Wireless LAN Radio on/off issue

Posted on 2006-04-14
Last Modified: 2013-12-23
i have an IBM thinkpad R52 with intel pro set 2200 wireless lan card.
other applications installed are IBM Access connection and thinkpad wireless lan drivers.
All drivers are updated and operating system is Windows XP Professional with SP 2.

Issue is i can power on or off the wireless radio only from adapter configuration settings by selecting a option there to turn on/off the wireless.

No software is able to switch its power state or for that matter even find out if its already on.
All software report that wireless radio is off -- do you want to switch it on ? and are not able to do anything if said yes.

Thinkpads have Fn + F5 key combination to control wireless radio - but even there the turning on or off does not effect the status of radio.

As a result both access connections and default windows wireless configuration tool are not able to detect any network.

Any help would be appreciated.

Question by:mohsyn
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    by:Bing CISM / CISSP
    > but even there the turning on or off does not effect the status of radio.

    why say so? when the IBM utility has expliicitly turned off wireless, the wireless radio may be still on and you can still use the wireless network?
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    > but even there the turning on or off does not effect the status of radio.

    >> why say so? when the IBM utility has expliicitly turned off wireless, the wireless radio may
    >> be still on and you can still use the wireless network?

    what i mean to say is, if wireless indicator light on LCD panel is ON, it remains on, even if you click on fn + f5 dialog's "turn of" option and it show as off, even when light is off
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    Is the Intel wireless card purchased directly from IBM or via another vendor? Is it PCMCIA or Mini-PCI (connected to the mainboard next to the memory slots)?

    IBM is VERY restrictive in the wireless network cards it allows in the notebook and there are even cases where WLAN cards are bluntly refused by the Thinkpad system BIOS. All kinds of hacks and workarounds have been devised to make the cards work but with these strange results.

    I've seen this happen once with *ONBOARD* IBM network adapters. Had to open up the memory bays, remove power, and remove and re-seat the MiniPCI card.

    Also check if you have the latest driver and software installed, the most current one is at
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    i've not purchased card separately
    it came preinstalled with machine
    the drivers are updated
    i have the option of carry in warranty by ibm but they might ask me to part with laptop till the prob is resolved and hence i want to solve it alternatively.
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    Searching the Lenovo support site comes up with these:

    Intel wireless 2200bg and 2915abg upgrade and installation problems - ThinkPad General

    Symptoms corrected by the latest Hotkey driver for Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP - ThinkPad General
    Symptoms corrected by Version 1.03.02B1
    (New) Add Fn+F5 hot key function for Wireless Switch.
    Fn+F5 Control the power source of the built-in Bluetooth wireless device. This combination of the keys functions as a toggle switch of the power state.
    Notes: In Windows 2000 or Windows XP, this combination of keys enables or disables the built-in wireless networking features (the IEEE 802.11 standard) and the Bluetooth wireless features. To use this function, the following drivers must be installed:
    ThinkPad Power Management driver
    OnScreen Display utility
    Wireless device drivers

    Hardware removal and installation - ThinkPad R50/e/p, R51/e, R52

    Support phone numbers
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    by:Bing CISM / CISSP
    umm... that sounds like a software defect. you may confirm this by asking other people who are using the same model.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    rant32 has found something which is very relevant to my current issue viz. the symptoms my machine is having
    seems like a bug ibm has not corrected but taken note of - i need to call up customer care and sort it out
    let me try out what rant32 has suggested and get back
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    thanks rant

    got the problem solved by ibm support providing me with a vbs script to remove all the driver files completely before doing a fresh install to rectify the issue

    i've found out that this happens everytime i do hibernate with wireless on.

    next time when i resume the wireless stops responding to software to turn it on or off

    re-install is only option everytime

    if any one has found a better option kindly let me know


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