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Wifi Adapter Disables While Connecting


Platinum Member
Mar 23, 2001
I'm working on an older (3-4 years) HP laptop with a Realtek RTL8188EE wifi adapter. It's running Windows 10 with all available updates. (At least all that I can get it to recognize and install)

Apparently this issue has been going on for awhile but was just recently brought to my attention, as the wired networking works just fine.

When attempting to connect to a WiFi network, Windows tells me "Can't connect to this network".

"This network" could be the user's wifi, my home wifi, or even my work's public or secure wifi. It won't connect to any of them. Same error.

Over the past two days I've :
  • Made sure all Microsoft updates were installed
  • Updated the Driver from HP Support Site
  • Rolled back the Driver to an older version I found
  • Installed even newer driver from HP found in a Google search
  • Updated all other hardware drivers where an update was available
  • Booted to Safe Mode
  • "Clean Booted"
  • Uninstalled the card completely
  • Made sure there wasn't any conflicting wifi software running
  • Disabled Windows Defender and Firewall
  • Fiddled, multiple times, with the various card settings
  • Reset IP stack / etc.
  • Updated BIOS
  • and probably other things I can't remember at the moment
What I've noticed is that I can see the adapter disable and re-enable during the connection process.

It's almost like it connects, disables / enables the adapter, and then can't connect.

At times, it doesn't see all available networks, but I wouldn't necessarily deem that as unusual, except here at work where I know the signals are usually pretty good, it's odd.

I don't know where to go with this at this point.

My plan is to stop and pickup a cheap USB WiFi adapter to see if it will work, but I'd like to get the built in adapter working if possible.

Anyone have any ideas on what to try next?



Golden Member
Aug 2, 2006
What model is your laptop? (Model # please) If you go to your TCP/IP properties, is it set to 'obtain an IP automatically', as well as 'obtain DNS server address automatically'? Also, make sure its not trying to go through a proxy


Platinum Member
Mar 23, 2001
-It is a HP 15-R018DX
-Both IP and DNS are set to automatic
-I see no evidence of a Proxy being setup

For what it's worth, the cheap wireless adapter I bought does work... at least it is at the moment.
Note: remember you get what you pay for. LOL
Last edited:


Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
Are you sure the laptop has the Realtek Wifi Adapter and not the MediaTek one?
What happens when you uninstall the card completely?
Last edited:


Platinum Member
Mar 23, 2001
Are you sure the lapbop has the Realtek Wifi Adapter and not the MediaTek one?
What happens when you uninstall the card completely?
When I uninstalled the card completely. After rebooting, Windows detected it and reinstalled the Realtek driver.

I believe that the wired card listed is also Realtek, and that is working. (Note: I don't have the laptop at the moment, I returned it to the user with the USB wi-fi adapter so I'm working from memory.)


Senior member
Apr 15, 2007
Did you acquire the machine from someone else? I have a couple of laptops where I've installed some software to intentionally disable the wi-fi card because the machine should never be talking across both a hard lined connection and any kind of wi-fi at the same time.

I'd suspect if you acquired the machine from someone with that kind of security as a priority, they'da kept the drive, though.
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