Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Riddle Me This, Batman

For the last couple months, my laptop's built-in WiFi has been getting progressively flakier. I finally got around to calling HP to see about warranty service (3 year warranty on this beast). The helpful CSR asked me for my identifying info to verify my warranty coverage, then asked me to go into device manager to see which WiFi option was installed in my laptop.

I'd always *thought* I'd had the BroadComm 802.11a/b/g/n+BlueTooth in it. However, Device Manager said I had an Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN adapter. This is a user-replaceable component, so, HP sent me out a replacement.

The replacement arrived Tuesday. Since it was mostly working, Tuesday, I put off putting it in till it crapped out completely, this evening. I powered the thing down, unplugged it and popped the battery out. I removed the screw from the panel over where the replacement WiFi card plugs in and opened it up.

Now, here's where it gets really fucking interesting: there was a SLOT for the WiFi adapter, but there was nothing in the goddamned slot. Even more, not only is the slot empty, but there's nothing rattling about inside the case. Obviously, I'm wondering "how the fuck did this thing's wifi connectivity *EVER* work??" But, I pop the new adapter into the empty slot, button her up, restore the battery and power cord and power on. WiFi's working and happy, again.

So, I gotta wonder, "do I now have two WiFi adapters in this beast that have the potential to conflict if the original ever wakes up again? Or, was the original one integrated and the presence of something in the slot deactivates it?" This leads to the final mystery of, "if the latter is the case, why the hell did they send RMA paperwork?"

I fucking hate mysteries when it comes to computers.

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