Win8, Realtek Wifi, Linksys Router = flaky issues?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by SunnyD, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. SunnyD

    SunnyD Belgian Waffler

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    Before someone yells and says "This belongs in networking", I don't think it does since I didn't have these problems on Windows 7 machines.

    Here's the deal - I recently put together a computer for my son. He insisted on Windows 8, so we put Windows 8 on his machine. Since the machine is going in his room which is somewhere ethernet isn't available, I popped in one of my spare wifi cards, which happens to be a Rosewill PCIe 802.11n card. Worked fine in the previous machine it was in. I also have another one of these cards in a common computer for my kids/wife to use running Windows 7 that works without issue.

    Here's the issue that I run into:

    Windows 8 computer boots, computer sees wifi network, computer connects to wifi network. Sometimes computer will pull a valid IP, sometimes computer will not pull a valid IP. Regardless, computer absolutely will not connect to the internet OR local lan.

    Here's the kicker... if I go and reboot the router, the Windows 8 computer will connect to the network just fine AND will have full connectivity for an arbitrary length of time. From what I can tell, at least until the machine is powered down for a length of time, and then powered back on - at which time connectivity issues reappear.

    What's more, I know it isn't just a "flaky network card", as I also have a realtek based USB wifi adapter, which ALSO exhibits the exact same behavior when connected to the Windows 8 machine and NOT when on a Windows 7 machine.

    To further complicate the issue, both the WHQL drivers shipped with Windows 8 and the ones posted on Realtek's site are the same (they haven't been updated since May of 2012).

    My google-fu is weak on this one, and I can't seem to find any sort of corresponding information for this issue. Is this a known issue with Windows 8 and wifi? Has anyone else encountered similar issues with Win8 and wifi?
     
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  3. lopri

    lopri Elite Member

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    Do you happen to know the chipset of the adapter? I had a very similar problem ("Limited Connection") with an adapter based on Realtek 8191 chipset. Try uninstalling it then windows updates. The update showed up about a couple weeks ago (could have been there longer because that was when I tried again with the realtek-based adapter).

    FYI, after the update, I have the driver version 1086.49.522.2012. It does seem like the drivers are dated 5/22/2012, but its version number is one digit higher than what I could find elsewhere. (1086.46 or 1086.48) I do think something has changed how Windows handles Wi-Fi.
     
  4. SunnyD

    SunnyD Belgian Waffler

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    Yep... both adapters I tried use the 8191, one is 8191SE (PCIe), the other is 8191SU (USB).

    I'm pretty sure I tried Windows Update after reinstalling Windows 8 for the umpteenth time on this machine and it didn't find any driver update for the WLAN card, but I'll take a look again. I'm pretty sure this current install I'm using the stock WHQL driver that came with Windows 8, since the downloaded one from Realtek's site didn't make any difference.
     
  5. lopri

    lopri Elite Member

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    I went through the same thing. Windows Update never showed new updates and the device manager showed the drivers were fine, yet the adapter worked extremely unreliably or stayed in "Limited" state. Latest drivers from Realtek did nothing. I was toying with HyperV and a nested router at that time, so I thought those were the culprits. But still an adapter based on Ralink worked fine so I wasn't sure.

    Then after a clean install, I saw an update one day. And here it is.

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly, the Event viewer notes that the drivers are installed for 8192, not 8191. Maybe it's worth a shot to find and give 8192 drivers a try.

    [​IMG]
     
    #4 lopri, Jan 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  6. SunnyD

    SunnyD Belgian Waffler

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    Thanks. I'll have to take a second look when I get a chance. They could be 8192's for all I know. But it's good to know that I definitely am not the only one that has encountered this issue. I don't want to dump $$$ on new WLAN cards if I don't have to, regardless of how cheap they may be.
     
  7. lopri

    lopri Elite Member

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    That part was similar to mine as well. My educated guess is it's a side-effect of new wireless management (esp. support for mobile network) and power management in Windows 8. The new network manager must be more aggressive in power saving and cutting off unspecified networks. Another possibility is that the wireless manager is incorrectly recognizing the adapter as a broadband ("metered") adapter, thus limiting its functions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eXFm7bCzeAo

    (Note the "Start" button on the dude's screen @0:35 :biggrin: )

    An article also was helpful for my understanding:

    http://www.windowsnetworking.com/ar...orking/Using-Wireless-Networks-Windows-8.html
     
    #6 lopri, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013