Consumer Interest

Consumer Tech: Warning: Windows 11 wipes out Mediatek Wireless driver


I wrote about my new HP Pavilion Aero laptop previously and how pleased I am with this purchase. And I’m not getting any kickbacks from HP for saying it! Well, this week was a sad story as all of a sudden, the wireless driver could no longer detect the presence of the Mediatek Wireless card. We hadn’t done anything! All the reboots in the world didn’t help. Fortunately it is still under warranty and fortunately HP’s consumer tech support is actually quite good. They helped me fix the problem. I wish to share with the wider community what happened and what fixed it.

The symptoms
  • No amount of rebooting fixes the issue
  • WiFi tile no longer appears (so there is no option to simply turn WiFi back on because you accidentally turned it off)
  • duet.exe file is not found (I don’t think this matters, honestly)

Where you normally see a WiFi icon in the shape of an amphitheater in the system tray, instead you only see:

  • a globe for the WiFi icon

HP PC Hardware Diagnostics Windows utility shows:

  • wireless IRQ test (RZ616) 160 MB FAILED
  • wireless ROM test FAILED

This diagnostics tool can be run in BIOS mode. It restarts the computer and puts you into a special BIOS mode diagnostics. When you run the wireless networking component test:

  • BIOS level component test of wireless networking PASSES

Yes, that’s right. You really didn’t fry the adapter, but Windows 11 totally messed it up.

On my own I tried…

to run HP PC Hardware Diagnostic Windows utility. It suggested I upgrade the BIOS, which I did. I ran some checks. The wireless IRQ test (RZ616) 160 MB failed, as did the wireless ROM test.

I uninstalled the Mediatek driver and reinstalled it.

Nothing doing. I had the insight to make the laptop useful, i.e., connected to Internet, by inserting an old USB wireless adapter that I used to use for my old Raspberry Pi model 2’s! It worked perfectly except only at 2.4 GHz band, ha, ha. But I knew that wasn’t a long-term solution.


The BIOS diag succeeded.

Hold the power button down for a long time to bring up a new menu. The sequence which results from holding power button down a long time seems to be:

  • Initial normal boot
  • Forced shutdown
  • Boot into a special BIOS submenu

Then you enable something. I don’t remember what. But it should be obvious as there were not a lot of choices.

Another reboot, and voila, the WiFi normal icon appears, though it has forgotten the passwords to the networks.

A word about HP support

Maybe I got a tech support person who was exceptionally knowledgeable, but I have to say tech support was exceptional in its own right. And this is coming from someone who is jaded with regards to tech support. My support person was clearly not simply following a script, but actually creatively thinking in real time. So kudos to them.


I lost my Mediatek WiFi adapter on my brand new HP Pavilion Aero notebook which I was so enamored with. HP support said it was due to a deficiency in the way Microsoft does Windows 11 upgrades. But they did not dance around the issue and helped me to resolve it. Although I don’t exactly what we did, I have tried to provide enough clues that someone else could benefit from my misfortune. Or perhaps I will be the beneficiary should this happen again.

Reference and related

My praise for the HP Pavilion Aero notebook.

Consumer Interest

Consumer Tech: HP Pavilion Aero laptop review


I am very pleased with my online purchase of an HP lsptop. So I am sharing my experience here. Believe it or not, I did not, unfortunately, receive anything for this endorsement! I simply am thrilled with the product. I heartily recommend this laptop to others if it is similarly configured.


Requirements are never made in the abstract, but represent a combination of what is possible and what others offer.

  • laptop
  • 13″ diagonal screen
  • lightweight
  • “fast,” whatever that means
  • future-proof, if at all possible
  • distinctive (you’ll see what that means in a second)
  • durable
  • no touch-screen!! (hate them)
  • Windows 11 Home Edition
  • under $1200
  • 1 TB of storage space
  • SSD
  • HP brand
What I got

I used to be a fan of Dell until I got one a few years back in which the left half of the keyboard went dead. It seems that problem was not so uncommon when you would do a search. Also my company seems to much more on the HP bandwagon than the Dell one, and they generally know what they are doing.

