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Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 / HP Probook 450 G2 / bad wi-fi driver 18.33.14.3

IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,450 Views

HP Probook 450 G2

Win10 Pro

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260

Wi-Fi driver 18.33.14.3

I want to report the problems I have had with this wi-fi driver in case it helps someone decide to revert to an older version. And I present a method to prevent Windows from upgrading the driver again.

The key issue here is I found version 17.15.0.5 (22/02/2015) far more stable but I had to activate a Policy using the Group Policy Editor to prevent Windows from upgrading the driver back to 18.33.14.3; and therefore reinstating all the problems.
With 18.33.14.3 I was having daily Wi-Fi failures and the usr/temp folder was filling with junk.

To prevent windows from updating the older driver I did this -:

1) Open Group Policy Editor
2) Goto: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions
3) Select: Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device IDs
4) Add the device ID details.

I noticed that on telling Windows to check for updates it reported a newer Wi-Fi driver and appeared to begin the update (eeek!), but then reported and error. See suppressing-driver-updates-for-wi-fi-adapter 

I have a system log of changes to and issues with my PC. It seems that Windows update may have installed 18.33.14.3 around 03/09/2018. I was having a raft of problems with the laptop at that time, so didn't realise that Wi-Fi had started having problems separately from all the others. So it has take a long time to sort out all the issues.

In amongst this, I tried the Intel Driver Support app; and it's worth noting that the HP driver site has only three (I think it is) Wi-Fi drivers; whereas my notes tell me that the IDS app installed a much higher number of versions. There were so many issues with my laptop that I only homed in on one that gave connectivity issue and one that worked as noted above.

This may be peculiar to HP, although I note that others with the same Wi-Fi chip and driver appear to have had connection issues.

So my solution was to revert to 17.15.0.5 (22/02/2015), and use a Policy to prevent the older driver from being updated.

HTH

0 Kudos
1 Solution
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,180 Views

Wait, you upgraded from one adapter to another? I didn't catch that earlier. When you do this, you *must* do a clean install of the Wireless and Bluetooth packages.

Here is proper process for performing a clean WLAN Install: 

  1. If you haven't already, download - but do not install just yet - the latest Bluetooth and WiFi drivers for your adapter. Here are links to these  drivers: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/19390/intel-wireless-bluetooth-for-intel-wireless-7... and https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/645991/intel-proset-wireless-software-and-drivers-f...
  2. Disable Internet access. Unplug Ethernet cable and/or disable wireless. Keep disabled until told to re-enable.
  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 tool. I recommend that you checkmark all categories offered, even if no files currently (so it leaves it set up for next invocation).
  11. (Optional but recommended) Clear each of your browsers' cache.
  12. Install the Bluetooth driver package (my rule: always do Bluetooth first).
  13. Install the Wireless driver package.
  14. Manually shutdown and reboot your computer.
  15. Enable Internet access.
  16. Test.

Hope this helps,

...S

View solution in original post

19 Replies
DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,415 Views

Hello IdontBelieveIt,  

  


Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities.   



I would like to let you know that we app[reciate the feedback provided, as you mentioned, this could help anyone that may be facing the same scenario.


I want to know if you need any help or assistance on our part.



Regards,    


Deivid A. 

Intel Customer Support Technician 


IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,405 Views

Just to let you know that I really struggle with this messaging system. I pressed a reply button after typing a long reply and it just trashed it. That sort of behaviour should not be possible. The authors of this interface should retire. They don't have the necessary skills.

From my initial attempts to create a login, my experience with this site has been a disaster. I use many support groups, all with varying qualities of GUI and this is one of the worst.

I've also said as much to the BBC in the UK about various parts of their website, so I will point out a bad interface wherever one appears.

It would be interesting to know if you have investigated this driver. Is it specific types of hardware that it fails on, or is a bad piece of code generally? On my laptop it generates MBs of temporary files. Since moving back to the older version the temporary files are measured in KBs. I am trying to decide whether to ask HP to remove it from their list of drivers. If you have found problems with it then HP should definitely remove it from the list.

DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,398 Views

Hello IdontBelieveIt, 



I am sorry to hear that you had issues with the forums' site, 



In order to check this situation further, I would like to confirm the following:


1. Are the drivers 18.33.14.3 and 17.15.0.5 from HP or Intel sites?


2. Have you tried the latest Intel driver?


3. Have you checked with HP about this issue?



Also, I would like to let you know that the manufacture of the laptop takes our drivers (generic) and customize them to work perfectly with the system by adding/deleting/blocking options and features. This means that both drivers may work differently on the same laptop/system.




Best regards, 


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,389 Views

The problems with my PC go back to around 2016. There were two main ones; a fault with the system out of the box (the sleep button causing early timeout) and network issues which occurred when 18.33.14.3 appeared on the scene. And there were other issues as Windows and HP updates periodically arrived. It was only at the end of 2018 that I began to realise the cause of some of the problems.

All the while I was posting questions to Microsoft Answers and the HP forums but of course without realising it I was regularly reporting faulty behaviour from a range of faults in the same post, not realising the behaviours belonged to specific faults. So contributors struggled to understand what was happening - which is understandable.

In the meantime, HP was recommending loading the latest drivers which of course are (or appear to be) faulty. In desperation I tried the drivers from the Intel site and realised that there was a greater range of options but they included the same versions as provided by HP. I didn't understand that the same versions from the two sources could be different. And faults caused by a new driver were not easily attributable to the latest update because there was a raft of continuing issues with my PC. It was quite a mess..

Although I have an extensive system log, going all that far back the source of each version at any one time is not clear - well, it's obvious in some instances and not in others - and you guys providing different code with the same version numbers has not helped. But what I can hazard a guess at, is that the same issue which causes the bad connection in my PC exists in the versions from both HP & Intel.

In amongst the daily struggle to maintain a stable PC the installation of the older driver had such a startling stabilising affect that I made a mental note to investigate - in about 2020; but then Windows update reinstated the newer version so I was back to fire-fighting. Only recently did I find a means via a Group Policy to prevent Windows from updating the older driver once installed. I've now had a stable network for a whole week!

You can imagine that after the best part of five years of trouble with the network etc, and now having a stable connection, I am not straining at the bit to try any more drivers. Oh, and just to mention - my copper wire ADSL connection from my flat to the local switch has also been faulty during the same period. I managed to persuade my provider to dig up our carpark (June 2021) to replace the cable.

The latest driver from HP is the faulty one. The one installed is the second oldest. There is an older one. I don't plan to test any others from the Intel or HP unless someone says we have found a fault and fixed it.

I would say that Intel have cause this issue and have a problem they need to fix. There is at least one other report of trouble with this specific driver and numerous similar ones. There will not be many users who have chased the problem as I have, so there could easily be plenty of users out there without a clue about this issue and not reporting it, let alone able to find a work-around. I think that Intel owe the community some effort to address this problem. The easy solution is to withdraw the driver and advise manufactures likewise.

DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,379 Views

Hello IdontBelieveIt, 



Thanks for the information provided, 



Allow me to check this situation internally and check which steps need to be taken, as soon as I have any details I will let you know.




Best regards, 


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,342 Views

Hello IdontBelieveIt, 



In order to help you and investigate this issue I will appreciate it if you can provide the following:



1. Run the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU) to gather more details about the system.  


· Download the Intel® SSU and save the application on your computer: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/18377/25293/intel-system-support-utility-for-window... 


· Open the application, check the "Everything" checkbox, and click "Scan" to see the system and device information. The Intel® SSU defaults to the "Summary View" on the output screen following the scan. Click the menu where it says "Summary" to change to "Detailed View".  


· To save your scan, click Next and click Save.  


  

2. have you tried with the latest Intel driver (Driver version = 18.33.17.1) or just HP drivers?

- https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/645991/intel-proset-wireless-software-and-drivers-f...


3. Can you provide any links to the other threads that you mentioned that also reported this issue?


4. Have you tried to report this issue directly to HP?






Best regards, 


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,285 Views

Apologies for the delayed reply.

1) I have saved the SSU output

2) It appears that for a short time 18.33.17.1 was active in 2019

I was firefighting the power button / sleep issue at the time and various other issues, so was not aware that there was a wi-fi driver issue. Therefore I was updating manually using the Intel app, and with Win10 Update, and manually from the HP driver site.

I don't know if 18.33.17.1 is stable on my laptop.

