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

Last Reviewed: 13-Jan-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.

Intel recommends 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 the Intel® Wireless Adapter can be installed in your system.

Contact your laptop manufacturer for more details.

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 Intel® wireless cards, which are 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
Intel does not recommend end users install or upgrade the various Intel® Wireless Adapter.

Replacing an adapter associated with specific wireless software with a different type of adapter 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 will no longer be able to connect to the WiMAX network.

This article applies to: