11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2015 1:01 PM by Sofiaboy

    More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"

    MrTheV

      Hello

       

       

      We are quite a lot of users currently suffering from so-called "connections dropouts" with Intel WiFi adapters and recent drivers.

      There are a lot of posts related to this issues in numerous forums, including Intel's. I did not read all of them, and I am pretty sure that everything I will write in this post has been reported somewhere else, but I did not find anything synthetic, so I am doing it.

       

      Intel said they are aware of the problem, that is caused by data reordering and that it is solved with this new set of drivers:

      Intel Wi-Fi Products ; TechNote: Sporadic wireless disconnects caused by data reordering issue

       

      In fact, I downloaded said drivers for Windows 7 x64 and I still have the issue with my Centrino 6205-N adapter in an HP Elitebook 8560w.

      The issue is then NOT solved, as far as I can tell.

       

      Actually, from the adapter point of view, the connection does not drop out, but the speed goes down to 1Mbps and occasionally increases to 2Mbps (geee!)

       

      For all of you who seem to be willing to check what adapter settings can potentially solve the issue, there is only one:

      disable 802.11n.

      Your speed will then be 54Mbps or less. No 802.11n, no 300Mbps anymore. But that is better than 1Mbps

       

      You may think that another setting change did solve the issue, but this is a side effect: If said setting change is such that the adapter is reinitialized, then the conditions that caused the issue are "cleared" (since the adapter is reinitialized, data and structures used by the drivers are reinitialized too, etc.). The conditions have to be met again for the issue to reoccur. And they will. And once these conditions are met, the issue is there and there is nothing much you can do but reinitializing the adapter (disabling it and re-enabling it has the same effect).

       

      Another solution seems to be to switch back to previous versions of the driver (14.x). If these drivers are installed on your Windows machine, perform a manual driver update and select them.

       

      I also noticed that when running a packet sniffer on my laptop (wireshark or network monitor) and capturing the frames, the issue seems not to happen (timing conditions do change then, especially from the driver's point of view).

       

      Last but not the least: this does not seem to happen with all access points. For me, it happens with a netgear AP (CG3700B, in which WMM has to be enabled for 802.11n to be active. Could it be somewhat related to the issue?); but at work where they use something else, I don't have noticed any connection dropout (when I remember that I can enable 802.11n there...).

       

      I really hope that Intel can solve this issue or, at least, provide an official workaround to solve it (such as using drivers v14.x only!) instead of pretending it is solved when it is not.

       

      If needed, I volunteer to help. I can record network traces and, as a former technical lead involved in kernel driver development, I could even run debugging tools (at least DbgView, maybe with checked versions of the drivers).

        • 1. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
          theveterans

          Does the speed drop to 1 Mbps (802.11b) happen at 5 GHz band (I doubt it does though but the lowest will be 6 Mbps 802.11a)?

           

          Have you tried 802.11n enabled then change the Wireless mode to a/g only? If you did that, the adapter will never drop back to B speeds and the slowest G speed will 5.5 Mbps. Since 802.11n is enabled, the speed will be N speeds despite the Wireless mode set to a/g only. Setting the mode to either "a only" will turn off the 2.4 GHz radio while setting it to "b only", "g only" or "b/g only" will turn off the 5 GHz radio.

           

          I suggest to try "a/g only" mode and see if you get speed drops to 1 Mbps or encounter packet drops and ping timeouts.

          • 2. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
            MrTheV

            It is true that the errors happened with the Wireless mode setting set to a/b/g (default). I am changing it to b/g now and will try a/g later on. But since I am using a 14.x driver, I may not see any change. I'll try 15.x drivers after a reasonable amount of time spent with 14.x drivers.

            A side question though: should using 20MHz only for 802.11n channel width have any impact?

