The vacation mode that I slipped into so easily last week has not been found post Christmas. All I wanted to do with my extra time over the past days was edit some photos on my NAS, get cheesed in Age of Empires, and generally be able to connect to the internet without disconnects as frequent as a batsmen getting out in the cricket. Alas, after a week of working fine my Netgear A7000 USB Network Adapter that I had to spend $90 on after I decided not to spend $50 on a wifi-enabled motherboard for my new computer stopped connecting to my WIFI.
I dedicated a few hours to this last night, tweaking the 5Ghz channel and signal strength in my router, downgrading drivers, stopping unrelated services, trying the adapter in different USB ports (2.0 and 3.0) and trying it without the dock. I forced myself to go to bed last night frustrated and disconnected.
Waking this morning I decided that Netgear hardware must be the problem and sank another $44 dollars (and another Office Supply Store Amazon 5% price beat - sorry sales lady). The new hardware did give me a moment of joy as it detected and connected immediately to the 5Ghz network, however it too disconnected and suffered the same symptoms as the Netgear. Some gremlin - it seemed - has infected my home WIFI 5ghz network and it seemed all I would be doing with my free time today was solving that problem. I am, after all, an IT Professional and if it was working before then this should be something I could fix.
After hours of debugging, diagnostics, configuration changes and turning things off and on again I had myself a bricked PC (and still no internet). This was not the "easy" setup I'd expected when buying a pre-built PC. At some point (around 7pm) I had to concede that I had completely wasted one of my twenty-four days of summer holidays and had nothing to show for it. Well, nothing except a better understanding of wireless protocols, channels, channel widths and frequencies.
Oh and how to create a wireless networking status report in Windows 10 using netsh wlan show wlanreport
And the model of my motherboard, which I'm sure will be handy later.
Plus how to identify Unknown PCI devices in Device Manager and find the right drivers for them (the hard way and the Radeon automatic way).
And what disabling legacy USB and Legacy USB3 Support in my BIOS does (don't do it).
Then I learned how to find and check boot error codes during computer start up.
And that I do still have a PS/2 to USB adapter in my box of cables
And how to clear a CMOS to restore motherboard settings to factory defaults
And how to remove my graphics card from my new motherboard
And how to remove the battery from my new motherboard
And finally how to set the time in the BIOS of my new computer, and get it to boot to Windows again.
The networking still doesn't work.
So maybe this proves why I am an IT Professional. I can't solve my problem, but I'm good enough at learning lessons from computer things that I can afford whatever it will cost to pay someone to install a 25 metre ethernet cable down the side of my house and into my router.