Windows 8.1 (Íomhá: BBC / Microsoft)
So Win 8.1, the service pack that is not a service pack, has been disgorged into Win 8 machines all over the world and as is the wont with Microsoft software updates it comes with its fair share of issues. In the case of my Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190, a HTPC or multi-media computer connected to a HDTV, the problem is the disappearance of my device’s WiFi connection. No WiFi, no internet, no multi-media entertainment. Sigh. It seems that the Windows’ updated 8.1 WLAN driver is incompatible with the Realtek hardware in the machine and apparently I am not the only one having trouble (in fact its been a known issue since the Win 8.1 pre-release beta versions).
So what is the solution you ask? Well there are several.
If you have updated your computer and now find that you have no internet connection try the following:
Settings (bottom right corner of screen) > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers > Device Manager > Network adapters > Realtek (left click the one that has the yellow problem triangle) > Update Driver Software > Browse my computer for software > Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer > Choose Realtek diver not Microsoft one > Next.
And that should be it. Hopefully your computer’s WiFi hardware will switch itself back on though you’ll probably need to re-enter the password details for your router to gain internet access. If you find that it is the Realtek driver that is causing the issues then try choosing the Microsoft one through the same process, though that solution will probably only apply in a small number of cases. If you are given the option of an Atheros driver you can substitute this for the Microsoft one in the same manner.
If the above route to salvation doesn’t work and you have a second machine you can try using that to go to the support website of the manufacturer of the problem PC and download the last updated Win 8 WLAN (WiFi) driver from there (not a Win 8.1 driver). In the case of the Q190 you would be downloading from Lenovo’s support page and the latest Win 8 driver for Realtek. The driver installation program can be downloaded or copied over onto a memory stick or card and then installed on the PC that has the WiFi issue. This will revert the driver there back to the functioning Win 8 version which should work (I’ve tested it and there were no issues). Alternatively if your internet deprived PC is near a router you can use a direct cable connection to connect to the web and complete the support updates that way.
Finally if you have yet to update your computer to Win 8.1 I would strongly urge you to download the latest Win 8 WLAN installation software to your machine. That way if your WiFi stops working you can simply install the pre-downloaded Win 8 version of the driver.
All in all a less than auspices start to the “fixing” of an operating system that remains deeply flawed in both form and purpose.