            • 3. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
              theveterans

              Using 20 MHz channel width will cut the maximum bandwidth by a little bit less than 1/2. MIMO will still be enabled as long as 802.11n is enabled. So you're going to get 144 Mbps (130 Mbps on some routers) connection at 20MHz channel width instead of 300 Mbps at 40 MHz. For a 1x1 (SISO) budget card like Atheros or Ralink card, they'll have a speed of 72.2 Mbps at 20 MHz width while 150 Mbps at 40 MHz width.

               

              Using b/g on wireless mode will turn off the 5 GHz band. For some reason, both Intel 6235 and 2230 drop down to Wireless B speeds (1 - 2 Mbps) sporadically then gets stuck there until you reset the adapter. Turning wireless B off by setting the mode to "g only" or "a/g" while keeping the 802.11 n mode enabled helps fix this sporadic speed drop. Also if the Intel 6235 is connected at 2.4 GHz with the default settings, it will lose the 5 GHz radio once the adapter gets stuck to Wireless-B speeds. You can confirm this using Inssider.

               

              Basically, a temporary fix is to use "a/g" mode only with 802.11n enabled.

              • 4. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
                MrTheV

                Awesome !

                 

                I confirm 150% of what you said. +50% because it also happens with Intel 6205-N.

                I also noticed that the issue was happening less often when I used b/g only (since my AP offers b:g:n only)

                And I can also tell that the issue was happening with v14.x of the driver

                 

                I have now switched back to the latest version of the driver (15.9.x.x) and we will see if this now works better.

                • 5. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
                  MrTheV

                  Too bad !

                   

                  I have now Wireless mode set to 802.11 a/g and I am experiencing a speed drop to 1Mbps right now, with driver 15.9.1.2...

                  • 6. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
                    MrTheV

                    I was set to 802.11g only and I just experienced a speed drop to 1Mbps, 2Mbps and 5.5 Mbps.

                     

                    I am switching back to driver 14.0.2.2

                    • 7. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
                      theveterans

                      Well looks like Wireless mode setting is broken on the newer drivers. Why on Earth would the adapter go to B speeds (1 - 2) Mbps if the mode is g or a/g only? This is clearly a driver issue if the friggin adapter does not function correctly with the settings.

                       

                      I just found out that 1 Mbps, 2 Mbps and 5.5 Mbps also part of Wireless-G and also Wireless-B. So even if Wireless-B is disabled, the Intel adapter can still run at a those three pathetic speeds

                       

                      From Wikipedia:

                      IEEE 802.11g-2003 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                       

                      The modulation scheme used in 802.11g is orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) copied from 802.11a with data rates of 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 54 Mbit/s, and reverts to CCK (like the 802.11b standard) for 5.5 and 11 Mbit/s and DBPSK/DQPSK+DSSS for 1 and 2 Mbit/s.

                       

                      There's no point of the adapter to go to 1 - 2 Mbps at all. The bottom line is that this is a driver issue and Intel's software engineers suck at writing drivers for Windows.

                       

                      Also fix the issue for Intel 6235 and Intel 6205, you can also include the Intel Dual Band 7260 series where all three of them lose the 5 GHz radio once the adapter goes haywire and gets stuck at 1 - 2 Mbps connection. See this thread for people who complain about losing 5 GHz band with their 7260 ( Intel 7260? - Page 19 see last post, Intel 7260? - Page 20 see first post).

                       

                      Basically, Wireless modes are just there to turn on and turn off both either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band.

                      • 8. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
                        joe_intel

                        Not everybody is having the same issue since in your case the connection is maintained but the transfer rate drops, it does not disassociate from the AP or gives limited connectivity, so your issue is a bit different and we can also take a look to it. I will send you a PM.

                         

                        I believe the article above was misunderstood and will be corrected; so far we have only provided a Windows* 7 fix for the Intel® 7260 adapters.

                        • 9. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
                          MrTheV

                          I am now running driver v 14.3.1.1 and have not had the issue since.

                          I also changed my WiFi channel from 4 to 13 (little overlapping on 4) and disabled "Power Save Support" on the AP.

                           

                           

                          Actually, the text in the article is very confusing if what was meant was that it was just a fix for Intel 7260 on Windows 7...

