Baffling sudden problem with Airplane mode on a Dell M4800

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by gmm22, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. gmm22

    gmm22 Notebook Consultant

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    I have a Dell M4800 notebook that has not given me any trouble until now. I was connected to the internet wirelessly, and all of a sudden I got a notice up in the top left hand of the screen that my computer was now in airplane mode. The next page I connected to indeed confirmed I was no longer connected to the internet.

    I am 99.9% certain I did not hit any buttons accidentally, but in any event, no amount of settings adjustment will allow me to connect wirelessly. I am stuck in airplane mode. When I click on the internet access panel, the box called airplane mode appears, but hitting it does nothing, and it's grey as is the wireless switch on this menu. Opening network internet settings displays a place to change airplane mode, but it's stuck in the on position. Hitting it does nothing. It's as if the airplane mode will not respond to being turned off no matter what I do. I've tried turning the airplane mode off while the wireless switch on the computer is on or off, but it doesn't make any difference.

    Any idea what is going on, or any other ideas of how to go about diagnosing the problem and fixing? The airplane mode just came on out of nowhere. I can connect to the net with an ethernet cable.
     
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  2. gmm22

    gmm22 Notebook Consultant

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    So I just went at the problem again. I had the airplane settings menu open and hit the wireless switch on the side, and all of a sudden the settings lit up and the airplane mode turned off. I had done that several times earlier but it didn't help. The problem is resolved, but I think I have a wonky wireless switch. At least that should be a fairly simple fix with some contact cleaner.
     
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  3. John Carlson

    John Carlson Notebook Consultant

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    There's a way to fix that.

    Kill the wifi controller process on Task manager. block it completely.
    Then your M4800 won't fall into that bug again.

    The process is called 'Radio Service' or something...
     
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  4. John Carlson

    John Carlson Notebook Consultant

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    Make sure you buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter dongle too. That can be used as an alternative when your built-in Wi-fi modem isn't working.
     
  5. StormJumper

    StormJumper Notebook Virtuoso

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    Don't go this route rather replace your defective wifi card. Dongle don't provide wifi speeds when you need them and add more problem then your trying to fix. Replacing a Wifi card is the better alternative contact Dell for which other wifi cards will work for your device.
     
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  6. 6730b

    6730b Notebook Evangelist

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    Elimination process? 1st of all reinstall the Airplane Mode Switch Driver, either fixes things or be taken out of the equation.
     
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  7. John Carlson

    John Carlson Notebook Consultant

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    I had exactly the same issue before.

    I killed and blocked 'Radio services' process on task manager. Now the bug is gone.
    There's a bug with M4800's airplane mode driver. You have to kill it.
    Dell won't fix it because M4800 is discontinued.
     
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  8. gmm22

    gmm22 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the extra replies. The contact cleaner was not successful, and it's been stuck on ever since. I appreciate the extra replies and I will study them and try the ideas suggested the next time I turn on the Dell, which I use almost exclusively for music related things. I've been using it with an ethernet cable, but it sure would be nice to have the wireless available.
     
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