Saturday May 18, 2024

Aspire One - Swapped Atheros with Intel 3945 Wireless Card
  Posted by: AceBHound on May 21st, 2009 11:18 PM
This is an update to a previous post on the Acer Aspire One. Like many others, I was having wireless issues and thought I may have found a driver that solved the problem. Even though the Atheros AR5007EG driver I had attempted seemed to work better than other drivers, eventually my connection did drop and the wireless card disappeared.

Some users are reporting getting the 6-cell battery fixes their wireless issues. Some users have reported fixing the issues with various versions of drivers. And some have replaced the wireless card entirely to fix the issue. The theory is either this Atheros card isn't tolerant of the voltage it's getting (or not getting), heating up, or it was a bad batch of wireless cards. Doesn't affect all Aspire Ones but there are enough people that are affected.

I've bought an Intel 3945ABG wireless card off of eBay for $11 shipped -- can't beat that :) Imagine my surprise when it showed up today in a bubble envelope without any anti-static bag. Quality. Well, I followed tutorials to disassemble the Aspire One on forum and and have the Intel 3945 successfully installed. Most of these tutorials are for upgrading RAM so you can basically stop as soon as you have the wireless card exposed.

One thing I will say about disassembling is take your time and try to find several tutorials to get the full picture. Getting the keyboard out was a little tricky, but a couple credit cards came in handy. I used them to push all but one of the tabs at the top of the keyboard in, then finesse the remaining tab by pushing the tab with the corner of one credit card while working the other credit card around the edge of the keyboard.

Also the tutorials will say to remove the keyboard & touchpad cables -- you need to release the black locking mechanism. So.. take any tutorials online with a grain of salt and try to get as much of an idea as possible. Then just use common sense and you should be fine.

If anyone has any questions about replacing the wireless card, I'll be glad to help answer them. Hopefully this solves the issue with losing my wireless connection.

Update 9/8/2009:
I was getting lock-ups with the new Intel card installed. So instead of losing my wireless connection Windows XP would sporadically freeze up entirely causing me to have to power cycle the netbook. I was dreading having to pull the wireless card back out and try another.

I searched for the latest BIOS for the Aspire One and installed via USB memory stick. After that, no more wireless issues at all with the Intel card! I have used the netbook on many occasions since upgrading the BIOS and have not had it freeze up or lose wireless once.

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