I am having issues where my wireless card fails, often into an irrecoverable state. I am using an AC 7260 card in a Lenovo Y50-70, running Windows 10. I have tracked the issue to a specific Windows update and have found a viable short-term workaround. My intent is to post the information here, both for others to benefit from, and for Intel to be made aware of the issue, as this will require a driver fix in the long term.
My symptoms are pretty much identical to other similarly-reported issues with previous updates. An excellent example can be found here: AC7260 crashes sporadically since Windows 10 Anniversary update
A brief summary:
-Network connectivity would sporadically fail. Sometimes, it would recover on its own after a moment.
-When the network card could not recover, it would hang in a "stalled" state. At this point, the wireless claims to be connected, but without internet connectivity.
-In the stalled state, no more networks are visible (even though many are usually accessible and still functioning with my other devices).
-In the stalled state, attempting to access the AC7260 from the Device Manager would often fail, leaving to a non-responsive window.
-In the stalled state, powering down or rebooting would fail - the computer would initiate the process, but would simply freeze on a blanks screen before completing the shutdown or reboot procedure. A forced manual power down would be necessary.
-After a forced manual powerdown, the wireless card would function normally again, until failing later - usually within 24 hours, sometimes within 10 minutes.
When these symptoms present themselves, there would be similar corresponding Events in the Windows Event Log, identical to those reported in this thread: Windows 10 Creators Update 7260 AC WIFI Dropping
Example event text:
-EXAMPLE EVENT ONE
"The description for Event ID 5032 from source NETwNb64 cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer.
If the event originated on another computer, the display information had to be saved with the event.
The following information was included with the event:
Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
The specified resource type cannot be found in the image file"
-EXAMPLE EVENT TWO
"WLAN AutoConfig detected limited connectivity, attempting automatic recovery.
Recovery Type: 4
Error Code: 0x0
Trigger Reason: 12
IP Family: 4"
-EXAMPLE EVENT THREE
"The network interface "Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260" has begun resetting. There will be a momentary disruption in network connectivity while the hardware resets. Reason: The network driver requested that it be reset. This network interface has reset 1 time(s) since it was last initialized."
I have been dealing with this issue for a few months now. Combing through my system's event logs, I found the above events began occurring on Dec 13, 2017. This corresponds to the date of a Windows Update installed on my computer, "Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1709 for x64-based Systems (KB4054517)". I believe this is the 2017 Fall Creator's Update. Unlike other Windows Updates, this one CANNOT be uninstalled or removed.
My BIOS is up to date.
I tested multiple drivers to see if the issue could be resolved. My default AC7260 driver is 188.8.131.52 (7/16/2015). This driver did not work.
The latest driver provided by Intel is 184.108.40.206 (10/31/2017). This driver did not work.
The latest driver provided by Lenovo is 220.127.116.11 (7/27/2016). This driver did not work.
There is a Microsoft driver, 18.104.22.168 (2/22/2015). This driver DOES work.
I also tried installing the Intel PROSet wireless software package (latest version 20.30.1). This package (and the accompanying driver, 22.214.171.124) did not work.
Short Term Solution
As stated above, the driver from 2/22/2015 (version 126.96.36.199) works without issues, for several weeks now. I also have to manually prevent Windows Update from automatically updating drivers - otherwise, the only working driver I have will be replaced with a later, broken version. This should work for others in the same situation as myself.
Long Term Solution
In the long-term, Intel will need to release a new version of their drivers which is compatible with Windows Update KB4054517. I have functional internet in the short-term - however, that's with a set of drivers that is now three years out of date, which is not an acceptable long-term solution. My hope is that the information provided here will allow them to perform their own investigation so that such a fix can be developed and released.
I would appreciate it if a rep from Intel could reply to this and confirm that their software developers have been informed of this issue, provided with the above information, and are now working on a fix.