IT Wizards – Why has my laptop wifi just disappeared?
My wifi* functionality disappeared overnight last week. As in the onboard radios on my (18 months old, 12 month warranty) lenovo laptop – Intel Wireless-AC 9560 160MHz – just vanished. Interacting with windows, it’s like I now longer have any wifi (no wifi buttons, no wifi settings etc).
I’ve checked in device manager – no wifi card until I “show hidden devices” and then it reappears but greyed out. Device status is “Currently, this hardware device is not connected to the computer. (Code 45) To fix this problem, reconnect this hardware device to the computer.” It’s internal. There has been no physical change.
The Events history (device manager, that greyed out wifi, events tab) shows a 90 second flurry of unattended activity one night. “Device Install requested” (x2) “Device Migrated”, “Device Configured (oem11.inf)”, “Device Started (Netwtw 10)” and since then it is like it doesn’t exist any more. Windows just can’t see it. (There’s more info for each event if you want it). (Was this part of Windows update? I assume so.)
I have tried: reinstalling drivers (no change), deleting it and restarting (isn’t redetected), rolling back to restore point (but it’s after this happened, so just brings it back greyed out), resetting bios to defaults (no change), pressing “scan for hardware changes” in device manager one million times (no change) and googling this issue and all the text from the event logs above (no help).
Is there a way to reintroduce windows to my onboard wifi?
(*and bluetooth. but I assume fix one fix the other? and wifi is way more annoying.)Posted 11 months ago
My guess is malicious software. I’d be backing up files only (or rely on a backup, you have one right?…….), Then wipe and start again. Been a while since I fixed an issue like that but it usually boiled down to a full reinstall.Posted 11 months ago
Is there a physical switch on the side of the laptop that you’ve knocked by accident?
This could be a call for a Linux USB drive, if you’ve access to another PC to build it. Boot off it, if it works then it’s definitely a Windows problem, if not then it’s likely hardware.Posted 11 months ago
Given that most viruses and malware want to spread themselves, and the way they do that is via the Internet mostly, I’d guess it’s not malicious software. Could just be a simple hardware fault, why not try a cheapo WiFi dongle, might be a whole lot simpler than trying to diagnose a hardware failure. Obviously taking a backup is sound advice, so do that!Posted 11 months ago
I had this issue with a Dell, unplugged all USB devices, external monitor etc.
Then restarted, not shut down but restart, I say this as shutdown didn’t resolve it.
I blame windows Ten as it never had a problem before!Posted 11 months ago
– there’s no physical switch for the wifi
– I have ethernet and I’m also using a cheapo dongle for now, but my working assumption is that it will fall out and get lost at the least opportune moment
– I have a linux usb to hand. I will boot from that to narrow down whether it’s really a windows or a hardware fault.
– files are all backed up so if something dodgy is going on I’ll be OK on that front, my aim is to get the laptop working on the go again. A reinstall seems inevitable now, which will head off sinister explanations.
I’m gutted it’s not an easily fixed known issue, but grateful for all your help making some progress!Posted 11 months ago
Thanks @icic – as it happened all my shutting down and restarting had probably been happening with something connected via USB. So I’ve tried again, with everything disconnected. It hasn’t worked. But it was something I hadn’t tried….Posted 11 months ago
there’s no physical switch for the wifi
Have you tried Fn + F5? That is usually a keyboard on/off switch.Posted 11 months ago
It is very frustrating when things like this happen.
Hopefully it will sort itself out for you.Posted 11 months ago
It’s likely a chip plugged into the motherboard, so if it looks dead and you’re out of warranty it’s worth opening it up and seeing if it hasn’t come unplugged somehow – and then you get the part number to order a new one if you need to.Posted 11 months ago
Can you pop into the bios at startup (often holding f2 f10 or f12 whilst starting up), and see if there’s any guilty looking options in there? You can normally disable/enable WiFi etcPosted 11 months ago
I’m no PC expert, but when I’ve dealt with this on my wifes laptop, there is a physical switch, its just not been very obvious – post your exact model number and I can check.
In the meantime, tried all of these ?
It’s a Lenovo Yoga C640-13iml @haloricPosted 11 months ago
I’d be delighted if there was a physical switch I’d missed. The embarrassment would be worth the problem being solved.
I’ve got quite excited about a few forum posts that seem to be my issue…but then they aren’t.
I couldn’t see anything suspect in bios @5lab but I reset it all to defaults just in case.
Thanks. Nope, no physical switch, shame, can only see this, which you most likely would have come across in your search:
Turn on or off airplane mode
Airplane mode is a convenient setting to turn on or off all wireless communication of your computer. You may need to turn it on when boarding an airplane.
Click the notification icon in the Windows notification area.
Click the airplane mode icon to turn it on or off.
Note: Click Expand if you cannot find the airplane mode icon.
You don’t mention the BIOS, which is the OS’es interface to the hardware – have you been able to check that ? It could be flipped off in there, so no amount of installing will fix that.
40 secs in to the video
There is this do describe how to get to the bios:Posted 11 months ago
Oops, sorry, you did mention the bios – was there a wifi option at all ?Posted 11 months ago
Looking at the error message more – I think this implies that the hardware *is* working, just that windows can’t use it properly, either due to corrupt registry keys or driver compatibility.
I doubt its a virus, just a windows update gone wrong.
I doubt the chkdsk will make any difference, but an uninstall of any driver and a reboot might, but no doubt you have been through this. I do hate windows.
How vexing.Posted 11 months ago
Any BIOS or firmware updates available from Lenovo?Posted 11 months ago
Thanks to everyone who made helpful suggestions. I replaced the wifi card with one off ebay, and it’s working again now.Posted 11 months ago
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