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zago27

Intel PRO/Wireless Driver Nightmare

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Hi there!

I'm working on an IBM ThinkPad T42 and I'm trying out some hardware/software configurations on it. All seems to be working fine, but the WLAN adapter is starting to p*** me off.

It's an Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG card. I tried a different drivers from the Lenovo support page, from thinkpads.com driver listing and from Intel Download Center, but the only results I got were always the same: unstable connection, sudden dropouts, site scan with no networks detected. The problems were so stubborn that I thought the card itself was EOL, until I tried a Linux distro on the machine and VOILA', the thing is more stable than Ethernet.

Windows XP is the main OS I'm going to use on this laptop, but I also installed Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Linux Mint 19.3 trying to figure out what was wrong. Vista and Linux worked fine. XP and 2000 were a hot mess. Here are the drivers I tried:

  • 9.0.4.39, dated 12/19/2007
  • 9.0.4.37, dated 07/25/2007
  • 9.0.4.8, dated 01/17/2006
  • Original driver included with IBM Rescue & Recovery CD set, dated January 2005 (sorry, didn't get the INF version)

A quick Google search revealed a ton of problems since the early days of this card, but I guess there's a driver/chip lottery going on here, I can't explain myself what is wrong with that. If anyone has a stable driver, please let me know what version is it!

Thanks a lot!

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15 hours ago, zago27 said:

Hi there!

I'm working on an IBM ThinkPad T42 and I'm trying out some hardware/software configurations on it. All seems to be working fine, but the WLAN adapter is starting to p*** me off.

It's an Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG card. I tried a different drivers from the Lenovo support page, from thinkpads.com driver listing and from Intel Download Center, but the only results I got were always the same: unstable connection, sudden dropouts, site scan with no networks detected. The problems were so stubborn that I thought the card itself was EOL, until I tried a Linux distro on the machine and VOILA', the thing is more stable than Ethernet.

Windows XP is the main OS I'm going to use on this laptop, but I also installed Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Linux Mint 19.3 trying to figure out what was wrong. Vista and Linux worked fine. XP and 2000 were a hot mess. Here are the drivers I tried:

  • 9.0.4.39, dated 12/19/2007
  • 9.0.4.37, dated 07/25/2007
  • 9.0.4.8, dated 01/17/2006
  • Original driver included with IBM Rescue & Recovery CD set, dated January 2005 (sorry, didn't get the INF version)

A quick Google search revealed a ton of problems since the early days of this card, but I guess there's a driver/chip lottery going on here, I can't explain myself what is wrong with that. If anyone has a stable driver, please let me know what version is it!

Thanks a lot!

I've experienced the very same problem with the same device, on multiple laptops. The problem only seems to crop up on machines that have the POS Ready 2009 updates installed. It works fine for me on vanilla SP3, Windows 2000, 7, and multiple Linux distro's.

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21 hours ago, zago27 said:

If anyone has a stable driver, please let me know what version is it!

I have Thinkpad T42 with 2200BG card and WinXP Pro SP3 (POSready updates up to May 2019). Driver version 9.0.4.37. Wi-Fi works stably.

Clip330.1581322443.png

The problem of working wi-fi cards on Intel chips (including 2200BG) is associated with the KB4089694 update. If you installed update KB4089694, remove it in the usual way. This should solve the problem.

Post on forum.ru-board: https://forum.ru-board.com/topic.cgi?forum=62&topic=30840&start=180#16

Google translated:

"... Today I checked Wi-Fi again after installing update KB4089694 on 2 laptops Acer1692, Acer1694. The lack of Internet access was confirmed. Removed KB4089694, rebooted - Wi-Fi restored. Perhaps this malfunction appears only with certain types of Wi-Fi adapters. In both cases, the card type is Intel (R) PRO / Wireless 2200BG Network Connection, driver version 9.0.4.39, the system is everywhere WinXP Pro original and licensed, until KB4089694 was released and previous updates were installed, I did not have problems with Internet access via Wi- Fi ...".

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7 hours ago, sparty411 said:

The problem only seems to crop up on machines that have the POS Ready 2009 updates installed. It works fine for me on vanilla SP3.

 

1 hour ago, Dr. Drill said:

The problem of working wi-fi cards on Intel chips (including 2200BG) is associated with the KB4089694 update. If you installed update KB4089694, remove it in the usual way.

I have problems even with vanilla SP2 and vanilla SP3, and I never tried getting POSReady updates on any of my machines. Also, the problems come up as soon as I install the driver, before any update gets applied at all.

