Listener Andrew in North Pole, Alaska listens to Into Tomorrow on KFBX 970 AM and asked us about the perils of Windows Update:
Do you hear of anyone having issues with their wireless network cards being shut down because of Windows Updates? I have not updated my laptop in about 4 months because I have yet to find a fix from the manufacturer or anyone else.
Andrew, you’re not alone and this is one the reasons so many people hate Windows 10 autoupdate policy: sometimes Windows updates break drivers.
You probably don’t need a fix, since the manufacturer won’t consider there is anything to fix, their drivers work just fine, you just replaced them with someone else’s drivers that don’t work (in this case whatever Microsoft pushed).
You actually need to go back to whatever drivers you used to have before, so rather than looking for something that fixes the broken WiFi functionality, just look for current drives from the manufacturer and hopefully that will make the problem go away.
Make Windows do the dirty work
The easiest way to go back to the drivers you used to have use, is actually to have Windows do it.
- Right click on “Computer” and select “Manage”
- Select “Device Manager”
- Double click on the wireless driver under “Network adapters”
- Select the “Driver” tab
- Finally click on “Roll Back Driver”
That should put things back to how they were before.
Are you fighting a losing battle?
Windows 10 Home doesn’t ask you whether or not you want updates, it simply installs them. So you might find yourself right back in the same position again soon. You might want to check with the computer’s manufacturer, as opposed to the wireless card manufacturer, and see whether they offer a driver and wireless settings combo package. Some do.
Having a combination like that will sometimes allow you to bypass the drivers from the wireless card manufacturer and Microsoft, at the same time.
The other thing we have to say is that when we heard stories like yours, they almost always turn out to come from older model computers. There is no question that planned obsolescence is a real thing in the tech world, so you might be fighting a losing battle against replacing your computer sooner than you’d otherwise like.