Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG WiFi Radio Adapter Shut Off Randomly

ยปยปIntel PRO Wireless 3945ABG WiFi Radio Adapter Shut Off Randomly
On laptop or notebook computers that use Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG built-in Wi-Fi network adapter in Windows Vista, the WiFi radio signal may just suddenly turns off, shuts off or disable randomly, with the Internet or network cuts off. The wireless network connection may still appear as active and connected with Excellent signal strength in Network Center, but the network status will change to Limited Connectivity. If the system has LED indicator for Wi-Fi wireless radio signal status, the LED light also turns off (may also stays on) and Wi-Fi radio power cannot be toggled back on with Function hotkey (such as Dell QuickSet), even though the software detects the toggling or pressing of keys with WiFi and Bluetooth logo pop up. It looks like the wireless adapter card loses its power and are completely shutdown and powered off.

Even when the problem happens, the network device appears working properly and normal in Device Manager. The IP address auto-discovered by DHCP may be lost or gone. And there is no way to recover the wireless radio signal other than restart the system. But the problem will happen again. Even changing configuration settings of roaming aggressiveness, transmit power, wireless mode (between 892.11a/b/g) or power-saving mode does not permanently resolve the wireless network adapter off problem.

The notebook or laptop computers that affected by the suddenly auto shutdown of wireless signal adapter include Dell Inspiron E1505, Dell Inspiron E1705, Dell Inspiron 6400, Dell Inspiron 9400, Dell Latitude D830, Dell Latitude D630, Dell XPS M1210, Dell XPS M1710, Dell Precision M90, Sony VAIO VGN-SZ430NB, Acer, ASUS S6Fm, HP Pavilion dv9000, Alienware Area-51 M5790 and many other Vista system.

The issue with the WiFi adapter is caused by incompatible Windows Vista driver, as the problem does not happen under Windows XP system. Previously, users have used two workarounds as a temporary solution – “XP Fix” which uses Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG driver designed for Windows XP, or rollback and switch back to Microsoft driver comes with Windows Vista for Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG network card. However, these workarounds have an drawback and disadvantage that the Wireless network or LAN is not optimized for fastest possible speed, instead opt for lower reliable speed throughput, and also have poor radio signal level problem.

Luckily, Dell has released a new updated driver supporting Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection and Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN. The driver version dated 08/08/2007 comes from provider Intel, is packaged as R164259 ( – A05 – August 2007 release. It fixes the following bugs (changelog):

  • Addresses 3945ABG radio disable seen with some systems running with Bluetooth modules
  • Addresses 3945ABG radio disable seen in some 802.11a environments after Standby or Hibernate
  • Addresses installer upgrade behavior where Windows Vista Preferred Networks would be lost
  • Addresses installer interaction with InstallShield Update Manager causing an unwanted prompt during installation

The new driver will likely to solve the Wireless cuts off problem in Vista. Download the driver version from It’s a Dell installer package, which should works on other brands too. Otherwise, simply extract the driver by using WinRAR and manually update the driver for the network card from Device Manager.

By | 2016-12-09T08:39:25+00:00 December 9th, 2016|Categories: Networking|Tags: |59 Comments

About the Author:

LK is a technology writer for Tech Journey with background of system and network administrator. He has be documenting his experiences in digital and technology world for over 15 years.Connect with LK through Tech Journey on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
  • Peace

    Wow! Thanks for this. I've been getting sick of my connection dying minutes after i went to sleep while letting my stuffs download. I hope this fix the problem permanently.

  • Hi there.

    Same problem found on a ASUS

  • TL

    The same problem occurs on HP dv9324 with Windows XP! Does the patch work on XP also?

  • admin

    No, this is specific for Vista, and also it's not for 'power saving' where network may shutdown if computer left idle for a long time.

  • Alejandro Cadena

    I had the same problem with an Acer Aspire 5672 on XP but it turned out to be a ventilation problem. Check if all fans are working and if air is actually flowing through the case.

  • Simon Givoni

    I have the exact same problem on a Dell Precision M4300 with Win XP Pro – so it seems not to be limited to the Vista system.

    Usually it takes more than an hour or so before it turns off.

    Any help for us XP guys?

  • Simon Givoni

    Here is a link to dells own support site about the problem and where to download drivers:

    Dell support

    At the moment I'm downloading myself and I will return when I have tested if it helped.