3) Links

A quick check and I found these

https://community.intel.com/t5/Wireless/AC-7260-BSOD-DRIVER-POWER-STATE-FAILURE-and-frequent/m-p/128...
https://community.intel.com/t5/Wireless/Why-is-the-Intel-R-Dual-Band-Wireless-AC-7260-disconnecting/...

4) I checked the HP support site this morning and it appears the one question I never asked was about the 18.33.14.3 driver. And there is nothing obvious on the site about it.

If you will bear with me I will post about it and see if there are any replies.

Just a point about this site - after writing a 'reply' the button in the bottom right hand of the message is 'Reply'. On other sites it is 'Post' and that's what I expect to see. When I first saw 'Reply' I wondered if I had actually pushed the button correctly to begin a reply. I think that was the occasion when I lost my post and had to re-type. Maybe you could rattle the cage of the developers and ask them to review this?

DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,296 Views

Hello IdontBelieveIt, 


  


Were you able to check the previous post and get the information requested? Please let me know if you need more assistance.   


  


Regards,  


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,283 Views

yes, pls see above.

I have posted the HP community

https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Wireless-and-Networking/HP-Probook-450-G2-faulty-wireless-dri... 

 

The Reply button: I have just noticed that if I edit a reply the 'Reply' button becomes 'Post'. Is the button reading 'Reply' when writing a reply that needs posting a bug?

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,241 Views

The final driver package for the AC 7260 was 21.10.1, which included Windows 10 driver version 18.33.17.1. 

...S

IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,221 Views

Ok, thanks for that. I assume this is from the Intel store of drivers.

HP only supply the ones listed on their driver page here ie three of them.

The latest (Jun 5, 2019) is driver version 18.33.14.3 which is the one that has given me so much trouble, and is the one Win10 update reinstalls if it finds an earlier one in place.

It may be that the one you have mentioned is fine but I don't want to take the chance. v17.15.0.5 works on my laptop (that is the second wireless driver on the HP driver page) and that for the moment is good enough for me.

It may also be that, with a stable PC, it would be fine to install with the SSU instead of the HP driver management system, but I think Intel should be advising HP owners to use the Group Policy to lock their drivers in place. In my experience it appears that Win10 will try to reinstall the most recent HP drivers in preference to those from Intel. And if the Win Update "go to" driver is faulty as in my experience, then it will always reinstate the faulty driver.

DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,212 Views

Hello IdontBelieveIt, 



Thanks for all the information provided so far, 



I would like to let you know that our drivers are generic/standard meant to be installed on many devices with the respective wireless device, however, this is just the "raw" version. The laptop manufacturer takes the driver and customizes it by adding/removing/blocking some options and features to make sure that it will work perfectly on their device.


If the driver version 18.33.14.3 is from the HP website, I do recommend you to report this issue with HP and they should work on a fix for their driver.


Also, I would like to know if this is the original adapter that came pre-installed on your computer, or did you change/install the adapter to this one? 





Regards,  


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,198 Views

The adapter is a retro-fit.

As I said above, I don't know whether the faulty driver is the Intel or the HP version. And also as said above, I have reported it to the forum where I expect it to be sent to the HP developers.

I will see if there is a means of sending it to the developers by another route. I'm not getting much response from the forum since covid.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,181 Views

Wait, you upgraded from one adapter to another? I didn't catch that earlier. When you do this, you *must* do a clean install of the Wireless and Bluetooth packages.

Here is proper process for performing a clean WLAN Install: 

  1. If you haven't already, download - but do not install just yet - the latest Bluetooth and WiFi drivers for your adapter. Here are links to these  drivers: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/19390/intel-wireless-bluetooth-for-intel-wireless-7... and https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/645991/intel-proset-wireless-software-and-drivers-f...
  2. Disable Internet access. Unplug Ethernet cable and/or disable wireless. Keep disabled until told to re-enable.
  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 tool. I recommend that you checkmark all categories offered, even if no files currently (so it leaves it set up for next invocation).
  11. (Optional but recommended) Clear each of your browsers' cache.
  12. Install the Bluetooth driver package (my rule: always do Bluetooth first).
  13. Install the Wireless driver package.
  14. Manually shutdown and reboot your computer.
  15. Enable Internet access.
  16. Test.

