Windows Atheros AR9271

Discussion in 'Wireless Drivers & Utilities' started by kevsamiga, 16 Jan 2014.

  1. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    Since there wasn't actually a Windows driver thread on here for the Atheros chipped adapters (Alfa 036NHA) AR9271 I decided to create one to fill the gap... :)

    ....and upload some new drivers. The ones provided with the NHA and at the Alfa site are version 2.0.0.57. And there seems to be no Windows 8 drivers in the included drivers for the NHA. This pack is for all OS and for both flavours 32/64-bit contained in relevant appropriate folders. Update the drivers using device manager.

    Driver versions uploaded in this pack are:

    7.7.0.104 Windows XP 32/64 bit
    8.0.0.87 Windows Vista 32/64 bit
    2.0.0.64 Windows 7 32/64 bit
    10.0.0.25 Windows 8.1 32/64 bit

    10.0.0.20 Windows 8 32/64 bit (NOT in this package, see below posts for obtaining this one and 7.7.0.105 for XP after I had time to figure things out.)

    Which I believe are the latest (and correct in version number) ones to be using for each appropriate OS...

    ALFA AWUS036NHA_ALLOS - Windows 8.1 fine, Windows 8 ? see below.

    If anyone has any newer ones (that are actually intended for AR9271) and not some hack job contrived from later drivers making them unsigned, please share...

    I'm almost sure 7.7.0.105 is available for XP. I could not locate it however.

    2.0.0.64 for Windows 7 should fix the OS fails to load the driver on cold start, giving USB device not recognised errors from time to time, which is a bug inherent in 2.0.0.57.

    * Note

    There is a 9.2.0.19 driver for Windows 7 floating around the net originating from FUJITSU, but despite lower reported RSSI figures with this driver, the performance of this driver is sub optimal in comparison to 2.0.0.57/2.0.0.62 and 2.0.0.64 for the AR9271, and despite the higher version numbering, the date of the driver is time stamped from earlier in 2011 than 2.0.0.64 is.

    *EDIT - After extensive testing, I have determined the reason 9.2.0.19 performs so badly in performance compared to the older ones is that this 9.2.0.19 driver is either bugged or crippled and outputs locked @ 6mw of power, whereas the older ones give the full 100mw ( confirmed by AWiCDiag ). No wonder it is so awfully slow and prone to disconnects...but there is a good reason for it's existence which I'll explain at a future date. :)

    And for those combined reasons, and further doubts as to it's authenticity or origin one of the reasons being the file size is much larger, I've not included it here...
     
    #1 kevsamiga, 16 Jan 2014
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2014
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  2. Xcell

    Xcell Wireless 'r' us!
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    Liking this one. Gonna try it out later.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    Let me know if they are good n stable. They should be. They are very stable on my TP-link WN722N, and they also work 100% for my NHA without any bad issues...

    (which has the same chip)

    Additional info for Atheros Client Utility under Windows XP

    Activating Soft AP and ICS settings in ACU.

    To enable this feature, we climb into the registry editor and branch \ \ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Atheros \ ACU \ Settings create a DWORD key "AllowAPMode" with the value "1"
     
    #3 kevsamiga, 18 Jan 2014
    Last edited: 1 Mar 2014
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  4. air_pull91

    air_pull91 Well-Known Member

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    wow..
    i really have the old version (v2.0.0.30 - win7)..
    thanks for the update!
     
  5. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    Your welcome...

    These will also work for a TP-link WN722N since they have the same chip, but the output and receive on the alfa AR9271 is much better in testing because I tested drivers on them both.

    The TP-link is capped to 100mw EIRP regardless of antenna attached, and neither will it influence the power output, whereas the ALFA uses more suitable PA.

    Finally found the missing remaining elusive little buggers for your NHA's and TP-Links....These are generic instead of hardware specific and should be signed properly enjoy...

    Atheros AR9271 7.7.0.105 driver for WindowsXP X86-X64 zipped.

    Atheros AR9271 7.7.0.105 WinXPX86-X64

    Atheros AR9271 10.0.0.20 driver for Windows 8 X86-X64 zipped.

