Microsoft has admitted that its latest update is knocking out Wi-Fi adapters for some users – the latest in a string of update issues to plague the company.
In particular, Intel and Broadcom Wi-Fi adapters appear to have stopped working on NEC computers if they have been updated to Windows 10, version 1903.
Microsoft and NEC said they have identified ‘incompatibility issues’ with Intel Centrino 6205/6235 and Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards when they are running updated versions of Windows 10 on NEC computers.
The issue comes despite Microsoft in April promising “significantly expanded” interaction with OEMs and independent software vendors (ISVs) ahead of major Windows updates in future, following major issues with Windows 10 1809.
Microsoft said: “If these devices are updated to Windows 10, version 1903, they will no longer be able to use any Wi-Fi connections. The Wi-Fi driver may have a yellow exclamation point in device manager.”
The Redmond firm is telling users that these issues can be mitigated by disabling and then re-enabling the Wi-Fi adapter in the device management window.
However, this is not a persistent fix and until Microsoft rolls out a patch, users will have to do this every time they turn the system on. Microsoft is working with NEC to come up with a permanent solution for the issue.
While Microsoft haven’t singled out exactly which update caused the issues users are experiencing, users say the September cumulative update for Windows 10, known as KB4515384, is to blame.
One affected user took to a Microsoft community forum to complain: “After installing the latest update KB4515384, my Intel wireless network card and Intel lan card have stopped working. Device Manager reports a device error and cannot start it. Deinstalling KB4515384 solved the problem.”
Windows users on Reddit say that the update is also severely affecting Wi-Fi adapters on PCs with Intel adapters.
One user commented that: “KB4515384 breaks my ethernet and wifi adapters on my PC. Appears to create new devices as they’re labelled ‘#2’ and when exposing hidden devices in Device Manager the previously named devices appear. Uninstalling these / new or old drivers do not fix the issues (i.e. “ethernet unplugged” which it is clearly not). Only option was to uninstall this update.”
Other issues are also been reported in relation to this update, such as CPU spikes and a broken Windows desktop search. (Users who have disabled the feature that allows you to search the web from the Windows desktop search have reported CPU spikes from the SearchUi.exe.)
These aren’t the first issue that Windows users have experienced in recent years. Microsoft insists that it has heard user feedback over a range of recent update issues and recently rolled out a range of new features to address customer concerns.
Started last May users now have more control over when their system initiates the latest Microsoft update. The change came after Version 1809, which debuted in October last year, exhibited severe bugs and subsequently became the first major Windows update to face a recall for quality reasons.