Hope this helps,

...S

IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,160 Views

I certainly didn't to a clean install to the level you suggest. I have had to monitor and manage temporary files because with the 18.xx driver the temp folder would fill up very quickly. Now there is nothing in it but Windows' update files which disappear after a few week. And I regularly clear the browser history.

In fact to indicate the level of trouble the wi-fi drivers caused, I prepared a small script to display the contents and size of all all the main temp folders at boot-up. I started this in late 2016 and since then have recorded the sizes every day along with other system issues, network outages etc. So I have quite a reasonable system history. It would be nice to have no events to record...

I will give this a go in the next couple of days as  you have offered such a comprehensive procedure and report back.

If it works out I will be happy to post it to the HP forum. But first things first...

Thanks.

IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,101 Views

Hi n_scott_pearson

OK, I've followed the installation process and am back online...

The Drivers are now as follows

Wi-Fi: 18.33.17.1 29/04/2019
BT: 20.100.5.1 17/04/2019

Only the Wi-Fi version has changed. Bluetooth has worked quite well on this PC with this driver and Win10.

In my belief that 10.33.14.3 is faulty, I first told Intel and then, yesterday, HP. As a result I updated my support case as follows -

"After trying to report the problem with the 18.33.14.3 driver to HP yesterday (14Sep2021), and after they used remote control of the PC and about an hour of running around the houses - they managed to deliver a real "Exocet" of a reply - my PC is not compatible with Win10 and has never been tested by HP with Win10. So if things don't work it's tough...
I've lived with the general belief that a CPU may be too under-powered for an OS, but not that things may not work. I can understand that - PCs are vastly more complicated that in the 80s when they first appeared. But my concern is that at no time has this ever been mentioned - "Is it a Win10 compliant PC?"
In my view, HP would help its users by issuing warnings when installing software. In particular they have a convoluted installer for drivers. In reality, don't know if it works or not. My PC has behaved so badly with the two faults that appear now to be under control, that it was difficult to assess what worked properly and what didn't.
But the fact is that HP have the resources to ask the PC for its ID and to check for the most fundamental of all the technical issues - is it compatible with the OS? And then tell the user "Things may not work properly on this PC". At least it reduces the user's expectations.
So for a Win10 compliant PC the driver may be fine. Who knows?"

So far I have a connection - now it's a case of waiting for it to break! I will post back if anything untoward happens.

Oh - one slight hole in the installation procedure - Disable Group Policies that prevent updates! Do you remember - I implemented a policy to prevent Win10 from upgrading the older driver? Well I suppose it confirms it works. So I disabled the policy, did the installation again and all the devices appeared.

Thank you for your help.

Stephen Ford (UK)

 

DeividA_Intel
Moderator
1,049 Views

Hello IdontBelieveIt, 



Thanks for letting us know the outcome from HP. Also, bear in mind that if you install a new wireless adapter in a custom device (Laptop) it may not provide a good performance due to that the BIOS may not be configured by the manufacturer to support the new wireless adapter. This info is just a friendly reminder.


Since HP mentioned that the operating system was not tested on the laptop, I recommend you to work with them in order to get appropriate support.



Please keep in mind that this thread will no longer be monitored by Intel.  





Best regards, 


Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,042 Views

Thank you for your comments. Under the circumstances it may well be a waste of time to try to stabilise the PC again. Had I understood the situation as described above, I may well have changed it earlier.

The PC "blue-screened" today. It has before but that was when I was trying to solve other problems and was more expected and understandable. Today's failure was unexpected. The stop code was KERNEL SECURITY CHECK FAILURE which includes incompatible drivers, so you can appreciate what I began wondering. If it fails again I will revert to Wi-Fi driver 17.15.0.5. After that it will be a new PC.

IdontBelieveIt
Beginner
1,028 Views

There was a "usual" wi-fi failure today. The mouse response becomes very hesitant, and stuttering and wi-fi then dies; but it auto-reset in this case within a few moments.

This lead me to analyse the Event table. I found lots of 10400 "Dual band wireless AC7260 has begun resetting".

See the attached PDF where I correlate dates, network failures, current wi-fi driver, and counts of 10400.

The results speak for themselves. They seem to show my assessment that 17.15.0.5 is stable on my PC is correct.

It looks like I will have to revert to 17.15.0.5

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