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.
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
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.
I just got my HP Aero with Windows 11. One of the very first things I did is to get WSL going, that’s how important it is to me. I did not do a simple wsl –install, at least not initially. Maybe it would have worked, maybe not. Instead I launched a PowerShell window as administrator and ran the two dism commands as shown below. Then this command did nothing – it’s not recognized:
wsl --set-default-version 2
Then I just went for it and tried to install Debian:
wsl --install --distribution Debian
It seemed to go through, but I remember that it always does (the fake). But all of a sudden I was being asked to set up an account. A reboot, and then a there was a Debian window. And the wsl command works. So no kernel patching needed any longer (I believe).
The section below is my original post based on my experience installing wsl on Windows 10 home edition.
I installed WSL2 on my work laptop a couple weeks ago. It didn’t go terribly smoothly but now that I have it, I love it. I had been using a Cygwin environment, but I fear that is looking a little long in the tooth. WSL2 is fast to start up. But the main contrast is that while Cygwin is an emulator, WSL2 is a true hypervisor so you get a full-fledged linux VM, right on your PC. Of course this was always possible with products like VirtualBox or whatnot, but Microsoft has sort of built in this capability with newer versions of Windows 10, so there’s no mussing with external software any longer.
But at work I have Windows 10 Professional, of course. What about at home where I have Windows 10 Home Edition like most of us? My understanding is that you could not run a hypervisor with Windows 10 Home Edition. And I was probably right, until recently. But now you can. I know because I just managed it tonight.
None of the tutorials out there were exactly right, but they all contained pieces of the truth. So my contribution is to add weight to the correct steps you’ll need to take. Unfortunately I only get to do it once so my notes aren’t the best. Still, I may be able to spare you some pitfalls.
Why you should want WSL2
If you love linux command-line, then I would say this is a must-have.
What doesn’t work
You’ll see suggestions to fire up powershell and simply run
Chances are about 95% that that won’t work if you are reading this article – would that it would be so simple.
Instead, do this
Open a powershell window as administrator. To do that type powershell in the start menu, and look around at all the options. Pick out the one that mentions Run as administrator.
Now you need to get yourself a linux distro to install.
There are certain wsl commands you can issue which will helpfully give you the URL to the Debian distro: You put the URL into the browser and it redirects you to the MS Store. But I forget what that is. perhaps wsl -d Debian. But I suppose you can simply go to the MS Store directly and search for Debian and install it.
Enhance your experience with Windows Terminal
One good suggestion out of Windows Central is to use Windows Terminal. At least it looks good. I haven’t had time to try it myself. I normally just fire up a CMD window and type wsl. My Debian starts immediately and I have a satisfactory command-line environment. But working with multiple windows will be nice so I have to check it out.
Just look for Windows Terminal in the MS Store.
Windows Central suggestions
A web site called Windows Central has a pretty good stepwise guide. But their advertising is so obnoxious, I’m afraid to accidentally touch any part of the page for fear of getting sent to one of their many advertisers. Even still it probably happened about five times. So I won’t make the link to them too prominent. And, anyway, their guide is a little oversimplified.
I have a four-year old HP Pavilion laptop running Windows 10 2021 H2 if I remember correctly. It has solid state drives so it’s not too slow, and it boots pretty quickly.
BIOS – basically impossible to get into these days
I’m sure people who do this for a living will disagree, but for ordinary people it’s basically impossible to disrupt the boot process to modify the BIOS settings. And you may need to do that. In fact that was the hardest thing of all for me. Pressing F10 or delete or Escape or F2 – and does that mean hold the FN key down first?? No one explains that, and I don’t have patience to watch a YouTube video. But after trying a bunch of combinations and booting a bunch of times, and never getting into the BIOS settings, I was really glad to learn Windows 10 offers an alternate way! And it works…
Well, on my laptop my installation of Debian kept failing with this error. Error: 0x80370102 The virtual machine could not be started because a required feature is not installed. I read on a Microsoft site that could be because the ability to run virtual servers was not enabled in the BIOS. And, yes, that turned out to be absolutely true. It was disabled. So I enabled it and bam, the Debian install started asking me for a username and password, and I was running a Debian VM!
To be fleshed out as my time permits…
But, I love my Debian linux. It’s just like Raspberry Pi OS Lite. I just install packages as I need them: python, pip, curl, bind9-dnsutils, ssh, etc.
Operating inbound TCP services
After the initial thrill wears off, you realize you may need practical things that you have on your Raspberry Pi such as an ssh server or a web server. I believe this will be possible. Still working on it. After installing ssh you can fire it up:
But this does not work in my case. Firewall thing, I’m sure. Yes! for me, where I also run Mcafee, I needed to go to their firewall settings > Ports and system services. Then I had to add a service for TCP port 22 – the ssh default port. Then it began to work and my RPi could ssh and sftp to my Debian VM! sftp kind of hanged a bit. Have to see how bad that is.