  • Rapster

    Seems It happens on my Toshiba Satellite M200 (Vista Home Premium) too.

  • Simon Givoni

    The update from my link above solves the problem for me.

  • Will

    Great! Just come across this and realize the issue I had (Dell 1405)for a few times was caused by the driver. Trying out the new driver now and see if it works.

  • Argosd

    I have installed on Amilo pi 1536 with Vista. Let's see if it solves the problem…

  • Carlos

    We purchased 24 Dell Latitude D630 with XP and almost all of them are experiencing the problem. I updated to the lastest Dell August driver release and did not solve our problem. We still see computers going off the wireless… Can any of you tried to go to a previous driver version 9 or 10? Thanks.

  • Juan

    You're the man! Cheers, mate!

  • Dennis

    They work perfectly on my Asus F3JR! The setup will fail because it's not an Dell notebook, but you can easily install them manually using the device manager. My wireless connection is finally stable under Vista! Thanks!

  • billybob

    Have Dell D830 w/ Vista and Intel 4965AGN with 8/8/07 drivers (latest) and still have same problem on some 802.11b networks.

  • haabe

    You should try version released 11/8/2007. Works like a charm!

  • Dal
  • Rodmarques

    I have exactly the same problem with my Acer Aspire 1692WLMi, running Win XP Pro. Because of that, I sent it back for repair by the guarantee. Acer returned me the notebook last week. The first day, everything was OK. But on the second day I started to have the same problem again: max signal, no internet pages opening, light turned off randomly… I guess I´ll have to send this link to the qualified personnel of Acer Portugal and see what they can do. I'm sick and tired of this annoying situation.

  • max power

    ive got that probalem on my dell d620 latitude runing vista – turns off (just when u need it the most), tried the drivers menioned above, had the disconnections but the light didnt turn off, untill a few days ago…and now does it a few times a day..Back to square one!

  • danilo

    so i have that version released 11/8/2007 installed on windows xp…and its still doing the same thing.. i have a dell inspirion 6400/ e1505 and suggestions? thanks.

  • DariaSofi

    There is a new update released on 4/11/08 to the Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG. It fixes the issue for XP users. Go to the intel downloader site and get it! If you search for this update through the Device Manager, it will NOT find it, so you have to go grab it yourself and unzip the file.

    Btw, power supply options were NOT the problem for me…

    XPS M1210

    Windows XP Media Center Edition

    Version 2002

    Service Pack 2

  • George

    It may help if you uncheck the box "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" in the Power Management tab of the Properties tab for the Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network adapter in the Device Manager.

  • Now much happier

    Yepp, this solved this problem for my D630. It works! Funny "feature" that this version is not detected by the driver update button.

  • Chuck

    Loaded the driver from intel listed above, and I haven't had the problem since.

    So, the Dell Latitude D620, Win XP SP3, seems to be working now, with the Driver – Date 3/13/2008 – look for the download dated 4/11/2008 on the intel download site.

  • Dominic

    The intel link is, look on the left under Wireless / WiFi Products / Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection. I downloaded 32-bit Vista driver for Acer Aspire 7720 notebook which had this problem. Intel also provide instructions on how to optimise the Vista battery power settings.

  • Patrick

    I tried to download and install the driver version from intel, but the problem still happens. I'm using Dell Inspiron 6400 on XP Home Edition.

    Any other possible solutions?

  • Nate
  • Actually, even latest 12.1 driver won't help if you have hp dv9000 series. I noticed that it happens more often with Linksys APs and Linksys adapters working in ad-hoc mode. Mysterious. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • piethief

    Thanks. After reading this article i downloaded a new WLAN driver from the Dell website and the problem is solved.

  • Kal

    the problem happens to me when i open many windows with online videos. I have all the latest drives, running vista on an inspiron E1705

  • JamminJ

    I have a dv9200t and 3945abg – when streaming Netflix instant play movies my connection shuts off – orange light comes on. Tried the latest driver update – no dice. Strange I can download tons of stuff but only (so far from what I have seen) it is only when streaming silverlight video w/ netflix it shuts off my wireless connection until I reboot. Strange though I can go to and watch anything in their player (flash 10) and even in HD and no problems.

  • JamminJ

    WOW – I just uninstalled silverlight and then reinstalled it and now my connection has been working for over 15 min streamming from Netflix. So I think my problem was Silverlight. I had UAC off in Vista when I installed Silverlight I believe. The 2nd time I had UAC on and it is working so far so good… I'll update if this changes.

