Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just bought an HP Envy m6-1125dx online from Best Buy. When I got it home and started it up, the wireless card did not work well - at all. I could connect, but any real usage would cause the connection to start dropping every 30 seconds or so, and it would be really slow. Taking another look at the reviews on the Best Buy site, it seems only a few others had this problem, so I took it to my local Best Buy and exchanged it for another unit. Got it home again and the card had the same issues. Which leads to my dilemma.

First: does this model have several different cards that it could come with? Mine is a Ralink RT5390R (on both units I received). If it does, then I can keep exchanging until I get a unit with a different card. I wouldn't ask this, except it seems weird that only a few people mentioned this issue, so I thought that might be one possibility.

I looked in to replacing the card with a different one myself, but it seems that HP blocks certain wireless cards. However, some people reported success in replacing the card, and this site said it was only an issue on "older HP computer[s]". Can anyone confirm this?

Finally, if that fails/will not work, does anyone know what I can get through Best Buy? I am concerned that they will not put any different card than the Ralink, and after two of those, I don't want that. Can I ask Best Buy support to use a different card? Can they even get another card from HP?

I guess the base question is: should I attempt to replace the card myself (two days via Amazon to get a new card), should I try to get the laptop repaired through Best Buy (two - four weeks), should I go for a different model laptop from Best Buy, or should I try a different unit of the same model (three's the charm?).

share|improve this question
Have you replicated this problem on more than one wireless network? – David Schwartz Dec 1 '12 at 0:44
Not really... I tried my main home network and it didn't work, as well as a neighbor's that I have access to, and neither worked. However, the neighbor's could just have been a range problem. – D. Strout Dec 1 '12 at 0:46
I honestly doubt the laptop was the issue. When you say the "connection" dropped, do you mean the WiFi connection between the laptop and the router? Did you confirm that was the connection that was dropping? (For example, by making sure the router wasn't responding to pings.) – David Schwartz Dec 1 '12 at 0:47
It's definitely the connection between the router and the laptop. The bars indicating connection strength disappear for a second, replaced with by the empty bars with a plus sign indicating connections available, then the signal strength reappears as the connection picks up again. Oddly, the connection only drops for a second or so before picking back up. – D. Strout Dec 1 '12 at 3:15

Personally, I would get a refund and buy it from another retailer. The fact that two units from the same store exhibit the same issue proves that you have two machines from the same faulty batch.

I would not entertain the idea of replacing the card yourself and invalidating your warranty, and personally, I don't think having Best Buy repair it is a good idea. I believe you can return anything (except wrapped software) to Best Buy at any time. If it's been more than 25 days they charge a restocking fee. Tell them this is the second faulty unit and either buy a different model or go elsewhere.

While HP may switch out specific components from time to time, it's probably not likely to happen any time soon. I have access to several HP laptops and they all happen to use the Ralink RT5390R. These machines are all Pavilion dv6 or dv7.

share|improve this answer
I wouldn't think using the alternate wireless card would void the warranty. It's clearly user-serviceable under the main panel, along with the HDD and RAM. Also, I bought the first unit online, then got the same model through replacement in-store – D. Strout Dec 1 '12 at 0:04
Why shell out more cash when the unit isn't fit for its intended purpose? Make Best Buy do the work if you must. – Ian Atkin Dec 1 '12 at 0:05
But it's a really awesome laptop - I like it a lot. It took me a long time to find, and I don't want to go searching again. I agree with what you're saying, but if there's any other option, I'd like to look in to it first. – D. Strout Dec 1 '12 at 0:06
The machines you mention with the Ralink cards, I take it their wireless works fine? – D. Strout Dec 1 '12 at 0:10
Flawlessly. I've had one of them for nearly a year now. – Ian Atkin Dec 1 '12 at 0:29

You must log in to answer this question.

protected by bwDraco May 2 '15 at 0:04

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .