Why Doesn't My Laptop Recognize My New Intel® Wireless Adapter?

Last Reviewed: 29-Sep-2017
Article ID: 000005846

Your laptop may not recognize new hardware when you install an Intel® Wireless Adapter for several reasons.

  • Manufacturer limitations

    Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) may limit the computer to only specific wireless adapters, causing an installation error when booting with a different, previously installed wireless adapter.

    We recommend contacting the manufacturer, vendor, or place of purchase about availability and support for Intel Wireless Adapter upgrades. Laptop manufacturers must meet regulatory requirements to determine if you can install the Intel Wireless Adapter in your system.

  • PCIe* version compatibility

    The peripheral component interconnect - special interest group (PCI-SIG) updated their standard and changed the voltage on some connectors. The changes affect wireless cards based on the PCI Express* (PCIe*) standard. Installing an adapter with the updated PCIe standard version in a system with different voltage standards can damage your Intel Wireless Adapter, laptop, or both.

  • Regulatory issues

    We do not recommend installing or upgrading the various Intel Wireless Adapters.

    Replacing an adapter associated with specific wireless software and a different adapter type may cause connection issues or software error messages. For example, if you replace a Wi-Fi/WiMAX adapter with a Wi-Fi adapter, you may receive WiMAX error messages and lose connectivity to the WiMAX network.

  • Driver limitations

    Your computer manufacturer can customize drivers and software to enable or alter features, or provide improved operation on your computer. Contact the manufacturer for the latest updates and technical support information.

    If you can no longer get driver support from your computer manufacturer, you can download generic Intel drivers.


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