New wi-fi card not working, Gigabyte nor Intel of any help

NecroJoe

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I purchased the Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 wi-fi pci-e card (based on Intel's AX200) for my existing PC (Intel 6600K, GTX 1070), and it's not working.

I can see it in the device manager, but it says:
1611279690449.png


I'll note that I've also seen "code 43"

I've tried un-installing and re-installing both Gigabyte's and Intel's drivers, i've tried restoring bios defaults (a suggestion I saw somewhere), many re-boots, to no avail.

I wonder...if maybe I have too many things plugged in to my motherboard's PCI-e slots? (video card, gigabit network card, and this wi-fi card (my motherboard doesn't support gigabit, nor did it have built in wi-fi) along with an M.2 drive) Is that a thing?

Or...maybe the cord isn't plugged in to the right spot on the motherboard? It says to connect the "USB" cable to the "F-USB" connector on the motherboard, but I didn't have one, so I plugged it into the JUSB1 connector. Although...I have to assume this is just a cord for USB pass-through for the seemingly un-used USB port on the card itself?

Ugh...why do networking components always seem to have such GARBAGE documentation?

Anyway, I've submitted tech support requests from Gigabyte and Intel, and haven't gotten a reply after 4 days, and pulling my hair out. I've been having to use a USB wi-fi dongle that constantly just drops out on me so that I have to turn off wi-fi and turn it on again, and then every 5-6 times, that stops working and I have to unplug it, and plug it back in again.
 

jack_christie

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Latest drivers?

Use Windows or manufacturer driver, if both enabled might set up conflict.

Check the motherboard manual as to the PCI configuration and what limits apply.

Limit on number of PCI config?

Is there a limit on SATA v PCI slots?

For example, my motherboard blocks two SATA slot if I use third NVMe M2 slot.
 
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Eye-Q

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I wonder...if maybe I have too many things plugged in to my motherboard's PCI-e slots? (video card, gigabit network card, and this wi-fi card (my motherboard doesn't support gigabit, nor did it have built in wi-fi) along with an M.2 drive) Is that a thing?
In principle that is a thing, yes, it might be because of IRQ conflicts, but these days it's highly unlikely.

I would disable all unused devices (COM ports, LPT/parallel ports, even though they might be physically absent the BIOS might have an emulation for it) in BIOS and unplug the gigabit network card just for testing purposes.

That said, a motherboard with M.2 slot, but no gigabit? To be honest, I've never heard of that since gigabit networking has been included in motherboards for ages, but M.2 is a relatively new addition. Which motherboard do you have? Have you updated the chipset drivers and BIOS/UEFI?

Or...maybe the cord isn't plugged in to the right spot on the motherboard? It says to connect the "USB" cable to the "F-USB" connector on the motherboard, but I didn't have one, so I plugged it into the JUSB1 connector. Although...I have to assume this is just a cord for USB pass-through for the seemingly un-used USB port on the card itself?
"F_USB" is just the abbreviation of "Front USB" which is the port to connect the front USB ports of the PC case. That isn't a standing abbreviation though and other motherboard manufacturers marking those ports differently, for example my ASRock B450 Pro4 has them marked "USB_1_2" and "USB_3_4", but they are the same thing. Your JUSB1 is the proper connector to connect to.

I haven't found a proper documentation as well, the USB port might be necessary to power the device properly, but if it isn't there's no harm in connecting it.
 

NecroJoe

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Thanks for the tips. It was possibly a combination of things.

Unfortunately I tried a few different things, so i don't know what the silver bullet was.

In all, I:
  1. removed the LAN expansion card
  2. Moved this wi-fi card down to the slot the LAN card was in.
    • I'll note that I have no idea if that card even worked in that slot, because the day after I installed it, I had to move my computer out of the room with the hard-wired connection, into the kitchen where I've had to work since, on wi-fi
  3. re-deleted and re-installed the wi-fi drivers, but not the bluetooth driver (this wi-fi card also has bluetooth)
  4. Updated my motherboard's BIOS

I went into the motherboard's manual, but honestly couldn't figure out of I was "overloading" the PCI lanes. Somehow it made more sense to me when I built the computer, and couldn't wrap my brain around it this time.

