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Older Lenovo/IBM Thinkpad Edge 14 (E40) Wireless Card Woes

EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
3,887
788
136
This has been a thorn in my side for the last week... I gave my dad an older Thinkpad and installed Windows 10 on it more recently. He loves the computer and it runs the OS fine but the wireless card or, more specifically, its drivers are causing a bit of intermittent connection loss. The card is a single band Intel Centrino-N 1000 and AFAIK there aren't any "official" Windows 10 drivers for it. Just 8 and older OS.

Normally, when something like this occurs, I just replace the wireless card with something newer but this model (along with many other IBM and HP notebooks) have a BIOS "lock" that prevents the computer from booting when a different card (that isn't on the FCC whitelist) is installed. Like, it won't even entertain the idea. I've tried a couple of workarounds (BIOS flash and BIOS hack) but long story short I've ordered two other wireless cards and neither have worked, only the original one... obviously.

So... is there any option here besides disabling the card and having him use one of those cheap USB 2.0 dongle mini adapters or can I somehow spoof the hardware ID from the old card to the new one? I've seen a guide on this for Unix but I don't think I'm savvy enough to pull that off. I don't know exactly what the issue with the connection is but every 20 minutes or so he loses his wireless connection (AP point is only 10 feet or so away from the couch in the living room) and despite reading that the adapter is compatible I've been unable to fix it.

Any thoughts?
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
5,866
789
126
Don't think worth your time trying to hack it.

Just buy those mini adapters, nothing wrong with them as long as it works.

Sell those new purchased wifi adapters on eBay.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,795
6,264
126
Don't think worth your time trying to hack it.

Just buy those mini adapters, nothing wrong with them as long as it works.

Sell those new purchased wifi adapters on eBay.
This. Just get some USB2.0/3.0 AC dongles, or some of those Wireless N "Nano"-dongles. (Although, I've had bad luck with those "Nano"-sized dongles burning out, or otherwise degrading in performance, because they're so small, they get really warm/hot, and burn themselves out due to extensive usage. (Lots of big downloads, or even continuous usage like listening to internet radio or Skype, or all three, in my case.)

I can recommend those "Aukey AC1750" USB3.0 dongles, they are generally inexpensive, and supported out-of-the-box on newer builds of Windows 10. They have a RealTek 8814AU 3x3 chipset inside.

PremierTek 8812AU-based dongles are also a good option, but they are slightly older 2x2 designs, and may not perform as well as the newer RealTek 3x3 (maybe 80% as fast?).
 

taisingera

Golden Member
Dec 27, 2005
1,102
20
81
You could try one thing before going to a USB dongle. I have a Dell Vostro 3350 with Intel Wireless-N 1030 and a Dell XPS with Intel Wireless-N 6230, both of which have no Win10 drivers. I was having audio sync issues on streaming video, so I checked LatencyMon and it was the ndis.sys driver. So, I looked at the list of Intel adapters to see which ones were close in specs with the originals. I install the driver for Win10, in my case 19.70 (last ones supported for the replacements), and it will not automatically upgrade the driver already installed. You need to go to Device Manager, click on the network adapter and choose Have Disk and point it to the newer driver and just say OK to the message. In my case, I replaced the Wireless-N 1030 with Wireless-N 130 (has partial support in Windows 10) and Wireless-N 6230 with Wireless-N 6235. The drivers work for me and the audio issue is gone.

Unfortunately, the replacements for me are now no longer supported as of Nov 30,2017, so these are the last drivers. In your case, you could probably use the 19.70 drivers and manually replace the N 1000 with the N 135, both are single band, 1x2, wireless N but the N 1000 doesn't have bluetooth built in.
 

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