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.

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