How to fix Windows 10-related WiFi problems

Windows 10 is still a relatively new operating system, and you are likely to encounter a few issues after you install it, even if you use themain version and not the Insider Preview build. For instance, I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about WiFi-related problems. Since I have also been placed in a situation like this, I thought I would lend a hand and show you a few tricks that might fix your connectivity issues. In most cases, the WiFi problems are caused by outdated drivers or old devices. I’m not sure if your remember, but I’ve already talked about the old devices problem in the previous article called “Is upgrading to Windows 10 worthwhile from your perspective?” and showed you how to solve it in “How to solve Windows 10 compatibility issues”.

So, here is a list of possible WiFi problems I will teach how to deal with. Most of these should occur immediately after upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, while others might simply happen after the Windows 10 update or caused by a random incident:

  1. WiFi card not present altogether.
  2. Unable to find a wireless network that your other devices (phones, tablets other laptops) can detect.
  3. Unable to connect to a hotspot even though the password is correct or encounter the limited connectivity.
  4. Frequent WiFi disconnects.

Simple solutions – try these first

Whenever there’s a serious problem with your WiFi, the first thing that you should check is haven’t you somehow shut off the adapter by mistake. Check whether your laptop has a button that does that, or if you haven’t accidentally pressed a key combination that triggers the action. This key combination isn’t the same for all devices (in my case it’s Fn + F11), but you should check your laptop’s manual and if that’s not an option try the CenturyLink website or simply google your laptop’s name along with the “wireless key combination” query (or something like that).

Now, verify if the network adapter is functioning properly. To do this, go to the Control Panel (right-click yourStart Menu button to find it), click on Hardware and Sound and then press the Device Manager button. In the new window that opens up go to the Network Adapters section and make sure that there are no yellow signs with an exclamation mark on them and that the names written there actually correspond to the hardware you have. If one of these two conditions isn’t met, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the most recent driver for the wireless adapter. Even if things appear normal, there have been cases when uninstalling the current driver, then restarting your PC and installing the latest driver from the manufacturer’s websites has solved the problem.

Another fairly common trigger for Windows 10 connectivity issues are quite old VPN clients. Microsoft’s staff actually stated this on the company’s help pages, so if you’re using the Cisco VPN client, Sonic Global client or another similarly old one, try uninstalling the software and see if the problem is fixed. From what I’ve heard, there are also a number of USB Ethernet adapters that don’t work well with the latest Windows version, but I don’t have a full list with the ones that cause issues. However, you can easily google the name of your USB wireless adapter and check whether it’s a general problem or only some people have it.

Advanced solutions

If you’re absolutely certain that the previous fixes don’t work and that your drivers are correctly installed, here are a few more advanced tricks that can get the job done. However, I would ask you to carefully read and follow my instructions, as we are going to modify some registries and some general Windows settings and, if you change the wrong thing, it can cause enough problems to force you to reinstall the operating system.

Since we’re talking about WiFi-related issues, I’m assuming that most of you use laptops, so this solution is just for you (do not try for a desktop PC). Go to Control Panel –> Hardware and Sound –> Device Manager, open the Network Adapters section, then right-click the wireless adapter and select Properties. In the new window that opens up go to the Power Management tab and uncheck the box marked “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power“. If you’re still having issues, continue reading.

All the next fixes require the Command Prompt console with Administrator privileges, so right-click the Start Menu and press the Command Prompt (Admin) button.

  • In the CMD Admin window type the following command: reg delete HKCR\CLSID\{988248f3-a1ad-49bf-9170-676cbbc36ba3} /va /f and press Enter. Now, (in the same window) type this line: netcfg -v -u dni_dne and press Enter. (You don’t actually have to type, you can copy paste the commands from here). Restart your PC and check if your problems have been solved.
  • In the CMD Admin window type: netsh int ip reset and restart your PC. Recheck.
  • In the command console enter the following lines: netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled and press Enter. Now type: netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled and press Enter. Write: netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled and press Enter. Now examine your settings by typing netsh int tcp show global – everything except one entry should be marked as disabled in the list that will be displayed. Restart your PC and see if the WiFi is now functioning correctly.

