Atheros AR5006 EXS Wireless Network Adapter & MS Windows Vista ( trying to AT&T Universe supplied Wireless Access Point to get online) – Error “Unidentified Network”

A good friend texted me last week saying that upon the family upgrading to AT & T \ SBC U-verse one of their laptops is no longer able to connect to the Internet.  That is two of three computers are able to connect, but one last lone laptop is not.

He is a good friend and he is computer savvy.  And, I know he would not contact me unless he is tried and he really needs the help.

And, so he volunteered to bring the computer over, but I know it would not really help; as I needed to observe the interaction between his laptop and and the wireless access point.

But, first I had him connect the laptop to the Wireless Access Point via a Network Cable and that worked.

Drove over and spent the next 3 to 4 hours there tried everything.  But, nothing worked. Here are the things we tried:

  • Via Control Panel, Device Manager, removed the Wireless Adapter and had windows rediscovered it
  • Restarted Wireless Access Point
  • Unchecked IPV-6
  • Spent hours re-installing the TCP/IP Stack; since too many times when viruses take out the TCP/IP stack

The errors we were getting included:

  • Unidentified Network
  • On the “Network and Sharing” center, we were gaining connection to the WAP.  But, post WAP, no connection to the Internet
  • On the Status Window of the Wireless Card, we registered “Sent” traffic, but no “Received” traffic

Had a chance to think it over this last weekend and so was happy when he called that he will come by on Sunday evening.  Outside of watching “60 minutes” on CBS, my Sunday evenings are free.

Once he brought the computer by, I went to Control Panel \ Devices and checked the date-stamp on his Wireless Device Driver.

It was a bit dated:

Date: 11/20/2006

Googled for “Atheros AR5006 EXS Wireless AR 5006 EXS Wireless” Drivers and found a later one:

Date: 4/22/2009

So downloaded the new one:

Toshiba – Wireless Connection Portal

BTW, here is a link to a slightly newer version:

Atheros Wireless LAN Driver for Windows Vista (32bit/64bit)

Date: 6/30/2009

Had problems getting it to work until I extracted it.  Here is the folder hierarchy once extracted:

Atheros - Extracted Folder

There are two folders:

  • VistaDrv  –> Actual Device Driver
  • Vistautl –> Utility

Sojourn to the VistaDrv folder and run the setup.exe.

Once installed, revisit Control Panel\Device Manager and validate that your Atheros Wireless Driver is now or later.

There are so many renditions of this problem on the Net:

The most comprehensive that I found post fixing the problem and doing my write-up is Aseem Kishore’s entry:

One can quickly see that he has seen his share of desktop networking problems – “Little Game Recognizing Big Game”

Fix Unidentified Network and No Network Access in Windows 7

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