Apparently, Softpedia is still trolling the Microsoft Community forums, as the site has come across another problem Windows 8.1 upgraders are experiencing: limited or no Wi-Fi connectivity. The site reports that the problem was first related to the Surface tablets, but customers on PCs and other non-Microsoft Windows 8.1 tablets are facing the same issues.

“I have the same problem. Did everything. Read the web. Installed 8.1 twice. Now back to factory settings. Have all the latest updates on everything. I too believe it is a hardware issue,” reads one complaint. “I own a laptop I bought at BestBuy only 6 months ago. It drops on me after several minutes. I reset my router, called the cable company, called Microsoft and still no fix.”

“Same computer system as the user above however, I cannot connect AT ALL unless I plug straight into the router. Makes having a laptop very inconvenient,” reads another complaint. “I have reinstalled drivers, updated my IP settings, run an IPConfig – very frustrating. I am at the restore point which is obviously a last resort.”

A Microsoft rep explains that a limited connection means the device has connected to a router, but the PC wasn’t assigned a valid IP address. However, Internet connection problems are most commonly caused by disconnected cables or by routers and modems that aren’t working correctly, the rep says. The rep then points to links for wired and wireless network problems, and why users can’t connect to the Internet.

“This is horrible response and I’ve seen it given by other MS engineers,” another complaint reads. “Thousands of people are having this problem since the 8.1 release. I highly doubt all of us had our routers go bad at the same time. Own up to this Microsoft and please fix it. The standard response will not cut it anymore.”

On a personal note, I had wireless connectivity issues after upgrading to Windows 8.1; the operating system would not recognize the 5 GHz spectrum. To fix this, I did the following:

  • Downloaded and installed the adapter’s latest drivers
  • Entered “Network and Sharing Center”
  • Clicked “Changed Adapter Settings”
  • Right-clicked on the adapter in “Network Connections” and its “Properties”
  • Clicked on the “Configure” button and clicked on the “Driver” tab
  • Chose “Update Driver,” “Browse My Computer” and then “Let Me Pick…”
  • Here there should be two drivers: the Windows 8.1 version and the new ODM drivers
  • Chose the ODM drivers and suddenly the 5 GHz network appeared

Granted, this won’t help everyone, as most of the problems listed in the thread seem to be Intel Centrino related. Still, this seems to be an ongoing issue, with suggestions including installing an old driver, disabling Bluetooth to changing the channel in the wireless router.

December 31, 2013
Steven Nuhn