Monday, January 21, 2013

New wireless network cards and Windows 8/Linux

On January 7, 2013, I installed new wireless network cards in both laptops (Windows 8 Pro x64 and Linux Mint 14.1).  I installed the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 PCIe half-card network cards.  Windows 8 Pro x64 automatically detected and configured the new network card, however, it would not turn on.  The wireless on the laptop showed a blue light indicating the wireless is on.  I had to restart Windows 8 and re-install the wireless network driver through Device Manager to get wireless enabled.  After getting that part working, with several Windows restarts, the password would not get accepted.  I knew I was typing the wireless network password correctly, Windows 8 would not accept it.  I found that you have to delete the previous wireless network settings in Windows 8 first, and then connect to the wireless network with entering the password.  Windows 8 would not overwrite the previous wireless network settings for the previous network card.  Strange that Windows 8 would keep those settings when there is a new and different wireless network card installed in the laptop.

On the second laptop running Linux Mint 14.1, there were no problems.  When I turned on the laptop after installing the new network card, Linux Mint 14.1 booted with automatically configuring the new wireless network card.  Connecting to the wireless network prompted for the wireless password, I entered the wireless password, and I had a wireless network connection.  No re-installing, restarting the operating system, etc. to get the wireless network card to function properly.  Seems like Windows 8 needs to work better (imagine that!).

Both laptop are using the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 PCIe half-card network card at 5GHz connections.  Linux Mint 14.1 continues to run flawlessly with the new wireless network card when the laptop  goes to sleep and wakes up.  Linux connects back to the wireless network within a few seconds.  Windows 8 does not always have an Internet connection on the new wireless network card when it wakes up from sleep or stand-by mode unlike Linux.  There are times where I have to either restart Windows 8 to get the wireless connection back or reconnect back to the wireless network; where I have to manually disconnect from the network and connect back.  Even if Windows 8 shows the laptop connected via wireless, there is no LAN or Internet connection.  As I have stated in my previous entries in the blog, this is NOT a hardware issue and the problem lies in Windows 8.

I have had other Windows 8 problems where I have not had the time available to diagnose a probable Microsoft Windows 8 bug or flaw in the operating system where I may not find a solution or even a workaround.  Since I have a running operating system on a laptop that continues to run without problem, Linux Mint 14.1 has been daily task operating system at this time while Windows 8 continues to break down or not properly function as a reliable daily use operating system for normal tasks.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wake up and performance between Windows 8 and Linux Mint 14.1

After using the Windows 8 system for a while yesterday, which most of the use was on the secondary laptop using Linux Mint 14.1, I just closed the lid of the laptop to put it to sleep.  I did the same on the secondary Linux system.  This is how I normally put the laptops to sleep when I am not using them.  Each time I open the lid to the laptop on the secondary laptop, it takes a few seconds for Linux Mint 14.1 to load the desktop and connect back to the wireless network.  Now when I open the lid to the laptop that run Windows 8 Pro x64, I see Windows resuming and a black screen for about a minute before the ugly Windows Tiles load.  I click on the Desktop mode and wait for Windows 8 to load the rest of the way.  This usually takes up to two minutes or longer before the system is actually usable.  If you run any programs in Windows 8 during the time it is still loading, either the program will not even run or takes a very long time for the program to open.

Linux Mint 14.1 seems to run better on a slower laptop when the Windows 8 is a much faster laptop.  The Linux Mint 14.1 laptop is an Intel i3 processor, 2.3GHz, 8GB DDR-3 memory, and 500GB SATA hard drive.  The ASUS laptop that Windows 8 Pro x64 is running uses an Intel i5 processor, 3.0GHz, 8GB DDR-3 memory, and a 750GB SATA hard drive.  Linux Mint 14.1 runs fast and performs better on the Intel i3 system versus Windows 8 Pro x64 running on a faster laptop.  This shows how much slower Windows runs compared to Linux.

I have LibreOffice 3.6.4 installed in Windows 8 Pro x64 and LibreOffice 3.6.3 on Linux Mint 14.1.  If I just open LibreOffice itself where I can choose if I want to open Writer, Calc, etc., LibreOffice opens much faster in Linux Mint 14.1 (on the Intel i3 system) when compared to Windows 8 Pro x64 (on the Intel i5 system).  I do have Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student Edition installed in Windows 8.  Due to incompatibility messages that show up in Windows 8 with Office 2010, I rely more on LibreOffice 3.6.x.  There is nothing that I do that requires me to have Office 2010.  It had been purchased a couple of years ago for my wife to make sure the documents remained compatible.  Even with using LibreOffice, all Microsoft created and maintained documents remains in Office format with no compatibilities.  Thus there is no reason to even purchase Office 2013.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Windows 8 wireless problems are not HARDWARE

On my ASUS laptop running Windows 8 Pro x64 with 8GB DDR-3 memory and 750GB SATA hard drive, I continue to experience wireless connectivity issues when all other computers (laptops) remain connected to the same wireless network with Internet activity.  All laptops (Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, and Linux Mint 14.1) all obtain valid IP addresses from the LinkSys E1200 router.  After Windows 8 lost all wireless network activity when the laptop's wireless light indicator showed wireless enabled (the wireless light it on), the wireless manager in Windows 8 indicated no wireless cards existed on the laptop.  When I opened Device Manager in Windows 8, it showed the Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 wireless card configured and functioning properly.  I uninstalled and re-installed the wireless network card, including restarting Windows 8, and this made no difference.  Since the laptop would not connect to the wireless, as Windows 8 did not recognize the wireless network card in the laptop, I used my secondary laptop running Linux Mint 14.1.  I checked the Windows 7 laptop and it had wireless Internet connectivity.

I purchased the Mini PCIe half-card Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 wireless network card for the laptop.  I wanted to see if after switching routerMini PCIe half-card Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 wireless network cards (I have three routers available, Windows 8 wireless network problem existed) and doing the numerous tedious tasks that one would attempt without defeating a Windows 8 wireless bug, all those tasks never corrected the wireless problem.  I figured I would try replacing the install Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 Mini PCIe half-card wireless card in the laptop to see if it would make a difference.

After installing the Mini PCIe half-card Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 wireless network card in the Windows 8 Pro x64 laptop, which Windows 8 automatically configured the wireless network card with the latest driver, the same wireless issues occurred again.

As I have heard from the brain-dead-canned Microsoft Support along with others, THIS PROBLEM IS NOT HARDWARE!  I have spent numerous hours and now hardware cost involved just to make sure Windows 8 has a wireless bug.  There are a few news articles on this same problem that affects Windows RT tablets.  Yet, Microsoft has never stated anything about fixing this nuisance bug.

Fortunately with using a laptop, I have an Ethernet connection to use to gain LAN and Internet access.  On a tablet with Windows RT, you only have wireless access (I believe).  Since I do not have or work with a Windows RT tablet yet, I am not one-hundred percent sure.

The more problems that occur in Windows 8, the more I use and rely on Linux Mint 14.1.