This article was originally written in 2011 and at the time, most systems were running Windows XP / Vista / Win 7. If you have an older ThinkPad running one of these OS versions and are using access connections, then this article may still help. If you are running Windows 8 or newer, Scenario 2 may help in some cases.
Upgrading to the newest Wifi driver and power managment driver for your system will likely have the most positive results. Over the last 18-24 months there have been multiple Wifi driver updates on many model systems, especially those with Intel wireless cards.
These symptoms may originally and otherwise be caused by a combination of not finding a wifi network to auto connect to, and / or your power management settings.
Resolving Power Management Scenario 1
If you are in in ‘Energy Star’ mode for instance, if it can’t find a wireless network in X amount of time it just turns it off. Setting to “Max performance” or disabling the setting to allow the wireless card to save power.
– Press the blue ThinkVantage key
– From “Resource Center” menu, click “Wireless” and then “Find Wireless Networks”.
The Access Connections window will pop up
– Go to “Options” tab and uncheck the “Allow the wireless LAN radio to be turned off when inactive.” box
Resolving Power Management Scenario 2
If the steps in scenario 1 above did not resolve the adapter from being powered down during inactive periods and dropping connection, try the following:
Control Panel -> Power Options -> Power Manager (on the left side in red) -> Advanced Settings -> PCI Express -> Link State Power Management. Change both Battery Settings and AC Settings to OFF.
Or more typically…
Control Panel – > Device Manager -> Wifi card -> right click properties -> power tab -> uncheck the box that says “allow windows to manage power to this device”
Resolving Windows / Access Connections Conflicts
You can only have one wireless client software active.
- If you want to use Windows to manage wireless, then uninstall Access Connections.
- If you want to use Access Connections, don’t create wireless connections through Windows, use Access Connections.