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Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 6yr old Asuslaptop K401L can't view/connect to AX router 802.11AX

slider1
Beginner
1,509 Views

I would appreciate assistance as follows:

1) confirm or correct the update download driver to resolve the subject issue

I found the following driver update: bt_21.10.1_64_win10.exe for my 64 bit WIndows 10 system here: https://intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/19390/intel-wireless-bluetooth-for-intel-wireless-7260-...

2) Provide a step by step how to save to a thumb drive if possible my current wireless AC 7260 adapter and driver just in case the Intel generic update does not work for me.

current wireless adapter: Intel dual band wireless AC 7260

driver date: 10/9/2016

driver version: 18.33.5.1

3) Provide the steps to successfully update my AC 7260 network driver to resolve this 802.11AX issue as discussed here: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000054799/network-and-i-o/wireless-networki...


========================


Problem Background:

I upgraded my ISP speed up/down to 900/20 Mbps and want to take advantage of this so I upgraded from an Arris SB6183 docsis 3.0 to a SB8200 docsis 3.1 cable modem and am leaning towards a TP-link AX3000 or AX1800 router upgrade from an Archer C9 docsis 3.0 router (also testing Asus AX routers same caliber).

I am currently using the AX1800 and was able to change the mode of both 2.4 & 5G bands to exclude the AX feature and this worked for the AX1800 all devices connected including the subject Asus laptop which I am using now. So 30 feet from the AX1800 router thru 2 interior walls and a mirror I am getting wireless speeds of 340/22 Mbps. I think I can achieve higher download speeds with the AX mode enabled if I can update my dual band AC 7260 Network Adapter for this AX mode issue.

I have checked the Asus support driver page for my device and the driver version I have is the most recent but there is a more recent Bios update 2019 (mine is 2015) which I will probably not use (no other performance issues) so as not to complicate this issue therefore the available option to update for this AX issue is Intel support driver updates which I understand are generic and therefore by definition not customized to my 6 year old Asus laptop however I think it is the best and only fix for this AX issue.

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1 Solution
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,463 Views

I have older NUCs with 7260 modules in them and they are connecting to my Wireless-AX routers just fine (I have tp-link AX1800 and AX1500 routers).

I am unaware of any tried and true process for creating a backup of your existing installation. There is more to it than just backing up the driver binaries. Intel won't help here since this is a discontinued adapter. AFAIK, best you can do is save away the package for what you had installed previously. I didn't keep a backup of this version in my archive, however; I only saved the latest. If no other source, you may be able to get this via the WayBack Machine (Internet Archive), though Intel has made this more difficult with their latest folder reorganization (Doc: any thoughts on how to find it?).

I was unable to locate a download link for the latest 7260 Wireless driver package. Luckily, I have a backup of said packages. They are too large to attach to this message, however. Instead, I have created a OneDrive share to made them available. Here is link to this share: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtacZBU04mo-j5BzYYVXWTqCHT2w8g?e=SLqcgg. Since space is tight and I may need it for other things, this link will expire in a week, so download the files soonest.

Here is my process for performing a clean install:

  1. If you haven't already, download - but do not install just yet - the latest Bluetooth and WiFi drivers (in this case, from my share).
  2. Disable Internet access. Unplug Ethernet cable and/or disable wireless. Keep disabled until told to re-enable. Simple way do do this is to power off your router.
  3. From the Apps & Features applet, check for instances of Intel PROSet/Wireless Software and Intel Wireless Bluetooth. If none, skip to Step 6.
  4. Uninstall each instance of Intel PROSet/Wireless Software and Intel Wireless Bluetooth that is present. When prompted, choose to "Discard Settings".
  5. Manually reboot your computer, keeping Internet access disabled throughout.
  6. From the Device Manager applet, check the Network Adapters section for an entry for Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260 and check the Bluetooth section for an entry for Intel Wireless Bluetooth that has an intel driver associated with it. If neither is the case, go to Step 10.
  7. Right click on the entry for Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260 and uninstall it, choosing to (checkmark) Delete the driver software for this device.
  8. Right click on the entry for Intel Wireless Bluetooth and open its properties. If it has an Intel driver associated with it, then uninstall it, choosing to (checkmark) Delete the driver software for this device.
  9. Go to Step 5.
  10. (Optional but recommended) Clean out all temporary files using the Windows Clean Disk applet. Ensure you have enabled cleanup of System Files. I recommend that you then checkmark all categories offered, even if no files are currently in this category (so it leaves it set up for next invocation). (Optional but recommended) Clear each of your browsers' cache.
  11. Install the Bluetooth driver package (my rule: always do Intel Bluetooth first).
  12. Install the Wireless driver package.
  13. Manually shutdown and reboot your computer.
  14. Enable Internet access. If you powered off your router, power it on and wait for it to reach active state.
  15. Test.

