different builds of Windows 10. 8.1 has yet to be tried.
     
  2. Browningate

    Browningate New Member

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    Quick update: Clean installed Windows 8.1 this morning and have been putting this computer through its paces all day without any tweaks related to the AVASTAR. So far, no problems. The problem was fairly intermittent before though, so I'm not going to write it off as solved until I see a whole week of trouble-free service from it.

    That said, things look pretty promising at this point. Windows 8.1 runs really well on this machine, and while I would've preferred to have access to the night mode feature of Windows 10, (as well as the up-and-coming "Glide" on-screen keyboard) I'm also relieved of some of Windows 10's more annoying burdens, including its stiff updates system and all of the slow & clunky Xaml-based stuff. The beautiful and slick DirectUI features of 8.1 really fly on this system. On the downside, while its high-density scaling support is vastly superior to that of Windows 8, 8.1's implementation does lack a few of the minor improvements that were introduced in newer builds of Windows 10. Not a dealbreaker by any means though. I even found a nice visual style to spruce up the blandness of the stock theme.

    With all that said, I really hope that 8.1 works out okay on this computer, because if it doesn't, then I'm going to end up eating that entire preceding paragraph in intense embarrassment.
     
    CrippsCorner likes this.

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