Windows Not Detecting SSID On Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router

During an installation and implementation of a new Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router, a user with a Windows 10 computer was unable to detect the SSID of the AX8 router even though other users were able to detect and connect to the SSID on their desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

After some research and according to a support article on Netgear’s website, the issue can be due to the Windows computer using an older Intel wireless network adapter. Older Intel adapters include: Intel Dual Band Wireless AC-3160, AC-3165, AC-7260, AC-7265 and AC-8260.

To resolve the issue:

First, check to see which wireless network adapter your Windows computer is using.

Note: These directions may vary slightly depending on the version of Windows that you are running.

Go to Control Panel | System and Security | System then select Device Manager from the left pane. In the Device Manager window, expand Network adapters by clicking on the arrow on the left side. You should see a list of all the network adapters available for your computer.

If your wireless network adapter is one of the Intel adapters listed above, you may need to download and install the latest Intel driver for your Intel wireless network adapter available here. Download the proper Intel driver for your Intel wireless network adapter then proceed with the installation. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the driver installation. You may be required to reboot your computer after the installation. After rebooting the computer, check to see if the SSID of your router shows up. If so, try establishing a connection. If it works, you should be good.

If updating your Intel driver does not work or if your device does not use an older Intel wireless network adapter, your wireless adapter may not recognize or support the AX standard. If that’s the case, you can try disabling AX on the Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router.

To do this:

First, login to your Netgear AX router with your router’s admin credentials.

Next, go to either the BASIC or ADVANCED tabs.

If using the BASIC tab, go to Wireless. On the Wireless Setup page, uncheck the box for “Enable AX – This WiFi mode will enable AX features such as OFDMA” then apply the changes. AX should now be disabled. Check to see if the SSID of your router shows up. If so, try establishing a connection. If it works, you should be good.

If using the ADVANCED tab, go to Setup then Wireless Setup. On the Wireless Setup page, uncheck the box for “Enable AX – This WiFi mode will enable AX features such as OFDMA” then apply the changes. AX should now be disabled. Check to see if the SSID of your router shows up. If so, try establishing a connection. If it works, you should be good.

This issue is not limited to the Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router and can affect any of Netgear’s current AX routers product line. You should be able to adapt these steps for the specific Netgear AX router that you are using.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Netgear AX6000-Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router - https://amzn.to/2MMIjpg

Can’t Change The iTunes Media Folder Location? Try Creating A New iTunes Library!

Apple iTunes defaultly stores iTunes media on your Mac or Windows PC in the following storage locations:

Mac:

Macintosh HD | Users | <User Account> | Music | iTunes | iTunes Media

Windows:

C:\Users\<User Account>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media

Normally, you should be able to change the default location of the iTunes Media folder by launching iTunes and then going to:

Mac:

iTunes | Preferences | Advanced

Windows:

Edit | Preferences | Advanced

Once you are in the Advanced Preferences window, you should see the current iTunes Media folder location and be able to change the location by clicking on “Change” and selecting the new location.

Recently, on a Windows 10 (version 1809) laptop running the latest version of iTunes (version 12.9.4.102), I experienced an issue where each time I tried to change the default iTunes Media folder location, iTunes would revert to the default location after quitting out of iTunes. The laptop recently underwent a reformat, clean installation of Windows 10 and was up-to-date on all current software updates and patches. In addition, iTunes was uninstalled, the laptop was rebooted, and iTunes was subsequently reinstalled as a precaution; however, the issue remained. I did research the issue but couldn’t find any current reports of known bugs/issues between Windows 10 (version 1809) and iTunes (version 12.9.4.102) like the issue at hand.

As a workaround, I decided to try creating a new iTunes library in the location where I wanted the iTunes Media folder to be located.

