When my laptop comes out of sleep, I have to typically wait about 90-120 seconds before my network (wireless or NIC card) 'wakes up'.

During that time, I see my wireless connection with 'limited access' which means no access.

Eventually the wireless wakes up and connects, even if I have an ethernet cable plugged in and even when I am running on wall power.

In order to use the NIC, I have to disconnect from all my saved wireless profiles and then it is finally connected as a means of last resort.

I want to be able to wake immediately and connect directly to the NIC connection.

I have:

  • Dell Latitude E5510 w/8GB RAM
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Broadcom NetXTreme Gigabit Ethernet
  • Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN
  • 1
    Why would you disconnect all the profiles? Isn't there just a switch on the front to disable the radio? Jan 26, 2011 at 2:07
  • @Kyle: Actually, why not just go to Network Connections and disable the NIC?
    – Hello71
    Jan 26, 2011 at 2:11
  • @kyle - no, only for bluetooth. @hello71, why would I? Shouldn't the hardwire be the default? Besides, I have the other problem of taking 90-120 seconds before I have ANY connectivity. Thanks for the help.
    – jason
    Jan 26, 2011 at 2:15
  • possible dupe of superuser.com/questions/234258/…
    – tombull89
    Jan 26, 2011 at 16:08

7 Answers 7


Try: Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings > Press and release Alt key to show the menu > Advanced > Advanced Settings

Move the LAN adaptor to the topmost position (This window says "Connections are accessed by network services in the order they are listed")

  • 1
    I don't know if this will help jason but you've definitely helped me find a useful setting that I've overlooked. :) Jan 26, 2011 at 6:29
  • I was very excited to see this answer this morning, but unfortunately when I checked, the LAN is above the Wireless Network Connection already.
    – jason
    Jan 26, 2011 at 13:13
  • Update... just checked this again, and it is not. Go figure, lets see if this works now.
    – jason
    Jan 9, 2012 at 19:37
  • if you have a VPN connection like Cisco make sure that is the upper most above ethernet and all others (except other VPN connection types)
    – abc123
    Jun 26, 2015 at 12:50

See my answer to this question.

You can set your laptop to "prefer" the ethernet conenction over the wireless. Technet has a quick overview:

The short answer is that Windows (Vista, 7, 2008, and I’m pretty sure XP and 2003 does as well) [or should do] this by default. The key here is the network interface metric. When you have more than one default gateway defined [...] then the internet bound packets go out the interface with the lowest metric.

[...] You can, of course, permanently alter your metrics by editing your TCP/IP settings on your network adapter’s advanced settings.

[...] You should know that Vista made a change to how we handle existing sockets – after plugging in, connections will not be switched over, you must re-establish the connection in order to make use of a wired connection. For example, if you’re downloading something from a website and realize that it would go faster by plugging in, you’d have to cancel and start over after plugging in. This is a change from XP and 2003.

For how to change these setting, have a look at this Microsoft KB article.

  • Something changed on my laptop a few months ago (probably an update), at which point my Wireless card started getting priority. I've been trying variations on adjusting route metrics ever since and none of them work. 'route print' shows that the new metric is ignored. And how did the technet guy get two interfaces and two gateways? On my laptop only one interface is enabled, and it's clearly not the interface metric which determines which one.
    – EML
    Sep 19, 2018 at 8:33

Go into your device settings. Look for your wireless card and go into properties, look fro advanced settings for the wireless card. Look for "Disable upon wired connect". Set this to enable. What this does is that if the system sees a wired connection with link, then the wireless card will automatically disable itself.

enter image description here

  • I don't have this option on my wireless card. Can you please provide a screen capture of your computer to demonstrate for us?
    – user3463
    Jan 26, 2011 at 3:34
  • I don't have this option either... but it looked promising. ;)
    – jason
    Jan 26, 2011 at 13:15
  • I would vote it down, since it looks like a guessing/supposing answer. Not have a fact base. Sep 26, 2014 at 18:24
  • I have this option for my Broadcom card, but it doesn't work. Sounds like it should have, though...
    – EML
    Sep 19, 2018 at 7:35

Your wireless "wins" because it starts slower.

As you noticed, the wired network comes up faster. This is because the network stack can see the DHCP server almost immediately. With the wireless, there's the whole AP selection, then authentication process which happens before DHCP can get started.

One of the things that the DHCP process does is apply a "default route". All things being equal, windows prefers the last-applied default route.

Which will end up being the wireless.

You can either manually turn the wireless off in situations when you prefer the wire (usually there is a physical switch or a Fn-key option for turning wireless on or off) or by forcing the wire connection to re-negotiate by pulling the wire out of the laptop for 5 or 10 seconds and then plugging it back in.

  • Wireless or wired, it still takes 90-120 seconds to start. If I open the laptop and immediately disconnect from all the wireless profiles, I still have to wait 90-120 seconds to connect by wire.
    – jason
    Jan 26, 2011 at 17:00

Have you tried Dell's support website to check for the latest wireless card driver? Sometimes updating the BIOS or the wireless driver can fix problems like this.


I have to point out that even though wired mostly has a lower metric, the notification area still shows the wireless network connected symbol! Which is understandable, but might lead to confusion by many (it certainly confused me). Both LAN and Wireless can be available but only one connection is used (the one with the lowest metric)!

To see what is preferred, you need to look at the applied metric in the route table.

In elevated command prompt, run route print.
Look at the IPv4 Route Table section.
The first lines in that section will look something like this:

IPv4 Route Table
Active Routes:
Network Destination        Netmask          Gateway       Interface  Metric
  10019         On-link    306         On-link    306         On-link    306

Run ipconfig to see which of the first two lines is Local Ethernet vs Wireless connection. In my example, the Interface is LAN, and the is wireless. You see that my LAN interface has way lower Metric than the wireless (21 vs 10019). This means that the LAN is preferred since it has the lowest metric value.


weird... it wasn't until I set a manual metric of 1 on LAN and 9999 on wifi that I could have both enabled and see servers on the LAN. Even with adapter order set to LAN then wifi, and with automatic metric showing a higher value for wifi, a tracert still showed it trying to use the wifi gateway. Maybe a bug as you would think this should work without having to set things manually.

  • Did you have to restart computer before it had effect, or did it switch immediately?
    – awe
    Oct 25, 2013 at 12:57

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