Stabilise Your WiFi - Use Only One WiFi Manager

When I got my laptop, I was not at all impressed with the WiFi performance. Two or three times daily, I would have to reboot it, or the WiFi router, to get the laptop online. Compared to Ethernet, and especially compared to the other computers in my LAN, this was unacceptable.

Even after researching all of the known WiFi instability issues, I got nowhere.

A month after first getting the laptop, I reformatted and reloaded the operating system. As a side effect of doing that, I inventoried the WiFi manager programs, and I had 3.

  • HP - The laptop vendor.
  • Intel - The WiFi card vendor.
  • Microsoft - The operating system vendor.

As part of the effort of reloading the operating system, I realised that having three WiFi manager programs loading was not a good thing. So I carefully compared all 3 programs, and in my case, decided that the Intel WiFi manager program was the best for me.

Using Autoruns and Process Explorer, repetitively, I located and removed all startup entries for both the HP and Microsoft WiFi managers.

Since I reloaded the operating system, my laptop has been rock solid reliable. It, as my other computers, generally stays online 24 x 7 x 52.

When you consider doing this, you should plan on both proper preparation, and some detective work.
  • WZC, the Microsoft supplied WiFi manager, is a service, and it starts when the computer is started up. WZC, as a service, runs as a system level process.
  • Most vendor supplied WiFi managers start after the user logs in to the computer, and run as user level processes. User level processes don't have the ability to start, stop, enable, or disable WZC.
  • You should plan on installing the WiFi device(s), and disabling / removing any extraneous processes (whether vendor or WZC), while logged on as an administrator.
  • Many vendor supplied WiFi managers run as multiple processes, and you (as the administrator) may have to work to find all processes (as with Autoruns, as referenced above).