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CCorg
Novice
3,706 Views

ax200 wireless works great, bluetooth completely missing.

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I recently replaced the wifi card in my laptop (acer a715-72g) with an ax200 card. The Wifi on it works amazingly fast, however the bluetooth is completely missing. Device manager doesn't even show any unknown devices. I've updated my bios, uninstalled and reinstalled the bluetooth drivers, even tried installing the latest bluetooth drivers from acer (much older than intel's latest drivers) and had no luck. Any ideas?

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1 Solution
CCorg
Novice
3,103 Views

I think it's the generally unhelpful answers that you leave or the vaguely resentful / arrogant feeling you put off that makes me not like you. It's like somehow i can tell you have no intent to actually try and help. Like you're more of a tear-down rather than build-up kind of person.

 

Regardless.

 

I did a bit of digging on what those pins were for, and that it seems was the key to learning exactly what the root of the problem is. The pins it has you tape off are the wireless disable pins (IT seems one is for wifi, and one is for bluetooth). This isn't an intel specific thing it's part of the M.2 spec for a+e key devices (https://pinoutguide.com/HD/M.2_NGFF_connector_pinout.shtml in the section for A+E key). IT gives the system the card ins installed in a way to disable the wifi / bluetooth with a single signal. Think having a hard switch for wifi on old laptops. These pins facilitate that kind of function. Taping over it essentially prevents the system in being able to disable the card, and takes control into your hands. This also means the system can't prevent you from frying your equipment with an incompatible card or messing up everyone's wireless around you, so do so at your own risk.

 

As for why my laptop (or yours, future googlers) might be disabling the wifi / bluetooth I can think of 3 decent reasons.

  1. Practical reasons. They test the machine with specific card(s) and ship them with such. IF you call up their support and say "Hey i have such and such a problem with my wireless" they can open their manuals / resources for your laptop and immediately have the information available. They couldn't possibly have the info for EVERY wifi card on hand, so by making the bios / SMC only enable the chip if it's one they support, they can streamline their support systems. They could also specifically program the bios to disable cards that they know don't work right or have issues. In theory, a BIOS/UEFI mod could implement always leaving these pins low / allowing every wifi card.
  2. As stated above, regulation reasons. What wasn't stated above was any kind of description of WHY "regulations" would disable your card in a way a noob would understand. From what i read, they design antennas in mind for a particular card / set of cards. A low power card with a better designed antenna can get the same signal strength as a higher power card with a shittier antenna. If you put the low power card on a laptop with shittier antennas, it could get really crappy signal strength even though the card itself is fine. IF you put a higher power card into a laptop with much better antennas, then it will produce a stronger than expected signal and might mess with other wireless equipment nearby. Disabling non-tested cards will present these issues.
  3. Greed. They could program the bios / SMC to disable any card that isn't theirs, and then make a deal with a card manufacturer to sell cards with a specific ID to only them. Unlikely with most manufacturers, but sounds like something apple in particular would do.

 

Apparently this trick of covering the disable pin was common back in the PCIE era. As for my system, it's running fine. I'll post back here if i notice any instabilities or issues with it running this card.

View solution in original post

10 Replies
AlHill
Super User
3,103 Views

You cannot simply replace a wireless card. You must consult with your laptop manufacturer regarding support and compatibility on THEIR laptop.

 

Doc

 

CCorg
Novice
3,103 Views

While I can understand why you say that, it's also the least useful form of answer. If there were things i could do to try to make it work, it would help me figure out exactly why it doesn't work. If I know exactly why it doesn't work i should be able to use that knowledge to either fix it or get a chip that does work.

 

I have also posted on the acer support forums about this. While i wait for a response there, what are some things i can try?

AlHill
Super User
3,103 Views
CCorg
Novice
3,103 Views

I did some digging, the ax200 uses m.2's pcie interface for wifi and usb interface for Bluetooth. It is entirely possible that the original adaptor and the port do not have or use use for the Bluetooth, and that would explain why it's not even seeing the device. Is there any way from within windows to see what interfaces the m.2 port supports? I already asked Acer and I'm waiting for an answer.