Hope this helps,

...S

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10 Replies
slider1
Beginner
1,502 Views

correction:

 

I upgraded my ISP speed down/up to 900/20 Mbps

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,483 Views

You have a Wireless-AC module. It cannot support Wireless-AX. If you want to utilize Wireless-AX, this will require a module upgrade.

Sorry, reality bites,

...S

slider1
Beginner
1,473 Views

Thanks for your response Scott, so the package I listed bt_21.10.1_64_win10.exe if that is the right one for me with a clean install should upgrade the Intel dual band wireless AC 7260 correct? ; which prevents it from even viewing wireless AX networks let alone connecting to one which I thought was the point of the Intel article advisory:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000054799/network-and-i-o/wireless-networki...

All of the AX routers I am testing say they are backwards compatible to 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. The problem I thought was with the Intel AC7260 driver package needing an upgrade. For example, the Asus AX3000 router actually has a direction insert that says among other Intel adapters the AC7260 needs a driver upgrade to Intel ProSet/Wireless wifi software version 20.70.0 or later to resolve connection issues to 802.11ax routers.

So hopefully someone can go back to my original post and step me thru my request for assistance for the 3 items I listed.

 

 

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,464 Views

I have older NUCs with 7260 modules in them and they are connecting to my Wireless-AX routers just fine (I have tp-link AX1800 and AX1500 routers).

I am unaware of any tried and true process for creating a backup of your existing installation. There is more to it than just backing up the driver binaries. Intel won't help here since this is a discontinued adapter. AFAIK, best you can do is save away the package for what you had installed previously. I didn't keep a backup of this version in my archive, however; I only saved the latest. If no other source, you may be able to get this via the WayBack Machine (Internet Archive), though Intel has made this more difficult with their latest folder reorganization (Doc: any thoughts on how to find it?).

I was unable to locate a download link for the latest 7260 Wireless driver package. Luckily, I have a backup of said packages. They are too large to attach to this message, however. Instead, I have created a OneDrive share to made them available. Here is link to this share: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtacZBU04mo-j5BzYYVXWTqCHT2w8g?e=SLqcgg. Since space is tight and I may need it for other things, this link will expire in a week, so download the files soonest.

Here is my process for performing a clean install:

  1. If you haven't already, download - but do not install just yet - the latest Bluetooth and WiFi drivers (in this case, from my share).
  2. Disable Internet access. Unplug Ethernet cable and/or disable wireless. Keep disabled until told to re-enable. Simple way do do this is to power off your router.
  3. From the Apps & Features applet, check for instances of Intel PROSet/Wireless Software and Intel Wireless Bluetooth. If none, skip to Step 6.
  4. Uninstall each instance of Intel PROSet/Wireless Software and Intel Wireless Bluetooth that is present. When prompted, choose to "Discard Settings".
  5. Manually reboot your computer, keeping Internet access disabled throughout.
  6. From the Device Manager applet, check the Network Adapters section for an entry for Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260 and check the Bluetooth section for an entry for Intel Wireless Bluetooth that has an intel driver associated with it. If neither is the case, go to Step 10.
  7. Right click on the entry for Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260 and uninstall it, choosing to (checkmark) Delete the driver software for this device.
  8. Right click on the entry for Intel Wireless Bluetooth and open its properties. If it has an Intel driver associated with it, then uninstall it, choosing to (checkmark) Delete the driver software for this device.
  9. Go to Step 5.
  10. (Optional but recommended) Clean out all temporary files using the Windows Clean Disk applet. Ensure you have enabled cleanup of System Files. I recommend that you then checkmark all categories offered, even if no files are currently in this category (so it leaves it set up for next invocation). (Optional but recommended) Clear each of your browsers' cache.
  11. Install the Bluetooth driver package (my rule: always do Intel Bluetooth first).
  12. Install the Wireless driver package.
  13. Manually shutdown and reboot your computer.
  14. Enable Internet access. If you powered off your router, power it on and wait for it to reach active state.
  15. Test.

