Great HP support…

The wireless card stopped working on my HP DV6040US laptop about a month ago. It happened quite suddenly. Whatever the wireless switch position, the wireless LED would remain red instead of turning blue when wireless was ON. On top of that, the wireless adapter was no longer detected by the operating system (Windows Vista, XP and Linux).

I searched online and saw many reports with similar problems, with no solution other than sending the laptop to HP for repairs. In my case, that wasn’t the best option since I purchased the laptop in the US and I am now back in India. The laptop is still under warranty. So, today, I finally decided to contact HP online chat support.

I got through to a person named ‘Billy’ (Bill Gates? Naa 😉 he doesn’t work for HP!). I described the problem, provided the laptop serial number and model number. He then asked me to try the following.

1) Enter BIOS setup and restore defaults.

2) Do a BIOS reset by opening up the memory cover of the laptop and disconnecting the BIOS/RTC battery for 5 minutes. (The laptop must be disconnected from mains and the laptop battery should be removed before performing this procedure).

(1) didn’t help. But (2) worked!

After I reset the BIOS and put everything back together, I entered BIOS setup, set the correct date & time, re-started the laptop and booted into Windows Vista. This time, when I switched on wireless, the LED turned blue! And it connected to my wireless network perfectly!

Thinking back, it seems to me that this problem started right around the time I upgraded the BIOS to F.28. HP should clearly do a better job of the BIOS upgrade!

Here is a link to the HP support manual for dv6000 series laptop with instructions on how to open any part of the laptop.

Thanks to the HP support rep, I was able to get the wireless working on my laptop again.

Update: Well, the problem recurred after the next reboot. I contacted HP support again and they weren’t of much help this time other than saying that I restore the laptop using the HP restore DVDs. That wasn’t an option in my case (I don’t like their craplets… I always do a clean install). But, I decided to download and install Windows Vista specific chipset and VGA drivers for the notebook from the HP support web site. And, the wireless is working again! I have rebooted a couple of times and the wireless keeps coming back up… so, hopefully this is a permanent fix. I am surprised that this is a chipset/VGA driver issue because the drivers I previously had were from Windows Update and they are the latest WHQL drivers!