• SSID Not Available After WiFi Driver Update

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    I have a Dell Latitude E5450 running Windows 8.1 Pro x64 that I want to “upgrade” to Windows 10. To prepare for that I decided to update all the drivers and BIOS.

    I went to the Dell support site, entered my service tag number and was prompted to download, install, and run Dell Support Assist, after which I was told I needed 12 updates. I let Support Assist download and install them. The three updates that seem relevant to my issue are the BIOS, a wifi driver and perhaps an ethernet driver.

    I did the required Restart and all seemed fine until I tried to connect to my wireless network. My network was not in the list of networks available for connection. There were other networks in the list all of which I had seen before.

    I tried turning Airplane Mode on and off, turning WiFi on and off, disabling and enabling the ethernet and wifi adapters, and under Power Management making sure the computer was not allowed to turn network adapters off. When I tried to set up a new wireless connection with my SSID and password, I was told that a network with that same SSID already existed.

    I wasn’t too concerned at this point since I have a usb wireless card that works (I’ve tested it on other computers). I plugged that in and immediately saw my network SSID and was able to connect. But I soon discovered that the connection was unstable and would disconnect anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes after connecting. This happened whether or not the internal wifi was on or off, Airplane Mode was on or off, or the internal network cards were enabled or disabled. I went into Power Management and made sure none of the usb ports and the usb wireless card was allowed to be turned off. The only other time I’ve seen this behavior with the usb wireless was on another computer whose internal wifi was working; the internal and usb wifi kept fighting each other for a connection. This, and the fact that I was told a network with my SSID already existed, indicates to me that the new driver was doing something.

    Anyway, I finally decided to rollback to the old wireless driver and everything works just fine.

    Should I keep trying to get the new driver to work before upgrading to Windows 10, and if so, what should I do – I can’t think of anything else?

    Or should I keep the old driver and upgrade to Windows 10 and hope I can get connected wirelessly?

    It’s a long post but describing everything I tried is probably more efficient in the long run.

    Viewing 2 reply threads
    • #2551468

      Keep the old driver – it works.

      Make an image backup so you can revert if needed, then upgrade to 10. The old driver should be fine, but Windows may have another driver for 10.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2551699

      Does your SSID have a space in the name? Sometimes a space in the SSID name will cause a computer not to be able to connect to it. Perhaps that started happening on your computer after you did the update.

      Just shooting in the dark here.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2551703

        Nope, no spaces.

        The trouble must be with the new driver since after rolling back to the old one, wifi works almost the same as it did before the update. I say ‘almost’ because if I’m connected wirelessly with the old driver and I shut down and then start with the power switch, I have no connections, and the device manager says there is a problem with the internal wifi adapter. If I then either 1) disable the adapter and then enable it, I can connect wirelessly, or 2) restart the computer, the wireless connection is immediately established. Not an ideal situation, but one that I can certainly live with for what the computer will be used for. Hopefully wireless will work as well (or better) once I install Windows 10.

    • #2552900

      I went ahead and did the upgrade to Win 10, turning wifi off and installing Win10 from an iso (previously downloaded version 22h2). Somewhere along the way a new wifi driver was downloaded and installed. Everything seems to work just fine with no issues, nothing to fix, and the installation respected my desire to not set up a Microsoft Account. The procedure I followed is here:


      and here (@PKCano’s wisdom):


      FWIW I had done an upgrade to Win 10 from Win 8.1 on a virtually identical machine a year ago trying the first time using the Media Creation Tool which managed to get W 10 on the computer with no sound, a low resolution display, and fussy wifi, and then trying again by installing from a usb flash drive (not booting from the drive), which worked a lot better but still required some finagling. This time using the iso, everything just seemed to work. Don’t know what, if any, significance there is to this.

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