Fix for ASUS N61JQ not working in Windows 8, 8.1 and 10

I’ve upgraded one of my legacy laptops, the ASUS N61Jq, from the default Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 Home. Simple enough. Wrong.

I’d previously upgraded this laptop to Windows 8.1 and had to roll-back to Windows 7 due to consistent freezes during boot and at the login screen, this persisted even in Safe Mode (with Networking) but I never isolated the issue so back to Windows 7 Home Premium it went.

Roll forward to 2015 and I tried again. After using the Windows 10 updater to migrate my existing Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 Home everything seemed well, this experience continued for several weeks till the laptop would no longer boot up and then started exhibiting the same consistent freezes during boot and at the login screen.

Initially I thought the webcam drivers were responsible so disabled the device in Safe Mode and boot up started working, I now understand that both the webcam and wireless network adapter drivers were suspect.

Here’s how I got my ASUS N61Jq working with Windows 10 Home:

  1. Disable the on-board webcam (it’s upside down by default since ASUS stopped issuing patched webcam drivers so plug in a USB webcam)
  2. Ensure the Qualcomm Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.30) driver is installed for the wired network adapter
  3. Download the Atheros WLAN driver (aka Atheros AR9285 and Dell Wireless 1506 802.11b/g/n) (mirror download)
  4. Install the Atheros WLAN driver manually using the Device Manager

Happy days, big thanks go out to emtunc for hosting the drivers (I have hosted a file mirror here for posterity) 🙂

Update: After several more days the BSOD came back in waves, disabling the wired ethernet controller resolved this.