I remember buying an HP Pavilion laptop in November 2017. It was an advertised model which had the features I sought at the time, including Windows 7, 512 GB SSD disk. Surely, with the inexorable improvements in everything, wouldn’t you have thought that in the intervening five years, 1 TB would be commonplace, even on relatively low-end laptop models? For whatever reason, that upgrade didn’t happen and even five years later, 1 TB is all but unheard of on sub $1000 laptops. I guess everyone trusts the cloud for their storage. I work with cloud computing every day. But I want the assurance of having my photos on my drive, and not exclusively owned by some corporation. And we have lots of photos. So our Google Drive is about 400 GB. So with regards to storage, future-proof for me means room to grow for years, hence, 1 TB.

My company uses HP Elitebooks. They have touchscreens which I never use and are more geared towards business uses. Not only do I dislike touchscreens (you’re often touching them unintentionally), but they add weight and draw power. So not having one – that’s a win-win.

So since so few cheap laptops offer 1 TB standard, I imagined, correctly, that HP would have a configurator. The model which supports this is the HP Pavilion Aero. I configured a few key upgrades, all of which are worthwhile.

I configued a model which has:

  • 13.3″ screen
  • 1 TB SSD disk
  • OLED WQXGA screen (2600 x 1600 pixels)
  • Windows 11 Home Edition
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5825U (up to 4.5 GHz, 16 MB L3 cache, 8 cores, 16 threads) + AMD Radeon Graphics + 8 GB onboard
  • pale rose gold trim

The screen size and the fact of running Windows 11 are not upgrades, everything else on the above list is. Some, like the cpu, a bit pricey. But my five-year-old laptop, which runs fine, by the way, is EOL because Microsoft refuses to support its cpu for Windows 11 upgrade. I’m hoping when I write my five year lookback in 2028 the same does not happen to this laptop!

I especially like the pale rose gold trim. Why? When you go to a public place such as an airport, your laptop does not look like everyone else’s.

We also want to carry this laptop around. So another benefit is that it’s one of the lightest laptops around, for its size. Again, a touchscreen would have been heavier.

Of course the Aero contains microphone, built-in speakers, but no ethernet port (I’m a little leery about that). Only two USB ports, plus a USB-C port and full-sized hdmi port.

One usage beef I have is that it supposedly has a back-lit keyboard, but I’ve never seen it turn on.

My company has a coupon code for a roughly four percent discount – not huge, but every bit helps. Shipping is free. But to get the discount I had to talk to a human being to place the order, which is a good idea anyway for a purchase of this magnitude. She carefully reviewed the order with me multiple times. She commended me on my choice to upgrade to the OLED display, which gave me a good feeling.

Unexpected features

I wasn’t really looking for it, but there it is, a fingerprint scanner(!) in order to do a Windows Hello verification. I did not set it up. I guess it could also do a facial recognition as well (that’s what I use at work for Windows Hello for Business), but I also didn’t try that.

I think there’s a mini stereo output but maybe no microphone input? Of course get a USB microphone and you’re all good…


Price as configured above and with my company coupon code applied was $1080. I think that’s much better than a similarly equipped Surface tablet though I honestly didn’t do any real comparisons since I wanted to go HP from the get-go.


I bought a new HP Pavilion Aero laptop. It’s only been a month but I am very pleased with it so far. I configured it the with upgrades important to me since no off-the-shelf model has adequate storage capacity at the sub $1000 price point where I am.

I recommend this configuration for others. I think it’s really a winning combo. I have – I know this is hard to believe – not been compensated in any way for this glowing review! See my site – no ads? That shows you this is a different kind of web site, the kind that reflects the ideals of the Internet when it was conceived decades ago as an altruistic exchange of ideas, not an overly commercialized hellscape.

Since I saw this laptop was a winner I decided to give it away to a loved one, and now I’m back on that five-year-old HP Pavilion laptop!

References and related

HP Pavilion Aero Customize and Buy

I resolved a big issue which occurred after a couple months in which the Mediatek WiFi adapter was no longer seen by the OS.