To do this, first close out of iTunes then do the following:

Mac

Hold down the Option key while launching iTunes

Windows

Hold down the Shift key while launching iTunes

An iTunes window should come up which says, “Choose iTunes Library.” You will need to create a new library in the location where you want the new iTunes Media folder to be located. Click “Create Library …” then follow the on-screen prompts to select or create a folder location where you want the new library to be located then click “Save.”

Choose or Create iTunes Library in Windows

Choose or Create iTunes Library in Windows

Choose or Create iTunes Library in macOS

Choose or Create iTunes Library in macOS

Once that’s done, iTunes should generate an “iTunes Library” database file in the new iTunes Media folder location that you selected along with sub-folders for “Album Artwork” and “iTunes Media.” If you go to either: iTunes | Preferences | Advanced on a Mac or Edit | Preferences | Advanced in Windows, you should be able to verify that the iTunes Media folder location is set to the new location which you previously selected. To be certain the change will not revert, close and re-open iTunes and verify the change again. Also, take a moment to check that your other iTunes settings are correct (ex: “Keep iTunes Media folder organized” and “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library” are selected, if so desired).

While there’s nothing wrong with using the default iTunes Media folder location, if you prefer to use a different location and run into similar issues changing the default folder location and/or iTunes retaining the change, creating a new iTunes Library is a potential workaround.

Using an Apple USB to Ethernet Adapter on a Windows Laptop

Apple_USB_to_Ethernet_Adapter.jpg

Ever wondered if an Apple USB to Ethernet adapter will work on a Windows laptop?

Well, the short answer is YES, but it does require a little work to get it setup.

Before going any further, let’s just clarify why we would even consider this. The general reason would be that the Wi-Fi connection you’re on isn’t working, isn’t reliable and/or is too slow to perform whatever task(s) you need to get done. You need a stable, reliable fast network connection so a wired connection is the way to go. Unfortunately, you don’t have a built-in Ethernet port on your laptop. Computer manufacturers, especially when it comes to slimmer and sleeker laptop models, will do away with a built-in Ethernet port in favor of wireless only or wireless with the option to use a USB to Ethernet dongle to establish a wired connection.

If you have a compatible USB to Ethernet dongle for your Windows laptop, you should use it. However, if you happen to be in a situation where you don’t have a compatible dongle but have access to an Apple USB to Ethernet adapter, you can potentially get it to work. That said, there are some prerequisites. First, you need to be running a 64-bit version of Windows 7, 8, or 10. Secondly, you need to have Internet access on a computer where you can download drivers and have a way to transfer those drivers onto the Windows laptop for which you will be connecting the Apple USB to Ethernet adapter. And lastly, you’ll need an Apple USB to Ethernet adapter.

If you meet all the prerequisites, you’ll need to download a version of Apple’s Boot Camp Support Software from the Apple website onto your Windows laptop. Once the .zip package is downloaded, extract the files to a location on your computer (ex: desktop). Go into the extracted folder and locate the “BootCamp” folder. Go into the “BootCamp” folder and locate the “Drivers” folder. Go into the “Drivers” folder and locate the “Asix” folder. Asix is the manufacturer of the driver software for the Apple USB to Ethernet adapter. Go into the “Asix” folder and run the “AsixSetup64” installer application/executable. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation. You may be required to reboot your computer.

Once the installation is complete, you should be able to connect the Apple USB to Ethernet adapter to an available USB 2.0 or higher port on your Windows laptop. The Windows 64-bit operating system should be able to detect the hardware and install the appropriate driver for the adapter. Alternatively, if you are having problems getting the Apple USB to Ethernet adapter working using the “AsixSetup64” installer from the Boot Camp Support package, you can try downloading a driver directly from the manufacturer’s (Asix) website. Asix does have various drivers for various versions of the USB to Ethernet adapter so you may need to do a little trial and error.