AlHill
Super User
3,103 Views

Acer can tell you what interfaces THEIR m.2 port supports.

 

Doc

 

CCorg
Novice
3,103 Views

Is there any minimum chipset or processor requirements? Running a i5-7300HQ with HM175 chipset.

CCorg
Novice
3,103 Views

I found a solution that worked, but It is completely unsatisfactory.

https://community.acer.com/en/discussion/549994/intel-9260ngw-bluetooth

I find it really unfulfilling not knowing WHY a solution works. For some reason covering those two pins made it instantly start working - and the bluetooth works AMAZINGLY well. I can pair my ps4 controllers instantly, and i can actually use 4 controllers simultaneously with under 30ms delay. IT's day and night difference from the old wifi adaptor.

 

But What exactly do those 2 pins do? Why did covering them make the bluetooth show up and work perfectly fine?

AlHill
Super User
3,103 Views

Those two pins are not handled properly by your acer device. Good luck with battery life and air travel.

 

Doc

 

CCorg
Novice
3,104 Views

I think it's the generally unhelpful answers that you leave or the vaguely resentful / arrogant feeling you put off that makes me not like you. It's like somehow i can tell you have no intent to actually try and help. Like you're more of a tear-down rather than build-up kind of person.

 

Regardless.

 

I did a bit of digging on what those pins were for, and that it seems was the key to learning exactly what the root of the problem is. The pins it has you tape off are the wireless disable pins (IT seems one is for wifi, and one is for bluetooth). This isn't an intel specific thing it's part of the M.2 spec for a+e key devices (https://pinoutguide.com/HD/M.2_NGFF_connector_pinout.shtml in the section for A+E key). IT gives the system the card ins installed in a way to disable the wifi / bluetooth with a single signal. Think having a hard switch for wifi on old laptops. These pins facilitate that kind of function. Taping over it essentially prevents the system in being able to disable the card, and takes control into your hands. This also means the system can't prevent you from frying your equipment with an incompatible card or messing up everyone's wireless around you, so do so at your own risk.

 

As for why my laptop (or yours, future googlers) might be disabling the wifi / bluetooth I can think of 3 decent reasons.

  1. Practical reasons. They test the machine with specific card(s) and ship them with such. IF you call up their support and say "Hey i have such and such a problem with my wireless" they can open their manuals / resources for your laptop and immediately have the information available. They couldn't possibly have the info for EVERY wifi card on hand, so by making the bios / SMC only enable the chip if it's one they support, they can streamline their support systems. They could also specifically program the bios to disable cards that they know don't work right or have issues. In theory, a BIOS/UEFI mod could implement always leaving these pins low / allowing every wifi card.
  2. As stated above, regulation reasons. What wasn't stated above was any kind of description of WHY "regulations" would disable your card in a way a noob would understand. From what i read, they design antennas in mind for a particular card / set of cards. A low power card with a better designed antenna can get the same signal strength as a higher power card with a shittier antenna. If you put the low power card on a laptop with shittier antennas, it could get really crappy signal strength even though the card itself is fine. IF you put a higher power card into a laptop with much better antennas, then it will produce a stronger than expected signal and might mess with other wireless equipment nearby. Disabling non-tested cards will present these issues.
  3. Greed. They could program the bios / SMC to disable any card that isn't theirs, and then make a deal with a card manufacturer to sell cards with a specific ID to only them. Unlikely with most manufacturers, but sounds like something apple in particular would do.

 

Apparently this trick of covering the disable pin was common back in the PCIE era. As for my system, it's running fine. I'll post back here if i notice any instabilities or issues with it running this card.

View solution in original post

AlHill
Super User
3,103 Views

Thank you for your comments. All of this could have been avoided if you had listened in the beginning and consulted with acer about their hardware (and your discovered limitations thereof).

 

Now, I am really glad you have it working. However, it is a hack, and hacks are not supported here. Your "discovery" of this hack is not new. When you have any wireless or BT problems, there is no support for you.

 

Doc

 

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