    Driver included in pack in top post was actually the Windows 8.1 version 10.0.0.25, this is the real Windows 8 one 10.0.0.20.

    036NHA_Windows8_x86_x64

    Atheros AR9271 10.0.0.23 alternate driver for Windows 8 X86-X64 zipped.

    AR9271_10.0.0.23-Win8

    --------

    NEW !!!!!!

    Atheros AR9271 10.0.0.28 - Windows 8.1 x86/x64 from 20/11/2013.

    Uploaded 16/06/2014. Nobody has these yet...

    https://www.mediafire.com/?6f6lh0pxff36ad2

    On another note for those of my astute readers, I've noticed that the drivers for the AR9271 perform vastly better under Windows XP for connecting to distant AP's along with the RSSI values being more realistic compared to using the same 036NHA adapter under Win7 x64.

    -72 vs -95 RSSI XP vs Win7.

    I would recommend using the 7.7.0.105 XP drivers on Vista or 7 anyway (they work), because the native Vista and 7 ones seem unstable in connecting to distant AP's, the RSSI figures are poorer, and the adapter is prone to random unexplained shutdowns requiring a removal and re-plug from time to time where all the network connections disappear and the device stops responding despite which official win7 driver you use.

    You will definitely increase your range over the Vista or 7 versions. :)

    I know it's not a faulty adapter because the same happens on my TP-Link WN722N under Win7...it craps out at random requiring an unplug and re-plug.

    If you have trouble getting 7.7.0.105 for Win7 x86 installed due to service name is already in use issues, you need to delete any relevant entries for any Win7 driver left in the registry after uninstalling Win7 driver of course with regedit residing at:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/

    And delete all the Atheros entries like AR9271, athur, and any other you find etc, then you *must* reboot to unload and refresh the registry, and 7.7.0.105 XP should install on Win7 x86 without any hassle.

    I've been running 7.7.0.105 on Win7 for weeks without a blip or any 036NHA random shutdowns, and I get better RSSI readouts and certainly more range than the Vista or 7 versions ever could give me as a nice bonus connected to an AP the other Win7/Vista drivers can't even link up to. :)

    *EDIT

    The x64-bit Windows XP 7.7.0.105 driver also works fine on Win7 x64 and therefore is more stable (use the advice above for getting rid of remnant leftover services preventing driver install and reboot to unload registry given for Win7 x86 above)

    You can also turn on WMM APSD in the advanced settings of the driver.
     
    #5 kevsamiga, 21 Jan 2014
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2014
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  6. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    AWiC Standalone Diagnostic utility for Atheros AR9271/036NHA Vista/Win7 32/64-bit.

    - Drag the relevant folder for your OS (32 or 64-bit) keeping the files together and create a shortcut.

    - Use the Vista 8.0.0.87 driver uploaded above instead on Windows 7 to get the full capability readout of the utility of wireless statistics.

    - Thank me for the extensive extraction and testing duties.

    This utility for Vista/7 will show the real RSSI figure and constant signal strength and signal quality variations while using the adapter, amongst other useful stats like real power output levels, dropped frames, transfer and receive statistics etc. :)


    The app can be closed any time, and still keeps a record of stats when re-opened.

    AWiC
     
    #6 kevsamiga, 3 Mar 2014
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2014
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  7. umopobarkan

    umopobarkan Active Member

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    Hey man! I'm using Windows 8.1 64-bit and from what I've tested, it seems that the vista64 driver from the pack that you gave in the first post gives me the most discovered networks and the connectivity is not bad, the RSSI readings are kinda messed up but it's not a big deal. It has been little over a week since I got my NHA and I have tested it only on Win8 and Win8.1 machines, I don't know how it performs in WinXP or 7, but i think it could perform better on the newer OS's. Let us hope Alfa or someone else will make a decent driver that will let us use the adapter to it's full potential.

    Thanks for the thread!


    Cheers!
     
  8. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    There likely won't be any more new stuff coming out, the AR9271 drivers came out in the period when Atheros was being taken over by Qualcomm. It's a bit of an oddity finding any new drivers. Support appears abandoned.

