Friday, February 6, 2015

How To Make WiFi Work With Windows 8.1 On Acer Aspire 5920

Lots of folks like me have these older laptops laying around. I know people who even throw them out, but there's lots of people out there without laptops. When you don't have one, an old one is quite an upgrade. I went to refurbish this old Aspire 5920 that was a very nice machine in its day, about 4 or 5 ish years ago. Just for kicks, I installed Windows 8.1 on it and for the most part everything worked. Even the Ethernet port works out of the box, but the WiFi doesn't. And since this one is going to a 10 year old, it's probably not going to ever be on the wire again.

As my mom would say: "That Aspire is still perfectly good--don't throw it out!"

Problem


WiFi doesn't work after installing Windows 8.1. The symptom is that the system doesn't see the built in Intel WiMAX WiFi card.

Solution


The built in WiFi on this model does not work without Acer's Launcher app, which you have to download from Acer. The issue is that it's the Launcher app that enables and disables the WiFi radio, and without the software, there is no way to turn the radio on and use WiFi.

There was a lot of confusing information out there, so I wanted to make a post with the final solution. People were recommending installing all these drivers, doing all these weird things and even tossing it and getting a new one. All I had to do to get the WiFi to work was install the Launcher app, and then it booted asking me to choose a connection. Now hopefully a little girl can grow up to be an architect now that she has a computer to do her drawings on.