So we have purchased Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1 7486. For some reason we are getting told that 2 users are getting a "weak signal" no matter where they go. I unfortunately am away on vacation but would like to help with this issue. Wifi cards are Intel® Dual Band Wireless AC 7265 (802.11ac) 2x2 + Bluetooth 4.2 and I also have some screenshots of what I can see. Any ideas?
Have you done a powerwash? I never trust end users to setup devices correctly. This always rules it out or gives you the cause.
@SoCalRacer we usually do setup the chromebooks to and enroll them so that the user just signs in. I will suggest to them to just do a chromebook recovery and see if the problem persists.
It is worth checking if the drivers are up to date and update them if they are not. Also, are they seeing the issue only in the office or do they see the same issue with other wifi networks too?
The first thing I'm wondering is the user actually having a problem?
WiFi adaptors can reduce their power (usually reducing signal strength) and still maintain a good signal. They do this to save power.
Is this issue perhaps only happening when running on battery? Could be power saving.
Have they always had weak signals, or is this a recent event? If recent - tried rebooting them?
Anything interesting in Wireless Health?
Your WiFi settings might be incompatible with the Chromebook or causing problems.
For your WiFi security make sure that your encryption is set to WPA2-PSK with AES Encryption. Make sure that you Disable TKIP if it is enabled. Disable WPS. Disable WMM/QoS
Weak wifi signal is very likely a hardware issue. Can be caused by improper assembly of the antenna cables or wifi adapter at the factory. I've read customers complaining about deterioration of wifi signal of this chromebook (reddit, amazon) after owning this laptop for a while.
If powerwash does not help, and other laptops have better wifi signal with the same router, you can try the following, if the laptop has past Dell warranty period:
1) check the internal wifi adapter connection to the motherboard. Clean connector to motherboard and antenna cables, if necessary
2) can be that the antenna cable is damaged during assembly, use the aux antenna cable and connect it to the main connection on the wifi card. Check if you get better signal, balancing will not work, but at least you have better signal
3) a third option, but less likely than previous 2 options is to replace the wifi card
Please report here what has helped you to resolve this issue. I'm curious, because I'm planning to buy this chromebook.
this sounds like a faulty wifi adapter to me - option 3 in my previous reply.
If you google thru the reported issues with this Intel 7625 adapter:
- some AP's have issues with power save mode of this wifi adapter, in chromebook you can prevent this issue from happening by Settings - Keep wifi on during sleep. It's default ON.
- if you're in an area with overlapping network reach of AP's using same SSID, this adapter can come into a loop constantly switching between AP's. Only a hardware reboot of the adapter - by removing/inserting the card - will get your card working again. You can check if this is what happening by looking into the network events/errors in the chrome://device-log/ device log or the kernel log. I believe you can prevent this by disabling "Automatically connect to this network".
If above does not work for you, it is very likely that replacing your adapter will do the trick.
@ed4myra Thanks for info. We had Dell here testing this and they keep thinking it's "our network" but luckily there's enough to show it is not the Meraki's. We put older chromebooks 2-3-5 years old and they didn't present any issues. I found another thread here where @PhilipDAth was in https://community.meraki.com/t5/Wireless-LAN/Intel-AC-7265-on-MR42-Nework-issue-primarly-on-Dell-Lat... and am shocked this specific card has issues on a different Dell laptop but hey it's "my network" right.
Not this particular model but we had a whole bunch of a specific model laptop have similar issues (can't remember the model off the top of my head) and a quick Google search found it to be a problem with that particular card. Even if its a one off case and no one else is having issues it sounds like a hardware issue.
Has anyone successfully put in a different wifi card than what comes in it (Intel 7265)?
From what I understand, chromebooks only have drivers for the original hardware. Although, sometimes drivers work for multiple cards from a company so wasn't sure if that meant we were stuck with the 7265 or would be able to put in a better one.