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4 hours ago, Dr. Drill said:

I have Thinkpad T42 with 2200BG card and WinXP Pro SP3 (POSready updates up to May 2019). Driver version 9.0.4.37. Wi-Fi works stably.

Clip330.1581322443.png

The problem of working wi-fi cards on Intel chips (including 2200BG) is associated with the KB4089694 update. If you installed update KB4089694, remove it in the usual way. This should solve the problem.

Post on forum.ru-board: https://forum.ru-board.com/topic.cgi?forum=62&topic=30840&start=180#16

Google translated:

"... Today I checked Wi-Fi again after installing update KB4089694 on 2 laptops Acer1692, Acer1694. The lack of Internet access was confirmed. Removed KB4089694, rebooted - Wi-Fi restored. Perhaps this malfunction appears only with certain types of Wi-Fi adapters. In both cases, the card type is Intel (R) PRO / Wireless 2200BG Network Connection, driver version 9.0.4.39, the system is everywhere WinXP Pro original and licensed, until KB4089694 was released and previous updates were installed, I did not have problems with Internet access via Wi- Fi ...".

Thanks for this! I'll definitely give it a try later on :lol:

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Sorry for the wait, I'm preparing for an exam for university.
I prepared my ThinkPad with a clean install of Windows XP Professional SP2, just the plain OS with no drivers nor updates applied.
Then, I set up some WiFi access points: one configured for WPA2/WPA, one for WEP, a third one for open auth (none of which was connected to the Internet).
For checking the connection stability, I pinged 50 times the current gateway.
I got some other versions to try out (thanks @ED_Sln for the upload), installed them and rebooted as soon as the driver applied. Here's what I ended up with:
    - 9.0.2.25, 04/29/2005
    - 9.0.4.8, 01/17/2006
    - 9.0.4.13, 04/05/2006
    - 9.0.4.36, 04/04/2007
    - 9.0.4.37, 07/25/2007

Every driver I used gave me the same result.
      Site scan ok
      WPA/WPA2: network type not recognized, refused to connect
      WEP: network type not recognized, refused to connect
      Open: connected, got IP from DHCP, ping ok

I've never seen such a pattern: site scan went fine each time I tried, but I could only connect to unencrypted networks. That's somewhat of a win, because most of the times it would straight up fail to even detect a single network and it usually did once in a while.
However, the complete refusal to connect to even a WEP AP is really strange: I might be missing some needed encryption update. I will try with a clean SP3 install to see if I get any improvement.

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@zago27

Do you have a bluetooth radio in this laptop? If you do, disable it and try testing again.

Some hardware maintenance won't be bad as well - remove the card and clean its contacts with a soft pencil eraser.

Also, try swapping the two antenna cables.

Maybe there are some errors which the newer OS knows how to deal with, while the older OS simply fails...

 

Another option is to replace the card with a different model/brand. If you get error 1802 at startup, check http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_unauthorized_MiniPCI_network_card

 

HTH

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5 minutes ago, RainyShadow said:

Do you have a bluetooth radio in this laptop?

Yes, I have. It's integrated with the modem card. By default is disabled and it still is. I didn't install any driver, so nothing should interfere.

7 minutes ago, RainyShadow said:

Another option is to replace the card with a different model/brand.

I already did it: I have a Broadcom 4318 card salvaged from another laptop and I tried it on the T42. I applied the no-1802 patch, installed the driver and used it for a while, but the signal strenght was really poor. That's why I wanted to revert back to the original 2200BG. In the process I also cleaned up the entire laptop and I've taken care of the pins with contact cleaner.

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Final update. Installing a clean SP3 did the trick: I used the same drivers and now everything works. I've spent the last two years dealing with broken WiFi and now everything works just fine. (I probably have some driver god against me, this isn't the only case of misbehaving drivers on my computers)

I will install the remaining drivers and updates and I will check if KB4089694 gets in the way.

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Apparently my last post wasn't the end of it. I was able to get no network at all on said laptop.

Basically, I installed Windows XP Pro SP2 (the only I have which works with OEM keys), installed WLAN and LAN drivers, then updated to SP3. And that's what broke both WLAN and LAN: the 2200BG scans for networks, asks for password, fails to connect, then enters a loop of disabling the card, retrying and failing to connect over and over.

New player now: the PRO/1000 MT Mobile, which gets disabled by the WiFi driver and can't be reenabled at all. Or, at least, the only way I can make it work is to disable the WiFi card from Device Manager, then reboot. Now the 2200BG cannot interfere anymore and I can at least get Ethernet connection.

Driver version: 9.0.4.37 for 2200BG, 8.10.1.0 for PRO/1000.

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