I upgraded my Dell Venue Pro 11 to Insider Preview 17115 recently. This morning, when I got into my office I tried to remote into that PC. It didn’t come up either in Remote Desktop Connection or when using NirSoft’s FastResolver to scan my LAN. “Oho!” I thought to myself, “I bet the network got reset from Private to Public.” And indeed, that was true. But the Dell 1537 a/g/n adapter was also showing an exclamation point in DevMgr, with status “Device could not be started.” So I knew something was out of whack, and driver repairs were needed. And that’s how I can confirm that the post build 17115 driver fix routine still works.
Digging into the Post Build 17115 Driver Fix Routine
First, I simply tried the right-click “Update driver” menu option for the device. No joy. Next, I visited the Dell Drivers & Downloads page, where the built-in scanner (Dell Detect) used my service tag to look up machine specifics. There I found exactly what I was after:
This Dell installer launches the Qualcomm/Atheros driver update facility. This comes with several options to
- Update the installed driver
- Uninstall the current driver
- Install a new driver
As fate would have it, I ended up exercising all three options before I succeeded in restoring the 1537 to working status. First, I tried update the installed driver (which required a reboot). But even after a reboot, the exclamation point and the same error message persisted in DevMgr. So I opted to uninstall the current driver (which required another reboot). Then, I performed the analog to a “clean install” from the driver download package. And yes, that meant a third reboot.
But when the machine came back up, and I got back onto the Windows 10 desktop, I was prompted to supply wireless login credentials. And indeed, the driver and its associated device were working once again.
Working through the Driver Fix Routine
This multi-step approach to fixing driver issues has worked for me on dozens of Insider Preview builds since I got going with Windows 10 in October, 2014. That’s so long ago, in fact, that they called it the Technical Preview back then. You can memorize the sequence of steps as “Repair-Remove-Reinstall” if you like, to summarize what you must go through to fix most driver difficulties.
Sometimes, Step 1 is the only step that’s needed. Other times, you might even have to find and use a third-party utility to uninstall (like guru3d’s display driver uninstaller for graphics cards) a busted driver in Step 2. And when Step 2 is necessary, that normally makes Step 3 mandatory, too. However, you can try the “Scan for hardware changes” Action menu item in DevMgr after Step 2, if you’re feeling adventurous.
However you slice it, the driver fix routine should see you to a working driver most of the time. When the routine fails, it may just be because the underlying device has hardware issues, so don’t discount that possibility.