Wireless dropping and crashing problems

  happierthan you 14:31 02 Apr 2015

I have a samsung laptop, about 6 years old but a lot of the components are much newer. The wifi adapter is the old original though.

It's started randomly completely losing wireless, it's not a problem with the router because it finds no networks at all, plus wireless still works for everything else on the network. It sometimes even thinks there is no wireless adaptor installed and says i have a cable unplugged. When Windows tries to fix it, sometimes it resets the adapter then it works but usually only briefly. When i restart it doesn't help much, but for some reason when i first shutdown and then boot up it works ok. Sometimes it can work for hours without a problem but it always takes a fresh boot to get it working again.

Also i keep getting programs crash, Firefox mostly but also a chess game (Fritz) and Open Office. I'm having regular blue screens too. Plus now i'm getting a strange crackling noise that sounds like it's from the speaker. Only very rare and for a few seconds but it's odd because the volume is muted. It sounds nothing like a normal hard drive noise, plus the hard drive is an SSD anyway so no moving parts.

The series of problems started at the exact same time my laptop seemed to install a Samsung update on it's own without asking me. On booting it asked me what settings i want for something like Samsung Battery Extender, can't remember the exact name. I've since deleted this, uninstalled AVG, re-installed Firefox, deleted and reinstalled the Atheros drivers and the problems are less frequent but still happening. It's also much less stable when i unplug the mains adapter and run on battery. Virtually always lose the wireless adaptor a few minutes into battery usage. The battery is set to high performance, everything seems to be set to the same as when running on mains.

I'm confused as to what exactly is wrong here, is it a hardware problem or is Windows (7) corrupted somewhere? I've run CCleaner several times and it seems to help but not for very long, could just be that the fresh boot is helping. Before i uninstalled AVG i did several scans and it found no viruses.

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