If you’ve tried all these solutions, but none of them worked, then you might have a physical problem with your WiFi adapter. Either take your device to a service and have it checked out or buy a USB wireless adapter. If you choose the second variant, you need to find information about the device’s range (most of the cheap ones need to be very close to the router to function in decent conditions) and its capacity (the maximum Mbps possible should be at least 150, but I recommend 300). Just as a warning, unless you go for a high-end solution, the USB wireless adapter will not work as well as the default (inbuilt) counterpart.

What’s Steam OS and how to install it on your PC

If you’re into gaming and own or have recently owned a PC, then you’ve surely heard about Valve, the company that made Half-life, Portal, Dota 2, Left 4 Dead and many other successful games. You probably also know about Steam, Valve’s gigantic marketplace which gives people access to a wealth of games from almost every known publisher on the market today. However, what you may not know is that the company was disappointed about Steam’s inability to access the console market, so it decided to create its own operating system called Steam OS along its own console (I use the term loosely) – Steam Machine.

Steam Machine is a subject that our website has already covered, and in my previous articles I’ve already told you what Steam Machines are and which are the best models, but we’ve never really covered the OS side of the equation, so I’ve decided to rectify that mistake. Steam OS is an operating system based on Linux. Its main purpose is to provide a great environment for playing video games, so that’s what it excels at. But the drawback is that it has its fair share of limitations. Despite the fact that from a productivity stand-point the operating system is basically useless, the big problem is that even most games that you can purchase on Steam don’t offer support for Steam OS.

Before we get on with the installation part, there are two things you must know. First, Steam OS is still in beta, and although it’s amazingly stable, it has some problems related to frame-rates and freezes in certain games that aren’t necessarily resource-demanding. Secondly, the operating system has some strict hardware requirements including an USB game controller which most PC gamers probably don’t own. Additionally, you will need at least 4 GB RAM, a 64-bit CPU, an Nvidia, AMD or Intel graphics card, 500 GB of disk space, UEFI boot capabilities (most motherboards built after 2011 have this feature) and a USB memory stick with storage capacity of at least 4 GB.

If you have all that, but don’t have the money to buy a Steam Machine, you can install Steam OS directly on your PC. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Steam OS webpage and download the default installation version of the operating system to your hard-disk.
  • Format the USB memory stick and choose FAT32 as the file system.
  • Extract the contents of SteamOS archive on the memory stick. (Make sure that you’ve copied the files directly on the drive’s root and not in any folder.)
  • Restart your PC and boot from the USB memory stick. (In case Windows starts automatically, restart your computer again and change the settings from your boot menu (which can usually be accessed by pressing F2, F8, F10 or F12 depending on your PC).
  • When the menu shows up, choose the Restore Entire Disk option and wait for the OS to install, then press Enter to restart the computer.
  • Now remove the USB memory stick from your PC, and it should automatically reboot to Steam OS.

In case you run into trouble during installation, and Steam OS simply doesn’t want to work, you should try a custom install. For this method you will first need to download the Steam OS custom installation version, and then repeat steps 2 to 4 (during the last step, your boot option should be named USB Brand Name PMAP or something to that extent). Now:

  • In the menu that shows select the Automated Install option. (Be warned: this will automatically repartition your drive and install the operating system, so all data on the hard-disk will be erased.) Then, press Continue to restart and disconnect the memory stick from the computer.
  • In the screen that shows up select the SteamOS GNU/Linux, with Linux 3.10-3-amd64 option.
  • The following window will have a drop down menu; choose the Gnome option and type steam as both user name and the password.
  • Now, in the upper-left corner of your screen you will see a button named Activities; click on it, then select Applications and open the Terminal.
  • In the Terminal, type steam, then hit the Enter button and accept the agreement that shows up.
  • There’s a button named Steam in the upper-right corner of your screen; click it and log out of your current session, then log back into Gnome, but this time use desktop as both user name and password.
  • Once again, open the Terminal, type ~/, then press Enter and use desktop as the password that’s being required of you.
  • Lastly, after the system reboots, you will be prompted to press the y key, then Enter. Do so.

Now, whenever you restart your computer, it will automatically reboot in Steam OS, so there shouldn’t be any more problems.

If you’ve tested it out and decided that you like it, you should probably know that Valve has decided to join the virtual reality race and is working on its own headset named Steam VR.