Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter won’t connect with Windows 10 laptop running Hyper-V

March 1, 2018 at 8:35 pm in Client Hyper-V, Hyper-V, Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, Miracast, Wi-Fi, Windows 10 by Wim Matthyssen

When delivering workshops at customers most of the time I use my Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to show my presentations or demo’s on a big screen.

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Normally, I only just need to plug in the USB and HDMI connectors from the Wireless Display Adapter to the HDTV, monitor or projector, and click Connect on the Windows 10 Action Center. My display adapter is then listed as on option and I only need to click on it to extend or duplicate my laptop screen. It is so easy and connecting with a Windows 10 device could not be quicker.

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However last week while preparing a new Azure workshop, making a connection to my home TV did not go that smooth as usual. When I tried to connect to my display adapter, making a connection took a long time and at the end the message “Couldn’t connect” popped up while the TV was still showing Connecting.

 

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After troubleshooting for some time and checking the usual steps (check adapter’s firmware, check Windows Updates, reset the adapter …) I finally figured it out. When making a connection the Wireless Display Adapter uses Miracast, a wireless technology, which makes communication between devices possible on either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless frequency bands. The display adapter itself, even if it looks like a sort of HDMI to USB cable, has a full Wi-Fi card and antenna on board which it uses to connect to the wireless adapter on your laptop.

That is where my connection problem was situated. I do a lot of research on my laptop with the use of Client Hyper-V, which enables me to run all sorts of virtual machines (VMs) for testing purposes. For connecting some of those VMs to the Internet, I make use of an internal virtual switch, which uses a shared connection (Internet Connection Sharing) on my wireless adapter.

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However, this Windows service causes some changes in the way the wireless adapter works, which in normal circumstances does not disturb anything, except when you try to connect to a Wireless Display Adapter.

So, after removing this sharing option, the Wireless Display Adapter connected as easily as before.

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Conclusion

A Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter strongly depends on the wireless adapter in your device to setup communication. Any issues or changes to the wireless adapter in any way can cause connecting problems. If you still want to use Client Hyper-V on your Windows 10 laptop and connect your VM to the Internet with the use of your wireless adapter, I suggest to create an External virtual switch which connects to it. Do not forget to allow the management Operating System to share the wireless network adapter. This setup does not seem to disturb the connection with a Wireless Display Adapter.

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