Win8.1Pro Wireless Problems



In my Win8.1 Pro it shows no connections available if I click Connect/Disconnect in Control Panel/Network and Sharing under Change Adapter Settings after I install wireless PCIE adapters. Driver properties in Device Manager show “The device is working properly.” Trouble shooting in Windows indicates there may be a problem with the driver, but drivers have been updated that are supposed to work with Win8.1. Strange thing is the adapter is identified with no problem and works fine if a fresh install of Windows 8.1Pro with the card installed, and the wireless connection is detected and works perfectly. The problem with that solution is all apps will need to be reinstalled which is time consuming. I’ve tried 5 different adapters that are reported to work with Win8.1 (1 with RALink chipset, 2 with Aetheros chipset and 2 with RealTech chipset) all with the same problem. BTW my system is dual boot with WinXP, and all 5 adapters install and work normally in WinXP. Does anybody know a solution for this problem?

Almost forgot to mention tech support for current Rosewill card told me there should be a “Manage Wireless” tab in Control Panel/Networki and Sharing, but there is none in my initial Win8.1 install that’s about 6 months old now. I noticed during recent fresh install I was prompted to enter during setup info for a Microsoft Account where upon it then asked to choose which wireless network to connect to, and I entered my hotmail account info. However, I think I may have skipped the step to enter Microsoft Account info in my initial install. WinXP has option to add wireless networks, but I find no such option anywhere in current Win8.1 install which leads me to suspect it may be due to the missing “Manage Wireless” tab. Could this be the reason for no “Manage Wireless” tab and inability to connect wirelessly for current Win8.1 install? If it is the cause, is there a way to fix the missing tab in current install, or is fresh install the only way to fix this problem?


I don’t have W8.1 so I’m guessing a bit.

If the wireless works with a fresh install of Windows 8.1 it seems the MS Windows drivers are the ones being used . That’s assuming you haven’t installed the specific drivers for the PCIE adapter card you are using with the fresh install.
If there is a way to find & remove the card manufacturer drivers & then delete the card from Device Manager & reboot . Maybe the MS Windows drivers would be installed.


The card shows in Device Manager as soon as Windows is started without installing any drivers, and it shows the device is working properly in Device Manager. Installing manufacturer’s drivers doesn’t help. Tech support for the card told me I’m missing the “Manage Wireless” icon in Windows, and I’ve seen a “Connect to Wireless Network” tab under Network and Sharing in Control Panel in some Google searches which I’m missing in my Win8.1 for some reason. I think recreating that function in Windows would be the solution, but I can find nothing relating to doing that.


I wonder if the WLAN service is disabled or not running.

Press ‘Window Key’ + ‘R’, type in “services.msc” and click ‘OK’.

Scroll down and ensure the highlighted item below shows ‘Running’ or ‘Started’:


I would check what Seán posted.
If that’s not it.
My suggestion was the opposite of " Installing manufacturer’s drivers " .
I suggested removing any manufacturers drivers for all the cards you have tried .
Then “force” your OS to use the MS drivers.
That wouldn’t be my usual recommendation .
But since a fresh install seems to work temporarily the MS drivers must be what are being used at that time. It is when manufacturer’s drivers are installed the problem appears. I suspect the manufacturer’s drivers aren’t yet compatible with W8.1 even if they are supposed to be.


WLAN AutoConfig is started. The fresh install was done with the adapter in the PDIe slot, and the wireless card works normally and connections are detected. The fresh install was repeated without the card installed resulting in the same problems as the initial install of 6 months ago, i.e. got the “No connections are available” message when the Connect/Disconnect tab is clicked. For the instance of the fresh install with no wireless adapter and then installing the adapter after OS install, it uses Windows drivers and shows “The device is working properly” but same no connections are available results.


Thanks for the update bevills1.
That is odd behavior .
I wonder what the difference is & what driver is being detected & used .
When the card is already in the slot verses when it isn’t .

Could the wireless card detect information from your router or modem whichever is the wireless connection your computer connects with ?
Then makes some setting or registry entry differently.

If you use MAC address filtering in the router maybe there is a difference if the card is installed later.