I kept the USB 9-pin cable connected to the same motherboard connector, and left the card's USB-A port empty

Thankfully I didn't have to go through disabling COM ports, etc, having never done that before.

@Eye-Q you were right about the gigabit on the motherboard. I realized I got my wires crossed when we first upgraded to gigabit fiber. When we upgraded, I make sure our computers could take advantage of it. My girlfriend's iMac for sure did support it, but my WORK laptop didn't. In the midst of this upgrade, I got laid off so my work laptop didn't matter much and for some reason the thought of "my computer doesn't have gigabit" stuck with me and I bought an unnecessary PCI-e expansion card. It for sure doesn't have built-in wi-fi, though. It's the MSI Z170A M5 for anyone keeping score.

I'm getting 188/144 Mbps up/down now, compared to the 14/16 I was getting with the USB wi-fi, so that's cool.

A follow-up for anyone who might still be reading...

Is that speed about what I should be getting?

Wi-fi system: TP Link Deco M5 mesh network
Intel AX200 wi-fi chip (card/antenna made by Gigabyte, GC-WBAX200
 

73GMCSprint

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Are you seeing 188 Megabytes per second (MB/s) or 188 megabits per second (Mbps)?
The 2400 Mbps rating on the card is the sum of all its bands, so if you're getting 188 MB/s (about 1500 Mbps) then that's probably about right, and not too shabby.
 

NecroJoe

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Are you seeing 188 Megabytes per second (MB/s) or 188 megabits per second (Mbps)?
The 2400 Mbps rating on the card is the sum of all its bands, so if you're getting 188 MB/s (about 1500 Mbps) then that's probably about right, and not too shabby.
Little b. In the same speed neighborhood I get with my phone:
Screenshot_20210123-001409_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

73GMCSprint

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I see. You're talking about what you see from your internet connection. Definitely a big improvement.
It would be even faster within your network.
 

NecroJoe

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I see. You're talking about what you see from your internet connection. Definitely a big improvement.
It would be even faster within your network.

To be clear, my phone screenshot was on my wi-fi, not the mobile network.

PC with USB wi-fi: 14/16
PC with PCI-e wi-fi: 188/144
Mobile phone on wi-fi: 208.43 (didn't test "up")
 

Eye-Q

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Well, WiFi is a "shared medium" which means whatever WiFi is in the vicinity and uses the same band (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) as well as channel (1 through 13 for 2.4 GHz, 36 through 128 for 5 GHz, some of the channels are overlapping as well) will at least slightly lower the available bandwidth, depending on how heavily all of the WiFis are used. "Shared medium" means that at any given time only one transmitter can transmit so all other transmitters have to wait for an available slot to transmit.

Additionally, the advertised data rate of WiFi is always raw data rate where some of it is used for error correction plus those data rates are only achievable under ideal condition. This means no other WiFis on the same band using the same channel(s) in range, no walls or other objects between access point and client, no signal echoes and so on.

5 GHz WiFi has a shorter range and worse penetration through objects than 2.4 GHz so even though both devices are able to use the 5 GHz band they might use the 2.4 GHz band.

As far as I found the TP-Link Deco M5 system has a raw data rate of 400 Mbit/s on 2.4 GHz and 867 Mbit/s on 5 GHz (it is advertised as "1300 Mbit/s" since those two data rates can be used simultaneously, but not by one client, instead there has to be one client on 2.4 GHz band and one client on 5 GHz band, both with ideal conditions). Depending on which band you (have to) use the 200 Mbit/s you are seeing are in the ballpark for 2.4 GHz with some distance and wall(s) between access point and client.
I don't know if Windows shows which band is used, but the access points should show which band and channel is used by the client(s).
 

NecroJoe

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I haven't tried to increase the speed at all, but man-oh-man...is it nice not having the connection drop out sometimes multiple times in an hour, having to disconnect and re-connect the wi-fi connection in Windows, and sometimes even unplugging the USB wi-fi adaptor sometimes several times a day...this thing has been rock-solid. I've not had even a single hiccup with the wi-fi since I got it working.

So far, I'm so glad I finally sucked it up and replaced the USB unit.
 
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