 

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Apple USB to Ethernet Adapter - https://amzn.to/2N3esFO

The Windows Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) – Part II: A Real World Situation

I recently ran into a Blue Screen situation on a Dell Vostro 430 mini-tower computer running Windows 7 Professional. First, a bit of backstory . . . this is a computer that’s about seven or eight years old. While it’s clearly not current, it does the job it’s intended for. The computer originally came with a 250GB SATA HD. The SATA HD was experiencing performance issues and after running a series of diagnostics, it appeared that the SATA HD was at risk of potentially failing. Not surprising given the age of the computer. After reviewing several options, the first plan was to try and clone the SATA HD onto a solid state drive (SSD) and then replace the SATA HD with the cloned SSD. If the plan worked, the computer would be up and running with minimal downtime.

I won’t get into the details about the hard drive cloning process in this post, but if you’re interested in what I used to clone the SATA HD to a SSD, I’ll provide links at the end of this post.

After cloning the SATA hard drive to a solid state drive (took a couple hours), I replaced the SATA HD with the newly cloned SSD. The SSD booted into Windows without any issues and the cloned SSD worked perfectly like the original SATA hard drive, but with a significant performance boost. I ran a series of diagnostics on the cloned SSD and all diagnostics passed without any errors. I left the computer on overnight and would check on it in the morning.

The next morning, I noticed the computer had frozen. After restarting the computer, the computer appeared fine. The system logs did not show anything unusual that would have shed light on why the computer froze. After running a series of additional diagnostics, all of which passed, I began looking at the BIOS. The BIOS was out-of-date and I recall replacing a SATA HD with a new SSD in another Dell Vostro 430 mini-tower computer some years ago, but I recalled I had upgraded the BIOS when I replaced the SATA HD with a SSD.

In that scenario though, I did a clean installation of Windows rather than a clone of the hard drive. I’m generally not a fan of cloning hard drives and prefer to perform clean installations, whenever possible. To put it into perspective, I haven’t cloned a hard drive since the days of Norton Ghost. However, for the current scenario, cloning the existing SATA HD was preferable.

I went ahead and upgraded the BIOS to the latest version and for a few days the computer appeared to be stable. I continued to perform diagnostics and monitored the computer to make sure everything was running properly.

After a week or so, the computer began experiencing random crashing and Blue Screens. The Blue Screens indicated an issue with iastor.sys. With this information, I was able to isolate the issue to the Intel Storage Controller. Unfortunately, before I could take any actionable steps, the computer began to experience continuous Blue Screens. I was unable to sign-in via the Windows login screen without hitting a BSOD. Shutting down and booting up the computer didn’t help either. I checked the BIOS configuration to make sure the settings were correct, and I tried to run the Windows Repair Utility but still could not get into Windows without running into a Blue Screen. Fortunately, I was able to Safe Boot into Windows to uninstall the existing Intel Storage Controller located within Device Manager | IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers.

After uninstalling the device driver, I restarted the computer. The computer booted into Windows and upon login, Windows detected the “new device” and began the process of locating, downloading and re-installing an appropriate Intel Storage Controller for the computer. After a couple of additional restarts, the computer was once again stable and running properly. I ran some additional diagnostics to make sure there were no other detectable issues and continued to monitor performance and stability in the following weeks.

While this Blue Screen situation ended on a positive note, not all BSOD situations will be the same, so remember to take steps to backup your computer to external storage frequently and when you do experience issues, don’t turn a blind eye. Look into the problem or contact an IT professional as soon as possible. Make note of any vital information displayed on the Blue Screen (ex: what file or files may have caused the Blue Screen) and any error codes which might be displayed. This information can be extremely helpful when troubleshooting the issue. Be proactive and not reactive!

If you’re interested in what I used to clone the SATA HD to SSD, check out the links below. For the SSD, I had an older model Samsung solid state drive lying around, which I used as the target drive, but I’m providing links to some of the current SSDs on the market from Crucial, a brand that I use frequently for drive replacements and in external hard drive enclosures. I've also used SSDs from Intel, Sandisk and Samsung. Please check for compatibility with your specific hardware.

