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AX210 card prefers 802.11AC APs after driver update

Athelstone
Beginner
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My network has 3 hotspots, two 802.11AC and one 802.11AX. The 802.11AX is a TP Link Archer AX72 in AP mode, located in the sitting room. The other two are the router which connects to the internet, in the next room, and a TP Link AC1900 repeater in AP mode elsewhere in the house. All the hotspots have the same ssid and password but use different channels.

I work in the sitting room using a laptop  with an AX210 network card. Until recently, everything was working well. The laptop connected to the WiFi 6 router and gave me a stable connection and the expected speeds. However, in the Windows 11 device manager, I saw that the driver was 18 months old (22.40.0.7) so I downloaded the latest driver (22.160.0.4). It installed fine. Unfortunately, I immediately noticed a significant speed reduction.

After checking, I saw that the laptop had connected to the second TP Link access point, the 802.11AC device. I disabled that and reconnected. This time it connected to the other 802.11AC device. I disabled the WiFi on that too, and then finally the laptop connected to the WiFi 6 router and worked perfectly.

I did a check on signal strength from where my laptop is located and the WiFi 6 router is easily the strongest signal, with the other AP second and the Internet Router third. 

I rolled back to 22.40.0.7 and everything worked properly again.  I've tried reinstalling and rolling back several times. I also tried moving the two other hotspots so that their signal was very weak. The laptop still preferred to connect to one of them rather than the WiFi 6 router a couple of metres away.

I'm currently working fine with 22.40.0.7 but sooner or later I'll probably have to update, plus it's going to be a nuisance tring to roll back after a Windows update.

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Alberto_R_Intel
Employee
1,569 Views

Athelstone, Thank you for posting in the Intel® Communities Support.


In order for us to provide the most accurate assistance on this matter, we just wanted to confirm a few details about your system:

What is the model of the laptop?

Did you make any recent hardware/software changes, besides updating the wireless driver, that might cause this issue??

The wireless card, did you purchase it separately or did it come installed on the computer?

Please attach the SSU report so we can verify further details about the components in your platform, check all the options in the report including the one that says "3rd party software logs":

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25293/Intel-System-Support-Utility-for-Windows-?product=91600


Any questions, please let me know.


Regards,

Albert R.


Intel Customer Support Technician


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Athelstone
Beginner
1,557 Views

Hi Albert, thank you for coming back to me.

1) the laptop is a Lenovo 320S - 14IKB (memory/ssd/wireless card/webcam upgraded)

2) no recent hardware/software changes

3) wireless card was purchased separately

The SSU file is attached

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Alberto_R_Intel
Employee
1,544 Views

Hi Athelstone, You are very welcome, thank you very much for providing that information and the SSU report.


Based on the information shown in the SSU report, the wireless driver currently installed on your computer is version 22.40.0.7.


It is important to mention that we recommend to install the wireless driver provided by the manufacturer of the computer, since that driver was heavily customized by them to work with your specific platform. The fact that the wireless card was installed separately rules out the option of installing the OEM drivers.


Still, just in case, I looked on Lenovo's website and the latest wireless driver version they have available is Intel® 3165: 19.51.11.2, Intel® 8265: 20.30.1.2:

https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/300-series/320s-14ikb/downloads/driver-list/component?name=Networking%3A%20Wireless%20LAN


As general information, just for you to know, when you install the wireless card on a laptop that is what is called "Wireless Integration", and the thing about that process is that there are a lot of components that come into play, like for example: board, wireless card, drivers, PCI adapters, antennas, m.2 ports, all those parts need to be compatible for the proper functionality of the Wireless connection. There is also regulatory information about the "Wireless Integration" that you can verify in the following links:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005687/network-and-i-o/wireless.html

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005846/network-and-i-o/wireless.html


Even though the Intel® wireless drivers are generic, for testing purposes, try a clean installation of Intel® wireless driver version 22.170.0.3 following the instructions in the links below:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/19351/windows-10-and-windows-11-wi-fi-drivers-for-intel-wireless-adapters.html?wapkw=ax210

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000022173/wireless.html


We also recommend to get in contact directly with Lenovo Support to confirm that the latest BIOS version is currently installed in your machine or if necessary to gather the instructions on how to update it:

https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/


Once you get the chance, please let us know the results of testing our driver and if the card still prefers to connect to 802.11AC APs instead of the WiFi 6 router.


Regards,

Albert R.


Intel Customer Support Technician


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Athelstone
Beginner
1,529 Views

I downloaded the latest driver from your link and followed the procedure to delete the network card and old drivers. Eventually, I was left with version 22.0.1.5 which could not be uninstalled. I then installed 22.170.0.3.

Unfortunately, this has not resolved the issue. The card still connects by preference to one of the two weaker access points, which are 802.11AC instead of the strongest access point which is 802.11AX. For interest, WiFiScanner shows the two weakest access points at -61 dBm and -72 dBm, with the nearest 812.11AX access point at -39 dBm.

I have checked and I have the latest BIOS for the laptop.

I now have driver version 22.0.1.5 installed. I thought it would be ueful to see whether a later version would work successfully as I assume there may have been security updates. Unfortunately the Intel installer will not now work for intermediate versions as it detects that 22.170.0.3 is still installed, even though it is not. I assume a file or registry key somewhere has remained, unless this is by design.

If this isn't resolved, I may go to version 22.170.0.3 again and set up a script to force a connection to the 802.11AX access point by MAC address at logon.

 

 

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Alberto_R_Intel
Employee
1,521 Views

Athelstone, Thank you very much for letting us know those results.


We are sorry to hear the problem persists after trying the troubleshooting steps provided previously.


We will do further research on this matter, as soon as I get any updates I will post all the details on this thread.


Regards,

Albert R.


Intel Customer Support Technician



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Alberto_R_Intel
Employee
1,482 Views

Hello Athelstone, I just received an update on this matter.


After reviewing the case, for this specific scenario, based on the fact that this is a "Wireless Integration", our best recommendation will be to get in contact directly with Lenovo Support to verify the compatibility of all the parts and for further assistance on this matter:

https://support.lenovo.com/us/en


Regards,

Albert R.


Intel Customer Support Technician


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Athelstone
Beginner
1,457 Views

Thank you for your assistance to date. I appreciate that there is not much more you can do. I doubt Lenovo will have much interest but perhaps a future driver release will fix my issue.

In the meantime I am using 22.170.0.3 and I have placed a command in Windows Scheduler that forces a connection to the required access point at startup. Not ideal, but it works.

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Alberto_R_Intel
Employee
1,424 Views

Hi Athelstone, You are very welcome, thank you very much for your response.

 

We are glad to hear that you were able to find a workaround that makes it work. From our side, we tried all the possible options, and the next thing to do, in this case, will be to contact Lenovo directly for further technical assistance.

 

Any other inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us again.

 

Regards,

Albert R.

 

Intel Customer Support Technician

 

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