[OT] WIN10 upgrade de-internets a zillion older PCs.

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[OT] WIN10 upgrade de-internets a zillion older PCs.

This may be of value to some whose older PCs suddenly lost internet
connectivity in the last few months.

Summary: Older PCs that lose their Internet connectivity after a recent
rolling automatic WIN10 update (from about May on) MAY be able to be
re-interneterised by adding a modern USB-LAN or USB-Wifi adaptor.
It seems likely but not certain that drivers used with some older hardware
has been rendered fatally inoperable by the upgrade.

Others may wish to put this in better technical-speak, but ...


In May a friend's old desktop PC running WIN10 (initially WIN7) lost it's
internet connectivity.
My days of spending countless hours attempting to unravel PC woes are
generally long past. Every now and again I forget the pain and ....
Here is the gist of an email I sent to another friend:



After multiple attempts to persuade Rena's PC to 'see' the internet I
achieved this in a manner which I now know that I could have done near
instantly and for $20 many weeks ago.

While there is much on the internet about the events that de-interneted a
very large number of PCs worldwide I have seen nothing which identifies
what appears to be the cause in many cases.
It appears that a WIN10 update which started to be rolled out in May (maybe
earlier in some locations) removed the ability for drivers for many older
network devices to function.

The devices may be

 - "missing" or
 - visible to the system but declared faulty or inoperational.
 - WiFi adaptors may be visible but report "No  networks available".

On Rena's PC with various devices I managed examples of all of the above :-)

*The solution was to buy current network adaptors *- in this case I tried a
USB to wired LAN and a USB to WiFi adaptor and both worked instantly.
Both cost about $20 at PBTech.
(Guess: I suspect that the old drivers were 16 bit and that the system
stopped recognising these. Old 16 bit WIN apps have long not been

In the interim I had obtained a latest WIN10 image and reinstalled it
twice, with no gain but with the loss of the original installation. (I have
a copy of all files, so nothing actually lost).

The USB to WiFi Dongle that worked prior to the May upgrade will presumably
function on WIN7 or before PCs.

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