  • Pingback: Problemi alla connessione WiFi su portatili Dell at marco.log()

  • Osama Tariq

    I upgraded windows XP to Service Pack 2 and it got resolved.


  • JCB

    PROBLEM SOLVED. The latest Intel drivers have fixed the random shutoffs. The newest version is, and you can download them here:

    Please spread the word before anyone wastes anymore time or money trying to fix this problem!

  • Eddie

    Im using a acer 5920g and non of the suggestions have worked on this website. Even the latest drivers from the intel website dont seem to solve this problem.

    Im considering sending my laptop back, but i have a suspicion that they will return it stil having the problem.

  • Jacky

    Doesn't support windows 7..

    Big problem for me, there aren't any available drivers compatible with windows 7.

    My 3945 also has stopped working. As mentioned before, it shows in Device Manager, it is working fine, but shows limited connectivity or Unidentified network (mine is unidentified..)

    Whoever is running windows 7 (my poor laptop, its already had enough changes with all the os' I've had..)

    Your only chance is to reinstall another os.. good luck to all out there.. (I knew Windows 7 was a bad idea.. imo, no offense to others)

  • Barry

    Note that I have XP with a Latitude D630 and this happens all the time – so it is NOT just a Vista problem.

  • Larry C

    Problem still not solved.

    Latitude D830; built-in Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG

    Still using Dell BIOS rev A14 (Dec 2008).

    Did update to newer Intel PROSet packages (11, 12, 13); never made the problem go away.

    Most recently, I uninstalled Intel's package, and installed Dell's officially supported version which is

    TIC157696, A08-1

    Dell file i.d. 344323

    The Intel application version in there is 12.4.3.

    I wonder if that means that Dell only tested it using BIOS A08. I am not gonna downgrade this PC from A14 to A08.

    I guess the main complaint is that every other day I come into work, and the Wi-Fi light is off (having previously been "on" i.e. lit). Neither the Windows WiFi application, nor PROSet can deal with the controller, after that.

    But I have found one way to bring it back (without rebooting the system … which is difficult for me, I work on a lot of stuff at the same time). Put the PC into Standby i.e. tell it you want to Undock. This for me also isn't so very easy, since I have files and connections open, over the LAN and that's the other thing that's such a pain, I have a hard time putting this computer to sleep. What it means now is that I have to close out a bunch of document windows, remote shells, command lines that have remote mounts, etc.

    Why oh Why does the WiFi light go out …

    I still suspect that this is more of a Dell issue, not an Intel issue. We're still using Windows Xp SP2 … I dunno if that's a factor.


  • Pete

    Same problem on Latitude D830 with Windows 7. When I was running on Windows Vista the 3945 card has problem connecting via wireless. Now with Windows 7 it connects fine but I get dropped randomly. The Microsoft driver drop the connection the least.

  • Alex

    I still get this problem…only when I am on netflix, it works for 2 minutes and then it shuts down my wireless card…

  • Jaco

    Hi All,

    All went fine untill I installed the HTC sync tool (latest version for Android) yesterday: since then simmular problems as discribed occured.

    I've managed to Isolate the problem to the HTC processes needed for the synhronization with process explorer (Thanks Mark ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    Net Driver HPZ12

    Pml Driver HPZ12

    Application Launcher.exe


    Now it's up to HTC and Intel to write the correct drivers ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (Windows 7 64bit Ultimate)

  • Oleg

    I had similar case as Jaco had, but with SonyEricsson PC Suite: there were issues with connecting to wireless router and after connection 50% of packets was droped.

    After I uninstalled the SonyEricsson PC Suite my Wi-Fi came back to life again.

  • Oleg

    …frogot to add – I had the issue with Vista on Dell D630. Just in case I installed latest wifi drivers available on Intel site.

  • Joel

    I had the same problem with the same card (pro wireless 3945abg) on Advent ERT2250 on vita I wasted hours of my life trying to fix this problem. It started with random shut offs then it got to a point where it rarely worked. Windows said the device was working properly and the led light was allways on. In my case it was a hardware problem I bought the same card for £4.20 off ebay replaced it with my old one and it works a treat no problems at all. These cards are cheap to buy 2nd hand so worth a try. Good luck

  • Vinod

    Note that I have XP with a Latitude D630 and this happens all the time – so it is NOT just a Vista problem. I have XP with SP3 and the driver version help will be appreciated.

