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.