    That and the drivers already given by ALFA mostly work as is except for including the Win8 ones.

    And it seems Qualcomm has forgotten all about supporting the AR9271 in their drivers, which is an offshoot of the AR9285.

    For me...the Windows XP driver 7.7.0.105 (installed on Win7 x86) gives the best connectivity, range, speeds and most discovered networks.

    And cures the random shutdowns where you must unplug and re-plug the adapter.

    The downside then is you can't use AWiC on the XP driver. It won't work. This is why I provided plenty of choice for choosing the latest drivers
    out there from XP up to 8.1 and some alternatives. I've mostly done all the legwork so they're the latest out there are (that work properly)

    The NHA has to be my favourite choice of ALFA, it's more powerful than the TP-Link WN722N with a better PA, has the highest RXQ and most success at grabbing handshakes, best for reavering without timeout errors, has it's own CPU and memory that offloads all processing to the adapter itself (this is why it's so bloody fast compared to the others), can sit on a connection all day at only 1 bar of signal and work with low strength signals even down to levels other adapters won't go, and despite consensus on power and range I found much success with the 7.7.0.105 driver loaded on Win7 x86 to rectify that deficiency, doesn't get hot in use, and it's also made in sexy black and blue and more than competent under Linux supporting all 6 wireless modes. :)

    It's my only adapter that will connect and "use" when the others connect and "die" especially on 7.7.0.105 and tied to a 14dbi panel.

    I know you have only had it a week, but over time you will see that the NHA has the most potential out of all the alfa's, bags more potential than the 036H.

    The fact that it's only 27dbm output doesn't matter for anything if your in Europe anyway. The low amount of signal bars means practically nothing, because it still connects and works with decent link quality (it's the drivers that are screwed and don't fake 5 bars like 036H)

    If I would have to choose only 1 adapter instead of owning all 4 like I do, knowing what I know now, I would have picked the NHA because it never lets me down.

    Couldn't wish for anything more apart from more polished drivers for Win7 and Win8...
     
    #8 kevsamiga, 4 Mar 2014
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2014
  9. umopobarkan

    umopobarkan Active Member

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    +1

    Great adapter indeed!
     
  10. baxter89gsp

    baxter89gsp Active Member

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    This XP Driver is much better,no more random shutdown card.I have one qusetion Alfa Awus036nha is declared on 27db but works just on 20db how to increse from 20 to 27db. Thank you
     
  11. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    Told you all it was much better... :)

    The x64 XP driver works on Win7 x64 too using the same method.

    dbm? hmmm....For Windows....
    Have a play with the ubiquity wifistation EXT drivers
    and enable Wifi compliance test mode. Not promising anything since needs further investigation myself.

    For linux...hack the CRDA.
     
    #11 kevsamiga, 12 Apr 2014
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2014
  12. Demosthenes

    Demosthenes Well-Known Member
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    I installed a Atheros R 52H (350mW) mini pci card into my laptop, any suggestions on how to get full power in windows 7 32bit ?
     
  13. Mii

    Mii Member

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    Hi,

    Do you know of any way of increasing the TX power beyond 20dBi on the AR9271 (AWUS036NHA) in Windows?

    Mine is hardwired to being in GB so locked there except through workaround in Linux.

    Thanks!
     
  14. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    The short answer is you can't...

    Atheros firmware really doesn't like being poked around and fiddled with, and will set a power lower than 20dbm if you attempt to bypass these locks or
    restrictions.

    Unless your in the USA when your then allowed the specified 27dbm.

    Mine is also hardwired to GB, but my WN722N is hardwired to CN (which is for all intents and purposes the same as GB output levels)

    No tools out there exist that work to edit the 9271 eeprom. The 9271 is not recognised by existing Atheros edit tools.

    Forget about modding it, and just attach a burner inline. Problem solved.

    *note.

    There is no need to post the exact *same* question in 3 separate threads/places and in conversations.

    The AR9271 thread alone would have sufficed to get an answer without being annoying/confusing with multiple clones of posts littered everywhere.
     
