At the time of writing this, my organization had several Microsoft Surface RT tablets and had plans to purchase many more. After implementing a enterprise wireless system in the building we found that the wireless connection on these tablets would change to “limited” status frequently (5-20 times a day). After some research I found that this has been an issue that has plagued the Surface tablet since its release and that despite the many patches Microsoft has released to fix the issue, it still persists in many instances.
So i did some digging and came across many people that had lots of fixes that made zero sense to me. I did find a detailed blog post about how someone had the same problem but only when connected using 802.11N, not B/G. I did some testing on my own and found that our Surface tablets did not have any problems staying connected when the wireless AP/router was only an 802.11G router, the problem only surfaced when 802.11N was available.
Now I was not about to take our expensive wireless system and force N to stop working for all devices but I had to get the Surface tablets (which really don’t need much bandwidth for what we’re doing with them) to only negotiate at 802.11G/B. I knew there had to be a way to do it but of course the crappy driver for this wireless NIC doesn’t let you just configure it to not use N (even though most other NIC manufacturers include this setting in the advanced tab of the driver settings). I figured there had to be a way to configure this using the registry and after some searching i finally found it.
1) Open Regedit
2) Go to the following tree location:
3) Search for “AutoUse40Mhz” and set it to “0″ (“1″ is default)
4) Find “Band” entry and change it to “4″ (“6″ is default)
5) Close Regedit
That resolved the problem for me, the Surface tablet only connected to our wireless APs and 802.11G (not N) which is what i was shooting for. (thank you: http://jonathanmumm.com/tech-it/fix-surface-rt-limited-wifi-connection/)
Not sure if the following is necessary but I’ve done it on all our tablets because it showed up in a Microsoft thread and it seems some people had success with it.
1) Create a new icon on the desktop to c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe
2) Run that As Administrator
3) Run the following commands:
· netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
· netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
· netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled
4) Then type netsh int tcp show global and you should see most options are disabled
As I said earlier, I don’t know that the netsh potion of this procedure is necessary but I figured I might as well go big or go home on this because I’m really tired of hearing about these things dropping off our wireless and having to teach people how to turn airplane mode on/off to fix it.