A few weeks ago, after a Windows update, my wireless adapter disappeared. The machine had updated and auto-rebooted overnight, and suddenly I had no wireless adapter in the Device Manager, the Network Settings page had no Wireless section, and I thought it was a Windows update problem. I tried toggling Airplane mode and rebooting a couple of times, but it didn't help. I plugged in a cable and started looking for information, but after about half an hour the adapter suddenly reappeared without me doing anything -- I had a Broadcom adapter (can't remember model number), a Wireless section in Network Settings, and a list of available networks to connect to.
Suddenly today it happened again -- I closed the lid last night (hibernated), and this morning everything was as I'd left it, except that again, the wireless adapter has disappeared. I'm using a cable at the moment, but this time it shows no signs of reappearing. Refreshing ("scan for hardware changes" in Device Manager) doesn't make it reappear either.
Has anyone else had this happen? Can anyone suggest what I can do to make it reappear?
System info: Inspiron 3543, Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1607 (build 14393:1606).
Too late -- it already reappeared spontaneously, and everything is once again showing up completely normally. But thanks anyway, and next time it happens (and since it's happened twice now I fully expect it to happen again) I'll check this.
And, of course, the machine is out of warranty -- these things only ever happen after the warranty expires!
FWIW: now that the card has reappeared, it identifies as a Dell Wireless 1704.802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz), manufactured by Broadcom, and the driver version is 18.104.22.168 (dated 11/11/2013).
In the Windows Event log I see "WLAN Extensibility Module has stopped; Module Path: C:\WINDOWS\System32\bcmihvsrv64.dll" at 11am (about when I opened the lid and un-hibernated in the morning), followed by "WLAN AutoConfig service has successfully started" followed by "WLAN Extensibility Module has successfully started; Module Path: C:\WINDOWS\System32\bcmihvsrv64.dll" about 6 hours later.