  • Mark

    I am running Dell D620 with Win XP SP2 & this problem STARTED to occur when I upgraded to the Intel driver & the Intel Wireless Management Software v. from the Intel website. I was running an older version before that didn't support WPA2, but unfortunately don't know the version, but I never had this problem.

    I managed to get the card to stay alive using the windows manager by changing the power management setting in the Intel driver. (Power Management tab of the driver, uncheck "Allow computer to turn off this device to save power".

    All was going fine, until I just tried to setup an Ad-hoc network to my Iphone. After both the Laptop & Iphone are on the network the WIFI light just turns itself off after 30-60 seconds. It occurs with both the Intel Management util & windows.

    Any Suggestions?

  • Russ

    You can turn the WiFi adapter back on by following these steps: Right click on My Computer and then click on Properties. Click on the Hardware tab and then on Device Manger. Scroll to the Network adapters, click the plus and find the 3945ABG Network Connection. Right click on that icon, and click "disable". As soon as that finishes processing, right click again and click "enable". Your WiFi light should turn back on. Problem is that this solves the problem temporarily, and lately mine has been turning of frequently, so it is a real pain. Would be nice to find a permanent solution.

  • CK Hedges

    This is common with laptops when on battery and sometimes when plugged in. Rt click Battery icon-Power Options-Change Plan Settings (on any power option you intend to use)-

    Change Advanced Power Settings-expand Wireless Adapter Settings-expand Power Savings Mode- On Battery drop down menu select Maximum Performance-Apply-OK. Do the same for Plugged In. if the problem occurs when Plugged in. Let us know if this helps.

  • Glen

    Using the 2007 driver in windows xp, solves the randomly shutting off problem for the intel 3495 wifi adapter, had the same problem on the latitude d620 now solved

  • Kate

    I have the exact same problem on a Dell e1505, as aforementioned, excepting the fact that I have always used XP and never vista. I'm hoping that the driver install will take care of this problem

  • Shelby

    Had this same problem on a Dell Latitude D620. After about a month of checking forum after forum for an answer, this is the ONLY process that worked for me, so I hope this helps someone before they pull their hair out!

    1. Download this driver for your Intel PRO Wireless 3945ABG from the dell or intel sites. It is driver version dated 10/26/09. Install this driver.

    2. Go into your system properties within WINDOWS, click HARDWARE, then DEVICE MANAGER. Within the DEVICE MANAGER choose NETWORK ADAPTERS and find INTEL PRO Wireless 3945ABG. Right click and select properties. Under ADVANCED should be a drop down menu on the left, scroll down and look for POWER MANAGEMENT. This controls the PSP (Power Save Polling) which allows your wireless device to shut of devices it's connected to in order to save power….like your ROUTER! Move the slider on your right to the HIGHEST LEVEL for MAX performance.

    3. Still inside the DEVICE MANAGER select the POWER MANAGEMENT tab @ the top and uncheck the box the says "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" Click OK and EXIT.

    This should fix the problem for most, but if it continues then do the following on the router side:


    Change the Beacon interval from 100 to 50

    Change the fragmentation threshold from 2346 to 2306

    Change the RTS threshold from 2347 to 2304


    I am running WINDOWS XP SP3



    • Andrew

      Shelby, spot on. My brother gave me a Dell Latitude D630. The wireless signal dropped often & drove the Mrs crazy, I did find it an inconvenience too! I applied your fix…Eureka! no more problems. The Power Management for the wireless adapter was the cause. Thanks.

  • Carl

    I'm running XP on a Dell Latitude D630, and this problem started happening a few weeks ago. Before that, it had run fine for well over a year.

  • Bert

    Also on my D630 (XP 32-bit) it now and then shuts off using the latest Dell driver (

    I did not try the latest driver from Intel (, but the latest software ( from Intel does not work. My 3945 is not recognised as compatible hardware.

  • abadab

    this is happening to me on a windows xp toshiba latop.

  • wifi radios

    I have the exact same problem on a Dell e1505, as aforementioned, excepting the fact that I have always used XP and never vista. I’m hoping that the driver install will take care of this problem

  • Jim

    Shelby: your advice solved my disconnection probem. XP SP3. Changing the router settings did the trick. Many thanks, this had been annoying me for weeks.