[B]I don’t expect you to try this.[/B]I thought you may have checked this already.
If you remove the card you have installed that is working.
Reboot the computer.
Then install the same card again & reboot.
Does this make the connection fail ?


Around noon today I repeated fresh install with no wifi adapter, shutdown PC, inserted PCIe adapter and restarted PC which worked this time. Only thing I had to do was choose security type and enter pass phrase. I’ve no idea why this failed on the first fresh install.

This must mean some Windows update included in the restored image must have changed something that disables wifi. I tried uninstalling all Windows updates except for 8 that would not uninstall for some reason. The same 'No connections are available" problem persists after uninstalling as many updates as possible which likely means 1 or more of those updates is the problem, or an application that’s been installed is causing the problems. Either way it appears my only option is to do the fresh install to get wifi working and then reinstall all apps. Why does Microsoft design its OS in such an asinine way? Guess I’m lucky to discover the problem now instead of after I have 2 or 3 years worth of apps and updates!


Further testing discovered booting to Windows install disk, selecting repair and choose “Reset PC” also results in the adapter working properly, However, “Reset PC” also results in need to reinstall all apps. Then I proceeded to install all apps after fresh install but do no Windows updates at that time to be sure if updates was the cause of problems, and the problem was still present after all apps were installed.

This lead me to conclude the problem has to be due to 1 or more of the apps or 1 of the processes started by an app at Windows startup. By running msconfig all startup processes were stopped 1 by 1 to see if that could be the cause, but the problem persisted after all apps startup processes were disabled. This can only mean 1 of the apps is the root of problems and not just its startup processes, and I began uninstalling apps 1 at a time to determine the culprit. The problem persisted after Avast anti-virus was installed. Next Zonealarm was uninstalled, and bingo! Wireless was automatically detected by Windows, and all need be done was to enter pass phrase for the network to connect to the internet. Then Zonealarm was reinstalled, and everything works as it should. You’d think the wireless adapter makers would put something about this issue in their install instructions or that their tech support would at least be aware of it, but they seem to be oblivious to the issue and how to fix it.

To some this may seem like a lot of effort and that it may be easier to just do fresh install and start anew, but I needed to find the cause and fix so I could create a backup image that will work after it’s restored when it’s needed. Now I can restore an image, uninstall Zonealarm, get wireless setup, reinstall Zonealarm and be done. This requires much less time than doing fresh install or PC Reset and reinstall all apps and Windows update.


Thanks for all the effort bevills1 .
I don’t have Zonealarm but good to know it can cause this.
The same might apply to another firewall.
When you create an image to restore from why not ininstall Zonealarm
& then create the image.
That way all works smooth if you need to restore. The wireless adapter works for the start & all you have to do is install Zonealarm.


From what I read on various computer forums Windows 8/8.1 been having alot of problems with wifi drivers missing or being corrupted or not working or when upgrading from Windows 7 they loose all wifi drivers or connections. I think this is more reason why Windows 8/8.1 wasn’t ready for release. For such a new O/S to cause so much wifi problems when it was suppose to be more user friendly UI this just tells me this was never ready for Release to use.


In my search for resolution of the problem I too read several threads where others had similar issues for Windows 8/8.1 plus a few for Windows 7. From my experience I now wonder if many of those reported problems whether Zonealarm was the cause, and nobody else was able to discover that.


[QUOTE=bevills1;2755518]In my search for resolution of the problem I too read several threads where others had similar issues for Windows 8/8.1 plus a few for Windows 7. From my experience I now wonder if many of those reported problems whether Zonealarm was the cause, and nobody else was able to discover that.[/QUOTE]

But I also read that those threads didn’t have ZA installed either…when they had those problems so I think this is another reason Windows 8 was rushed out to make money rather then to actually work. And considering I also read users just upgrading to 8.1 broke and lost drivers in the process when it should’ve been that complicated to begin with. So had to updated drivers to 8.1 before doing the upgrade otherwise they would have driver problems. That shouldn’t even been the case to start with when upgrading. This just gives further evidence Windows 8 was never ready for Prime Time…