View Full Version : Acer Aspire 5600 wi-fi turned off

12-04-2016, 08:44 PM
Ok, went to help an old guy with his laptop, Acer Aspire 5600. Had Windows XP on it until recently when some clown (nephew) loaded Windows 10 on it. It now cannot connect to wi-fi. I can't find any button or any switch on the machine to turn wi-fi on! Network and sharing Center says Wireless is switched off and does not tell you where or how to turn it on. It won't see any wireless connections.

Specs are from what I can gather are: 40 GB hard drive with 2GB RAM. Not great of course.

Is it dead in the water? (which personally I think it is), or can something or someone save it?


12-04-2016, 09:31 PM
It wont be dead, theres several reason why its not working, the fact that its saying its turned off is an indication it is turned off somewhere. If it wasn't there at all it wouldn't even show/detect.

Just had a look at the manual, the switch is on the front, number 9 in the picture.


Enables/disables the wireless function. Indicates the status of wireless LAN communication.

Manual Address for the model mentioned notebook/aspire_5600/manual/AS 5600_3680.pdf ( 5600_3680.pdf)

Also open device manager - expand out the Network Connections - if its there then yes its disable somewhere. Right click it, make sure it shows as Enabled, if it shows disabled then enable it. If its showing as unknown hardware, or a exclamation mark then it needs drivers.

Remember one job I went on, the guys daughter who was a self proclaimed "expert" wouldn't believe that it was disabled -- Wanna bet ;) simply right clicked- enable and what ya know - instant wireless, another good one is some laptops have a key combo, generally FN + another key ( different on different laptops) enables/disables wireless.

12-04-2016, 10:57 PM
Thanks so much for that WT, the switch on the front as you have shown, I tried that but didn't seem to do anything. Also tried FN + other keys as suggested, no luck there either. Tried Enable on the network adapter, it would not Enable, just reverted to Disabled every time. Win 10 just kept telling me that Wi-Fi was turned off and no networks were available. I had turned on Portable hotspot on my smartphone to see if the machine would see it in "wireless networks available", but it saw nothing, like Herr Shultz!

Old guy thinks he'll now just get an iPad or other tablet. Might be a much better option for him anyway. He is in a rest home and has probs with sight, hearing and memory.


12-04-2016, 11:26 PM
If Windows is turning it back off, then it could be a driver problem. What you could try is in device manager, uninstall it, as well as the drivers, connect to the internet Via Ethernet run windows updates manually and it may put the correct drivers in.

Otherwise you may have to get the PCI\VEN numbers and go to either Acers Site or by the looks intel's site and get the drivers.

Some sites say the Acer ( model presented) uses Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_4220 BUT better to get the correct numbers from the actual laptop.

This is where the fun begins, :nerd: for some techs it goes to the "to hard" basket and would rather say it cant be done, where as others "WILL" find a solution one way or the other to get it working.

Know which I'd do :p Lets say - Like a challenge sometimes.

Short story -- Had one laptop that simply couldn't locate the right drivers -- WT sorted it though :D More than one way to fix it.

13-04-2016, 08:54 AM
Ha yes, I like a challenge too. I would have used an Ethernet connection if I had one with me, but here was this old guy, could hardly see, completely computer illiterate, and we were in a passage way in the rest home at a table. There was a connection for Ethernet on the wall, but as I said I had no idea what I was getting into when I went there. I may phone him and see if he'd like me to try to get the laptop going with a cable, then I'll go see him again better prepared.

Many thanks for all your help, LL

13-04-2016, 09:35 AM
Might be better to take it back to your place & work on it there.
If it wont work you could always put it back on xp as a last resort.

13-04-2016, 10:04 AM
There isn't any software installed to manage the wi-fi is there? my work laptop had the same issue for ages and stumped our IT support guys but turned out there was an entry added in control panel to launch a proprietary app to manage the wi-fi and it was overriding the inbuilt windows settings. There were two solutions - either use the app or remove it and use windows controls.

13-04-2016, 10:41 AM
Sometimes the quickest, easiest fix is to buy a USB wifi dongle. Plug it in, problem solved.
Chances are, you wont easily find a newer Win10 driver download for XP era devices

I recently had to completely wipe & reload a win10 upgrade to fix an intermittent wifi issue , wifi & NIC adaptor would only show sometimes .

Looks like its an issue with that models wifi & win10

That model possibly has had more than 1 wifi chip during its production run.
This is one of them, win7 drivers only

Also, if it was upgraded from XP to 10, then any proprietary software would have been wiped as it would be a clean Win install.

13-04-2016, 10:59 AM
I am going to talk to the guy's carer later on today and find out exactly what he'd like to do. Personally I think he should scrap the lappie and get a tablet or iPad as was discussed yesterday. Even if I did get it working, he would struggle to learn anything on it.

He asked me four times what the blue thing was on the side of it. Four times I told him it was where you plug the printer in! He has a real memory problem, and kept complaining that all the printing and pictures (icons) on the screen were too small, even though they were all on the largest setting.

Did my best to be be patient though. :(

13-04-2016, 11:03 AM
Might be better to take it back to your place & work on it there.
If it wont work you could always put it back on xp as a last resort.

Might be even better just to put a bullet in it and bury it! It's already got bullet hole decals all over it, LOL!

13-04-2016, 12:02 PM
Does any other WiFi device work at his place? ,tried a ethernet connection ?

13-04-2016, 12:16 PM
Looks like you are not the only one having problems

https://www.google.com/search?q=Aspire+5600U+and+upgraded+to+Windows+10+n ow+my+Wifi+settings&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8