Fixed a friend’s laptop today

Toshiba T130, wireless decided not to play any more. I first thought it was the terrible Toshiba software which for some reason is used to enable and disable the hardware devices themselves. I guess it’s from ~2009 when wireless devices like Bluetooth and 802.11N took a lot of power, but really? Why not just utilise the OS?

I found there was a couple of possible issues with it.

Hardware

The issue we were having with this laptop was that the wireless adaptor was periodically not showing up, then it disappeared entirely (even after reboots, and a variety of things)

I followed this great Toshiba T130 disassembly guide and pulled it apart on the bench.

The wireless card is down to the left of the touch pad, with a lot of space around it. I pulled it out and checked the model number (in case I had to replace it) and it’s a Realtek RTL8191SE which is 802.11b/g/n MIMO controller in a half-size Mini PCI-E connector.

It all looked good, other than some slight tarnishing to the pins so I gave it a good clean and test-reassembled it.

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Registry

It seems the service on the machine has a known issue where if it’s set to Manual, bad things happen.

To summarise:

  1. Open Regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ndisuio
  3. Edit the key called “Start” and set the value to 2
  4. Reboot your computer

The value’s likely to be 4 (disabled) or 3 (manual) which will either stop the automatic wireless association, or severely limit its ability to work right.

So far it’s all working, hopefully it’ll stay that way. 🙂



#HOWTO #laptop #Toshiba