Post by bilsch01
If I open up the laptop I'm going to be ready to replace the part. I'm
aka Intel Wireless-AC 9260, 2230, 2x2 AC+BT, Gigabit, No vPro
aka Intel Wireless-AC 8265, 2230, 2x2 AC+BT, No vPro
Question: How do I select a supplier that has good quality parts. I've
bought components online from Mouser before but not like these. Any
Question: How can I get Ubuntu to notice the new part so it provides
the appropriate driver and configuration file? The laptop also boots
Windows 10 so I have the question there too.
Thanks. Bill S.
Buying a Wifi is not like buying tomatoes at the grocery store.
Some laptops, with Intel Centrino branding, there can be BIOS restrictions
on exactly what gets plugged in. Now, your suggestions above, sound
like they might be acceptable, but it would all depend on the
"shenanigans" encoded in the BIOS. Centrino branding is awarded
by Intel, for using lots of Intel parts, so it's a contract pricing
deal between Dell and Intel. And for some reason, putting that BIOS
code there, to check the Wifi card for "foreigners", is part of the
deal. Why you would put a consumer antagonistic feature like that in
the BIOS, the wisdom of that eludes me. ("Detection" may fail for
foreign modules - they may be rendered invisible by the BIOS.)
When fitting Wifi modules, the number of Wifi antenna has to match.
The Wifi antennas can also be single frequency or dual frequency.
The dual frequency ones, the coaxial wire part doesn't care
what goes up the wire (subject to dielectric loss maybe). The
antenna on the end though, has to have elements to make the
antenna work at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
There might be a few different interfaces on them. Maybe an older
laptop would have mini PCI, a newer one mini PCIe. Sometimes,
the connector has two interfaces, both a bus standard like PCIe,
but also the D+ and D- of USB2. And the chipset on the little
card, can be joined to the computer over USB2. In the case of
a higher rate module, it's unlikely they'd put USB3 on said
connector, because it uses a different number of pins, and
then the Wifi uses the bus interface instead (whatever it
happens to be). But using the USB2 contacts would be popular
on maybe 802.11N or less. The details only matter, if say your
USB drivers were busted or something (highly unlikely).
I assume you've checked already, to see if there is any problem
with that model accepting cards unknown when the machine was made.
And, that the antenna count is correct. If the previous device
worked on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, then the antennas are probably
On Windows 10, the OS sees new hardware, and downloads a driver for it.
Check in Device Manager to see if a driver was picked up.
On Linux, the kernel builder decides what devices to support. For
example, some Linux users rebuild the kernel, and tick boxes in
the kernel config, to include or eliminate devices from support.
The generic Linux kernel is likely to include just about everything
to date. Me mentioning that the kernel is configurable, is
necessary as an explanation for why something might not be
working at the moment.
At the OS level, the module is detected and some modules
are dynamically loaded. I don't know the details of
this, except to say it's "mostly automated". Some Wifi
brands, there's blacklisting to do, so that the
correct driver gets selected.
If you needed to fiddle around to get the previous Wifi
working, then you may have changed some things that
will need unfiddling.
But in broad brush strokes, both OSes should be automating
this at the moment. In Windows 7, you'd be downloading
a driver or looking around for a driver. In Windows 10,
when a driver is loaded, some drivers are "too generic"
and they lack the hardware manufacturer control panel.
So if I wanted, say, the RealTek control panel so
I could select a graphic equalizer for sound, I might
download a separate RealTek driver package to get it.
There is sufficient Wifi automation in both OSes,
this isn't usually an issue.
But Wifi on Linux is still a challenge, as the questions
continue to come up. The decision tree for Broadcom,
I leave to others, because the breadcrumb trail is
a mess (lots of advice that might have been valid in
2010, probably isn't right for the year 2020).
No matter what platform you do this on, Wifi is
still a "moderate difficulty" project to complete
on your own without any help from others. And partially
because the industry didn't go out of their way to help.
For example, once it was known there were two Wifi
bands, the cabling in laptops should all have been
dual-frequency from then onwards. Whether the module
used it or not.
Intel-branded modules (the ones you seem to be interested
in above), are all made by Intel in a sense. Intel uses
a contract manufacturer, maybe Foxconn, to do the soldering.
Intel tries not to run its own factories for this. If
someone wanted to buy the Wifi chips Intel makes and make
their own module, they'd lose the Intel branding and
module part numbers. You would not be allowed to make
"counterfeit" Intel Wireless-AC 8265 for example.
While the module has "Intel" stamped on the module,
the actual manufacturer (soldering iron guy), is
someone like Foxconn. And who that is, should not
be visible anywhere in the documentation.
The only reason for the price to vary, would be if
the Wifi modules were "pulls". Maybe someone could
give you a cheaper one, if they did nothing all day
but upgrade Wifi modules. They'd have left-overs
pulled from machines.
But for the most part, the ones you see for sale,
are really all the same.