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Cloning Software

Macrium Reflect 7 (Free Version) - https://bit.ly/2piJVWU

Instructions for cloning a disk with Macrium Reflect - https://bit.ly/2Q1RaRp

External Adapter for connecting SSD to computer via USB 3.0 for hard drive cloning

Anker USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter - https://amzn.to/2NiUx8i

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Crucial MX500 250GB 2.5-inch SATA Internal SSD – https://amzn.to/2wGeefP

Crucial MX500 500GB 2.5-inch SATA Internal SSD – https://amzn.to/2MKd7qe

Crucial MX500 1TB 2.5-inch SATA Internal SSD – https://amzn.to/2M0jTmC

Crucial MX500 2TB 2.5-inch SATA Internal SSD – https://amzn.to/2NJm5Ay

The Windows Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) – Part I

If you’ve worked on a Windows PC, you’ve probably run into the aptly named “Blue Screen of Death,” “BSOD” or “Blue Screen” at one time or another. A Windows BSOD typically occurs after a fatal or critical system error/crash and will display as a blue screen with an error message. The error message may include the file or file(s) that caused the error, technical information about the error and some basic troubleshooting steps.

A BSOD may be triggered by a variety of factors including recent changes to hardware, issues with device drivers (ex: recently installed drivers, incompatible drivers, conflicting drivers), software conflicts, misconfigured BIOS settings and more. While not all Blue Screens will render your PC inoperable, potentially requiring a re-installation of Windows, some seriously fatal Blue Screens may, so be sure to backup your computer and files frequently to external storage (ex: external hard drive, network drive, cloud storage). I’ll include some suggestions for external hard drive and SSD storage at the end of this post.

When you first experience a BSOD, be sure to read the error message and make note of what the error message says, what file or file(s) may have caused the BSOD and any error codes that are displayed. Also make note of what you were doing prior to the BSOD as well as any changes you made to the computer prior to the Blue Screen (ex: installing new software or device drivers, running Windows Update, adding or modifying hardware to the computer). Having this information handy will be helpful if you need to research the cause of the BSOD to find a solution or if you're working with an IT professional, to provide your IT professional with as much detail about the Blue Screen so that your IT professional can troubleshoot further.

Once you have all this information, restart the computer to see if you can boot into Windows properly. Some Blue Screens may be one-offs and can be resolved with a restart. Others will require more comprehensive troubleshooting. If the BSOD is the result of a recent software or driver installation or update and/or the addition or modification of hardware, you may want to rollback the changes and/or uninstall the new software, drivers or hardware to see if the issue is resolved.

If you have not made any recent changes to the computer and you are able to boot back into Windows, be sure to take a moment to perform a full backup of your computer before performing any additional troubleshooting steps and before another BSOD occurs. If your computer gets stuck in a Blue Screen loop and you cannot get back into Windows by using the Windows Repair Utility or entering Safe Mode, you may need to re-format and re-install Windows. If you don’t have a recent backup of all your files, you could lose everything.

If you work with an IT professional, you should contact your IT professional and follow their specific recommendations. Your IT professional will have a better understanding of your specific computer setup and configuration and may be able to diagnose and resolve the issue faster than if you attempt to self-diagnose and troubleshoot the Blue Screen.

Below are some suggestions for external hard drives and external SSD storage which you can use to backup your computer. Please review carefully the system requirements for each product to determine if the product is compatible with your computer and where applicable, if the product is compatible with any backup software you are using.

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Samsung T5 Portable SSD (250GB) - https://amzn.to/2oca8Za

Samsung T5 Portable SSD (500GB) - https://amzn.to/2NkTvFE

Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1TB) - https://amzn.to/2NfHdhr

Samsung T5 Portable SSD (2TB) - https://amzn.to/2LtmxRz

Western Digital My Book Desktop (2TB) - https://amzn.to/2obzFlg

Western Digital My Book Desktop (4TB) - https://amzn.to/2P6sMwV