Quantcast Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

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  1. #1
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    Default Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    The Aspire One is a great machine that, for me, was mildly crippled by a finicky Wi-Fi connection. There has been some discussion about this on other parts of the web. For some people, the actual wireless module turns on and off occasionally. For other people, the wireless connects and works just fine, but then won't work for a few minutes - but doesn't disconnect from the router. After a brief wait, the internet works again.

    This was a bit frustrating. I had the problem of the module remaining connected but not working. Fooling with various settings helped, but it was still not as good as it should be, so I decided to replace the module with an Intel 4965AGN wireless module. This is the easiest fix for those who have this problem and have been frustrated by a solution. I say "easy," because it was easy to spend $35 for the module on eBay and install it, rather than spend another 3 hours fiddling with the settings.

    I followed the disassembly guide here to take the keyboard and top panel off. This guide is great, and the author did a nice job with the descriptions.

    http://www.aspireoneuser.com/forum/v...hp?f=40&t=1443

    It was a really easy operation to crack the case open. I then removed the Atheros and replaced it with the Intel 4965 card. Here's where the easiness comes in.

    If you look at that guide above, after installing the card, he has you removing all sorts of other parts just to run the new antenna wires. (The Intel card has three antenna jacks, the Atheros only two.) There is really no reason to do this unless you are really serious about having diversity reception. The Intel card will work just fine with only two antennas.

    The antenna leads that you remove from the Atheros have the same connector as the Intel card, so just go with the two leads instead. Then you don't have to take apart your screen and all of the other tricky parts. Now, you won't get true Wireless-n without the third antenna, but reception overall seems better with the Intel card, and the Intel card does not get as hot as the Atheros. (Which is kind of nice, since the card is under your right palm. And actually, the Intel card does not get hot at all.) And you can connect to a Wireless-n device, which is not possible with the Atheros.

    Also, the Intel card works properly with the hardware on/off switch. No problems there.

    A couple of tips. Before you install the Intel card, remove the Atheros drivers and software from your AAO. You can use Add/Remove if you do this BEFORE you pull the Atheros card. Otherwise, Windows wants you to reinstall the card before you remove the drivers.

    Also, when you take the AAO apart, use a credit card or other thin piece of plastic to push in the tabs on the keyboard. This saves you from scratches if you use a metal tool.

    I hope these suggestions help anyone who is looking to do this easy mod. I wouldn't have added the new card if I had to go through the complete disassembly to add the third antenna, but this is not a necessary step. The new card completely solves the finicky internet problem. For some reason, the Atheros just does not work well with the Acer hardware.
    Last edited by imokruok; 18th October 2008 at 06:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    I honestly did have some issues when using the 3 cell battery (weak reception, dropping network) but they all disappeared once I went to the 6 cell.
    I did end up changing to an Intel 3945 ABG card eventually, and the Atheros card is now in my Acer Aspire 5570, and no problems in there.
    The other thing to watch for when removing the keyboard is the left-most keyboard tab, it is not accessible from underneath unlike the other 2 so if it gets pushed in, it will stay in and you can't get to it to pop it out.

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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    Go into System Properties, Hardware, Device Manager. Then go into Network Adapters, right click Atheros Wireless Network Adapter and choose Properties. In properties go to the Advanced tab, click on Power Save Mode and turn it off! No more issues since I turned it off and it even reactivated my wifi! I have not tried/tested the Normal setting yet, but it may also work. Apparently the power save feature of the network card glitches out and you can disable that useless feature.

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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    Quote Originally Posted by vatodeth View Post
    Go into System Properties, Hardware, Device Manager. Then go into Network Adapters, right click Atheros Wireless Network Adapter and choose Properties. In properties go to the Advanced tab, click on Power Save Mode and turn it off! No more issues since I turned it off and it even reactivated my wifi! I have not tried/tested the Normal setting yet, but it may also work. Apparently the power save feature of the network card glitches out and you can disable that useless feature.
    That did not work for me unfortunately. I tried that while on the 3 cell and it helped but not 100%. Once the 6 cell was installed, I had no further issues. Some have apparently had success with v.260 of the driver, but I didn't.

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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    Quote Originally Posted by vatodeth View Post
    Go into System Properties, Hardware, Device Manager. Then go into Network Adapters, right click Atheros Wireless Network Adapter and choose Properties. In properties go to the Advanced tab, click on Power Save Mode and turn it off! No more issues since I turned it off and it even reactivated my wifi! I have not tried/tested the Normal setting yet, but it may also work. Apparently the power save feature of the network card glitches out and you can disable that useless feature.
    Wish that would have worked for me, but it didn't. You name the fix, I tried it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    I've also tried all the fixes an none have worked for me either. The only stable config for me is bios 3109 with the Atheros drivers from windows update (vista ultimate). Every time I try an updated bios I get wireless disconnects.

    Inspired by your message I just ordered the Intel 4965AGN from Buy.com for 33 bucks. I've been inside my Aspire One several times already. Your keyboard tabs trick is well noted. The first time I took my One apart I shoved the third tab too far inside and it wouldn't come out. It took me about an hour working with some sharp, pointed dental instruments to get the tab out.

    I have no intention of taking the screen apart to add the third antenna. Looking at pictures of the Intel card I see three antenna leads. Which two should I hook the original antennas to? I assume it's lead 1 and 2.

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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    Yup, 1 and 2 in the same order as they were connected to the Atheros card. 1 and 2 are the outer two jacks; the middle one was marked 3 and I left that one open.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    Thanks. Once I get the wifi module replaced I'll continue my quest for the aftermarket 6 cell battery. The included 3 cell is only giving me 2:15 and that just doesn't cut it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    Acer did come out with a new driver for the built-in WiFi radio. Seems to work well for some. I installed the new driver on mine, but never seemed to have a problem before.

    EDIT: Since I'm relatively new, I can't post to other sites (need min of 15 posts). Go to aspireoneuser website and search for 'NEW WIFI Atheros Driver(7.6.1.149)'
    Last edited by jigwashere; 22nd October 2008 at 01:50 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Acer Aspire One wireless fix (new WiFi module)

    The Intel 4965AGN is installed and working perfectly. I updated to bios v.3305 and have not experienced any wireless dropouts in my testing today.

    Although I'm not happy about having to replace the Atheros card to fix my wireless problems it was relatively cheap (only 33 bucks from buy.com) and I haven't had any other issues with the machine.

 

 
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