Getting Wi-Fi working on Windows 10

I took the plunge and upgraded my desktop computer, this is a slightly more powerful machine than my netbook (?) and was running Windows 8.1; interestingly this was originally a Windows 7 Pro machine, upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, then 8.1 Pro and finally Windows 10 Pro (phew).

So the upgrade process seemed to be more straightforward, I suppose Windows 10 is much closer to Windows 8.1 that Windows 7 Starter Edition, I don’t know how long the process took as I left it overnight and it was done by morning.  The problems encountered on the netbook did not surface here so I thought I was done, not so fast.

I have 2 wireless networks in the house, the one that comes with AT&T U-Verse which is 802.11g (called Peckham) and an Access Point which is 802.11n (called Elephant), this is connected to the AT&T router and everything else connected to it works except my desktop.  It would connect to the Wi-Fi but it would show up as a limited connection, i.e. it could not connect to the internet, very strange.

So off we go, attempting to find out what the f&&k was going on, the internet suggested that I update the driver (it was fine), I know it was fine because Peckham worked correctly (right).  I un-installed and reinstalled the wireless card, still nothing.  I tried everything that was suggested via the Microsoft forums, nothing worked!  How could this be, the machine was connecting to Elephant all the time and everything else (including the upgraded netbook) connects to it successfully?

So, it must be the Access Point (right), I reset the thing back to factory defaults, configure it as an Access Point, I made sure that only 802.11n devices can connect to it (that’s all we have anyway) and (as before) everything connects to it successfully except my machine.  Now I am getting annoyed and frustrated to say the least.

I finally get the netbook and desktop side by side and go through all (and I mean all) the settings to do with the network and adapter card (the adapters are different but offer similar configuration items).  I notice that there is a setting named 802.11n Bandwidth (see below), this was set to 20MHz Only, I recalled that the Channel Width setting on the Access Point was set to 20MHz/40Mhz Auto, so I changed the value here to the same; guess what, it worked!

Adapter Settings

Interestingly this setting does not appear in the settings of the adapter on the netbook.

Is there a moral to this story, no idea, maybe the upgrade process reset the value in the adapter settings, maybe Windows 10 is more picky about this setting whereas Windows 8.1 did some magic under the hood to fix it for you automatically.  Maybe the moral is that you have to check everything whether you think it is important or not.

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