    #14 kevsamiga, 21 Apr 2014
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2014
  15. Mii

    Mii Member

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  16. South

    South Active Member

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    im having shout down problems with tp-link wn722n 2.0.0.62 on win 7 x64
    ill test ur suggestions using the xp drivers and let u know

    anyway this is a very helpful topic
    thanx
     
  17. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    I always try my best going the extra mile to offer solutions, and driver updates for all the different adapters on here on Windows...

    Although I only have to worry about 036NH and 036NHR updates these days as 036NHA and 036H have had their driver updates on Windows discontinued since a long time ago.

    Yes, I discovered quite by accident by experimenting that the Windows XP drivers (both 32 & 64-bit variety) still work for connectivity on Win7, and that by doing this for me and others, it solves the random shut down problems plaguing all AR9271 chipped adapters which can be annoying at times.

    They also gave me slightly better range under test than the Win7 native Atheros ones, so I don't believe it's a lack of power that leaves the impression of poorer range of an NHA, but instead the drivers for Vista/7 are crappy/unfinished/bugged compared to their XP counterparts.

    I found this variation in driver quality across different OS's evident in other adapters too, like the 036H which seems to work much better on XP, and to a lesser extent the 036NHR. 036NH showed no OS differences in performance and is generally the most solid driver of the lot for both 3070 and 2770F.

    My TP-Link WN722N for years was always affected by random shutdowns for a long time, as is 036NHA, otherwise they're great adapters to work with low signal strengths.

    Shutdowns can last between cut-outs requiring a re-plug and reset from hours to days, but still annoying in the middle of doing something important when the bug strikes.

    Both devices can't really be broken at the hardware level, so it's not the hardware, but the driver causing the shutdowns !....

    And it doesn't look like there will be any more Windows drivers for the AR9271 from Qualcomm as it seems to be a "forgotten about" chip.
     
    #17 kevsamiga, 19 May 2014
    Last edited: 20 May 2014
  18. South

    South Active Member

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    im using the xp drivers for about 10 days
    my adapter never shutdown but when im downloading torrents all connections disappear except the router im connected with
    this is not a problem when im downloading but when im playing online games my ping goes high even with port forward (ping : 200-600 *not always*) and sometimes disconnecting me from the servers(tried with different games like pes,cs go etc) but browsing works fine
    *my point is when the connections is in high load im having stability problems*
    i tried connecting the adapter in mobo usb port without the cable but the problem still exist
    Power Save Mode is off
    have you had this problem before?
    and yes the signal is slightly better compared to 2.0.0.62 i had before

    im gonna test with your win 7 drivers and will see if i notice any differences

    i want to give this adapter a last try cuz im thinking purchasing a new adapter
    im thinking going with pci this time cuz i have doubts with usb adapter stability

    what do you think about moving to pci with outdoor antennas?
     
  19. kevsamiga

    kevsamiga Well-Known Member
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    I haven't ever had a problem downloading any torrents on these drivers no...

    It may be a bug in the torrent client, and not the driver specifically but you would need to diagnose that.

    Can you do some tests with DPC latency checker while online gaming trying out different Atheros drivers.

    http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

    In any case, driver options are limited for all 036NHA owners. I suppose you could try the Vista ones.

    I only ever used 1 pci card before (an Atheros AR5006X), but I can tell you it's CRAP compared to an external one (and that was with an external TP-Link magmount 8dbi Omni attached away from the metal housing).
     
  20. FTA

    FTA Member

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    Hi guys, nice forum. I have a question. I'm using TL-WN721N with the described chip. I'm suing it only in AP mode. But there are some problems. The first one is, if the client is downloading torrent the adapter driver is freezing and the AP is shutting down - I have to replug it or restart the host machine. The same happens on some particular websites. The second problem is many times when there are no clients for a while, the driver is locking and although the adapter is broadcasting itself no one can connect. Have to reset again. The power management over the device is disabled, the host system is denied from going in sleep or hibernate mode - everything is set for performance 24/7. I'm using driver 2.0.0.64 (06.10.2011) win7 x64. Will appreciate any help with new driver and/or suggestions. Thanks.
     
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