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gkline
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My 15-ab010nr Pavilion laptop can't see 5GHz WiFi networks, only 2.4GHz. Options?

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Pavilion 15-ab010nr
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I noticed that I am unable to connect to 5GHz WiFi networks with my HP Pavilion (15-ab010nr). I'm assuming this is a limitation of the internal network adapter. According to the product specifications, I have a "Realtek RTL8188EE 802.11b/g/n 1x1 Wi-Fi Adapter," which isn't 5GHz compatible. But alas, I know from earlier experience that HP was very stringent on WiFi / WLAN adapter compatibility, even to the point where there was a built-in "white list" in the firmware, preventing you from upgrading beyond a limited set of acceptable adapters.

 

I'm assuming that there's no way for me to upgrade... 

But then, I'm wondering... would it matter anyway? I mean, if I plugged in via USB a 5GHz WiFi adapter, would my old Pavilion utilize the speed? Or is it inherently limited by motherboard, buses, etc.? Does this mean... time to upgrade?

"If you keep an open mind, life will give you more possibilities."
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Paul_Tikkanen
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Hi:

 

Actually, you should be able to upgrade to this model wifi adapter...

 

Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11 ac 1x1 WiFi + Bluetooth 4.2 Combo Adapter (MU-MIMO supported) HP part # L17365-005.

 

You can find this model on eBay, or Ali Express. 

 

I see Intel 3165 cards listed at the top of the eBay listings, so don't buy those.

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=L17365-005&_sacat=0&_sop=15

 

RTL8821CE - Buy RTL8821CE with free shipping on AliExpress

 

On the Ali Express listings, make sure the card has the HP Part # of 915620-001

 

Below is the link to the service manual where you can find removal and replacement procedures.

 

c04643087.pdf (hp.com)

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Paul_Tikkanen
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Hi:

 

Actually, you should be able to upgrade to this model wifi adapter...

 

Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11 ac 1x1 WiFi + Bluetooth 4.2 Combo Adapter (MU-MIMO supported) HP part # L17365-005.

 

You can find this model on eBay, or Ali Express. 

 

I see Intel 3165 cards listed at the top of the eBay listings, so don't buy those.

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=L17365-005&_sacat=0&_sop=15

 

RTL8821CE - Buy RTL8821CE with free shipping on AliExpress

 

On the Ali Express listings, make sure the card has the HP Part # of 915620-001

 

Below is the link to the service manual where you can find removal and replacement procedures.

 

c04643087.pdf (hp.com)

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gkline
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Thank you, Paul!  Good to see you. I recognize your name--you've helped me out a few times over the years I've been an HP laptop consumer. Terrific helpful info zeroed in to the exact solution. Thanks also for pointing out part 915620-001, as there are Realtek RTL8821CE cards made for Dell & IBM while not compatible with HP.

 

Found an open box example (pull from a unit, perfect cosmetic & functional shape) from a 100% feedback seller with over 93k transactions (915620-001 RTL8821CE GENUINE HP WIRELESS CARD). 

Cheers,

~Gary

"If you keep an open mind, life will give you more possibilities."
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Paul_Tikkanen
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You're very welcome, Gary.

 

Please post back and let us know how your notebook's wifi card upgrade project went.

 

Below are the links to the latest wifi and Bluetooth drivers for the RTL8821CE...

 

Wifi:

 

https://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp121001-121500/sp121426.exe

 

BT:

 

https://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp111501-112000/sp111899.exe

 

Paul

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gkline
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Yes, I've ordered the WiFi card that I noted above and will let you know when I've gotten it installed. Thanks for the links to the drivers, Paul! 👍 😊

"If you keep an open mind, life will give you more possibilities."
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gkline
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Hi Paul,

 

I finally got that WiFi network card, the RTL8821CE. The hardest part of installation was getting that darned antenna coupling back on. 🤔 Anyway, once connected I installed the drivers and made my network connection. To my eyes, web browser interaction responsiveness seems faster. I checked the properties of my connection. Sure enough, it's showing that I have a 5 GHz band connection now. Success!

 

So once more my old HP laptop found a way to stay relevant for a bit longer. Thanks again for all your help!

"If you keep an open mind, life will give you more possibilities."
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Paul_Tikkanen
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Anytime.

 

Glad to have been of assistance.

 

Yes, that thin and delicate antenna wire is very hard to remove and reattach.

 

Enjoy the faster wifi speeds that the RTL8821CE wifi card provides on the 5.0 GHz wifi band.

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