Hope this helps,

...S

AlHill
Super User
1,449 Views

Maybe this package from Nov 2016?

https://drivers.softpedia.com/get/NETWORK-CARD/INTEL/Intel-PROSet-Wireless-Driver-Software-19203-for...

 

Doc (not an Intel employee or contractor)
[Windows 11 is the new Vista]

slider1
Beginner
1,447 Views

Thanks Scott.

I down loaded from your link. The bt file looks to be the same one mentioned in my opening post, I'll take a look to see if I can track back to that link and post it later.

Question: with your 7260 and updated drivers for your tp router AX1800 (same one I am using) you have the mode selected for your bands to include AX. I have my modes selected to exclude AX which is the only way I can get use with these older drivers, Is there a noticeable performance bump whether speed or distance by using the AX mode.

The reason I'm asking is if there is a noticeable performance boost then it may be worth it for me to update my AC7260 drivers but if no difference then 340/22 , 30 feet from my AX1800 router thru two interior walls n mirror which is what I have now without the driver update maybe says just leave it alone.

slider1
Beginner
1,421 Views

Anyone finding themselves in my situation needing to update the dual band AC 7260 driver to be able to connect to an AX router with AX mode enabled here is the link for the update:

 

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000006507/wireless.html

 

On that page for my laptop going to the line for Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 you can click on wifi which will take you here: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/28621/Intel-PROSet-Wireless-Software-and-Drivers-for-Intel...

and click on  Bluetooth and it will take you here: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/28622/Intel-Wireless-Bluetooth-for-Intel-Wireless-7260-Fam...

 

The above should be the same files which Scott gave me access to download from his onedrive share a simple check sum verification should confirm.

 

I used the link provided by Doc to softpedia to search for Intel dual band wireless AC 7260 and got this link to 18.33.3.2 not far off from my current version of 18.33.5.1 reldt 09.10.16: https://drivers.softpedia.com/get/NETWORK-CARD/INTEL/Intel-Dual-Band-Wireless-AC-7260-Driver-183332-...

 

So at the end I think I have everything I need to update my AC 7260 driver, thanks to Scott and Doc.

 

One more open question for Scott, if there is anyway you can check the performance of your NUC with your AX1800 selecting the middle mode which excludes the AX mode vs performance with AX mode measuring download speed that would be helpful in my decision to attempt this upgrade.

slider1
Beginner
1,297 Views

Update: I installed the updated drivers for Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 noted above, on 12/26/21.

 

End result:

1) I am able to connect the 6 yr old Asus laptop with Router Mode selected for 5G = 802.11a/n/ac/ax mixed) My Asus laptop uses the SSID designated for the 5G band . With this I get the benefits of my wifi 6 router (I choose the TP link AX5400 aka Archer AX73, it ran cooler, more features, & performed better;  close contention was the AX1800 the AX3000 was a toaster).

 

2) On the AX5400 I am able to select OFDMA which I could not do before using the 5G middle Mode which excluded AX (e.g., 802.11a/n/ac). Mu-Mimo was selectable under either mode.

 

3) Speed tests on this laptop 30 ft away from router wireless thru 2 interior walls now about 464 Mbps download or about 100 Mbps improvement. Max speeds seen at over 1 Gig at points during speed tests.

 

So again my thanks to Scott and Doc for their assistance in helping me thru this upgrade to my Intel dual band AC 7260 wireless driver.

 

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,415 Views

No, I don't think that's the right way to approach it.

I simply enable the Smart Connect feature supported by the tp-link routers. In addition to giving me a single SSID that supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz channel connections, it eliminates the need for this down-configuration and seems to guarantee the highest possible connection speeds regardless of whether using AX-enabled, AC-enabled or even older cards.

...S

slider1
Beginner
1,409 Views

not a problem Scott.

I'm glad the AX1800 gives the option on smart connect or separate SSIDs which is my route and allows me more control. I use the 5 G band for only 3 devices where I need speed and the 2.4 band for multiple other devices where speed is not an issue.

Only thing I miss on the AX1800 which I had on the Archer 9 is MAC filtering. The AX1800 has mac and ip address binding which is not the same as the MAC filtering.

 

Anyway thanks for all your help. I have everything I need and asked for assistance on with my initial post.

 

 

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