HP ElitePad wi-fi network problems

Intro

I’ve got recently a tablet from HP: ElitePad 900 which is a very nice piece of engineering: it is slick, powerful, well-made and it seems to be the best tablet I ever kept in my hands.

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Symptoms

However, once I configured HP Support tool to install automatically HP Updates I’ve noticed two important problems:

1. When I start device the wi-fi is no longer working

2. When I change wi-fi settings in Device Manager I got sometimes BSODs during reboots

The tablet itself does not have much ports, so if you don’t have any network, it is pretty much a show stopper issue: you can’t easily connect Ethernet cable, or USB key to try out some drivers, etc.

Solution

It’s important to note that when I got device the wi-fi was working perfectly. Since the problems started to appear after upgrades I decided to rollback the wi-fi driver. As for today (31st of March 2013), there are basically four versions of the wi-fi drivers for ElitePad:

1. 3.7 (02 Mar 2013)

2. 3.7 (20 Feb 2013)

3. 3.7 (08 Feb 2013)

4. 3.7 (14 Jan 2013)

Since I did not know which one I had originally installed on the device, I decided to go backwards starting from version 3.7 (02 Mar 2013) towards 3.7 (14 Jan 2013) by doing the following operations:

0. Download all four drivers to ElitePad by clicking on links above for each driver and then “Download” button. This way you will have all four versions of drivers ready for your tests.

1. Uninstall the current wi-fi driver from Device Manager (see article how to uninstall network card from Device Manager)

2. Reboot

3. Install the next driver

4. Check if network is back and if not, try another driver

By doing this test I realized that I had problems with 3.7 (02 Mar 2013) and 3.7 (20 Feb 2013) while the 3.7 (08 Feb 2013) seems to be stable and working properly. Since HP ships changelog for each version of the driver I was able to see the changelog entry between 3.7 (08 Feb 2013) and 3.7 (20 Feb 2013):

Fixes an issue where the wireless LAN does not function properly and an error symbol is displayed in the Device Manager.

The error is quite generic and taking into account that HP shipped a new version of the driver just 12 days after the previous release made me realize that this was probably an under tested hotfix. I will keep the oldish but stable driver for a while and see if any upcoming release will change something 🙂

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3 Comments

  1. Interesting article. I often have this WiFi problem.

    However, I have to say this is one of the worst business tablets I’ve ever used in my life.

    Regularly I’ll boot up to no WiFi and have to keep doing a reboot cycle until it eventually decides it has a WiFi chip.

    The machine is horrendously slow. For what it costs, trying to run Outlook, a few Chrome tabs, skype, Excel and Word at the same time is basically like asking it to take over all the computers at NASA.

    It’s an absolute horrorshow of a machine. If you put it to sleep with the sleep button, sometimes it won’t connect to the internet until you do a complete reboot. Can’t handle any website with a large number of display ads on it.

    Shocker.

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