Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Is it a driver problem? Or hardware? Or what? I go through a few troubleshooting steps to see.

Every time I reboot my laptop, it took so long to the load the Bluetooth driver and nothing worked before it was done loading. When I uninstalled the driver, everything works fine. Help me please! I've done almost everything, reinstall, uninstall, update, put out from startup... didn't work.

In this excerpt from Answercast #28, I look at troubles with a Bluetooth driver and suggest a few options.

Bluetooth drivers

There are two approaches to dealing with this:

  • One is uninstall that driver and leave it uninstalled.

That assumes that you don't need Bluetooth. If you don't need Bluetooth, then it's OK not to have the driver installed.

Otherwise, what I can only strongly suggest is:

  • Go to the computer manufacturer's website and look for an updated driver for Bluetooth specifically for your particular laptop.

It is very possible that it is simply a Bluetooth driver issue.

Reformat and reinstall?

If that doesn't solve the problem.. what to do? Short of reinstalling Windows (which is kind of a crapshoot any way)? We really don't know if that's going to solve anything.

Hardware problem

The only other thing that comes to mind is if you have an actual hardware problem with the Bluetooth interface. Unfortunately, that's the kind of a thing where there's no way that you or I are going to be able to diagnose it over the internet.

It's the kind of thing where you may need to get the technician to actually take a look at the machine.

Next from Answercast 28 – How much does a computer programmer earn?

Article C5498 - June 21, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

June 23, 2012 9:48 AM

Sometimes, replacing the components is cheaper and faster than just trying to diagnose the problem.

I had a similar sounding problem with Bluetooth on my laptop. I did all the user testing I could do, then asked a tech at our office to look at it. The tech had a list of tests he would do, one at a time, to identify and confirm the problem.

(1) Remove and reinstall all BT-related software and drivers.
(2) Repeat #1, but start with a re-format and fresh OS install [fortunately, as Leo has instructed, I have good backups].
(3) Run all available diagnostics for BT card, motherboard, and RAM.
(4) Try another BT card in my PC, using same brand & model BT card.
(5) Try another BT card in my PC, but this time with a card of different brand/model.
(6) Test my BT card and drivers in a different PC. If possible, use a PC with same motherboard, etc.
(6) Perform reformat and fresh OS install on the test PC, then re-test BT card and drivers.

Our company pays the tech $135/hr, but he offered me a good discount. He gave me a choice of $35/hr, which would be cheap if he found the problem right away. Or, he would agree to do whatever testing was necessary for a flat fee of $75.

I decided to go DIY. I bought a decent card online, and found videos on YouTube demonstrating how to replace a laptop bluetooth card. Cost $45. I went slow and careful with the replacement, which took about 45 minutes. Less money and faster than just having the tech do the tesing.

June 24, 2012 9:47 AM

Hi, Leo:

There are two Windows 7 services on my laptop that start with the word "Bluetooth" and I think one of the options is to set them to "Automatic (Delayed Start)". That wouldn't *solve* the problem, but it might make the startup a bit faster....

Love your column.


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