                          Check by yourself:

                           

                          -----------------

                           

                          The data reordering issue causes intermittent WiFi connection loss and application hangs on Windows 8* platforms.

                          Resolving the Issue:
                          Update to Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software version 16.1.5.
                          Download for Windows 8*.
                          Download for Windows 7*.

                          Scope:

                          • Windows 8:
                          • The following Intel wireless adapters with version 16.0.x software:
                            • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
                            • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7260
                            • Intel® Wireless-N 7260
                          • The following wireless adapters with 15.x software:
                            • Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 2230
                            • Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6235
                            • Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6205
                            • Intel® Centrino® Ultimate-N 6300
                          • Windows 7:
                          • The following Intel wireless adapters with version 16.1.0 software:
                            • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
                            • Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7260
                            • Intel® Wireless-N 7260
                          NoteA future Windows 8 fix will address this issue for other Intel wireless adapters.

                          Impact:

                          • Disruption of application layer data transfer resulting in application hangs or loss of connection
                          • Issue is more evident in scenarios of connect/reconnect, resume from suspend, and roaming
                          • Failure to obtain IP address via DHCP

                          Root Cause:
                          Firmware change corrects a packet reordering problem that occurs primarily when there are other connected devices to the same BSS.

                          Related Topics:
                          Intel® PROSet Wireless Software driver versions by Operating System
                          Intel® PROSet/ Wireless Software Downloads

                          Operating System:

                          Windows 8*

                          This applies to:

                          Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6205
                          Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6235
                          Intel® Centrino® Ultimate-N 6300
                          Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 2230
                          Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160
                          Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260
                          Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 for Desktop
                          Intel® Dual Band Wireless-N 7260
                          Intel® Wireless-N 7260
                          • 10. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
                            BernardoFortes

                            SOLVED !

                             

                            Actually, the correct word would be AVOIDED the problem.

                             

                            My Scenario:

                            - Win 8.1 PRO + Wireless-N 7260 card (NOT the dual band one)

                            - Connected to AirPort Extreme 5th Gen

                            - Constant (every 20-30 mins) disconnection to AP

                             

                            Already tried all (I mean ALL) combination of driver versions, pro tools available in planet earth, including a beta 16.8.x version. None of them fixed. forget about this. Tested disabling BT and a lot of other scnenarios. NONE of THEM will work.

                             

                            The Problem: Intel's driver for 2.4 GHz, when connecting at "N" speeds has bugs. Current documentation from Microsoft, Intel or HW vendors is awful. That's it. I hope they fix it someday, but it's not the case now.

                             

                            Solution: Forced the adapter to connect at 54 Mbps (802.11G). Simple as that. It won't give me the performance I'd like, but I stopped dealing with annoying connection loss every 20-30 mins. This allows me to work while Intel figures the bug in it's driver.

                             

                            How ? Open the adapter settings and set the "HT mode" to OFF (in advanced tab)

                             

                            Instead of trying to connect at 115 Mbps, it'll connect at a stable 54 Mbps. It works for me (for now).

                             

                            I left the Wifi mode to 802.11b/g since my adapter doesn't support "A".

                             

                            best regards.

                            • 11. Re: More about the "sporadic but recurring connection dropouts on an Intel wireless adapter"
                              Sofiaboy

                              Hi everyone, I have found the only solution so far to overcome speed dropouts on some Intel Adapters, including Intel Dual Wireless adapters. If you have noticed speed dropouts while using Intel’s wireless card while downloading torrents and other stuff this is the solution for you. Straight to the point, in order to stop speed download dropouts, you need to go to control panel/device manager/double-click you intel wireless adapter/click advanced settings or just advanced. You will see somewhere there an option called “THROUGHPUT BOOSTER”, DISABLE it. Until Intel fixes this option in their drivers or graphic cards, this is the only temporary solution that worked for me so far. Many new modern laptops and pcs are affected by this illness, which is a pity. Greetings from Sofia, Bulgaria.