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Replacing wifi card on Asus B450-I Strix

Kinda necro-ing this thread, hope that’s OK.
I was thinking about doing this. While searching about this subject this thread always came up high in the results but remained unanswered. So I registered to let you know that this can be done and works perfectly.

I took the step of getting a Asus B450-I Strix, with the Realtek 8822BE Wifi. I can confirm the Linux experience is hit and miss with it. At the moment of writing it is broken on the Linux 5.6 kernel. The card is detected just fine and appears to work, AP scans work fine for example. But as soon as you try to connect to your WiFi network the rtlwifi/rtw88 module crashes with a stack trace.
I had included a Intel AX200 non-vPro WiFi card with my order to replace the Realtek with.

How to replace the Realtek with the Intel?

  1. Turn the motherboard upside down.
  2. Release the two small screws holding the WiFi module to the board. They are small, best fitting bit is a J0 but in a pinch a small Phillips can get the job done.
  3. Turn the motherbord right side up again and simply pull on the WiFi module. It should come out now, as it’s just a PCIe M.2 card.
  4. The metal shield around the module is kept together by a screw and a small metal clip that falls in a recessed part. Undo the screw and you should now be able to kind of fold the module open at it’s hinge point (top of the module). Just have a good look at the mechanism, should be pretty obvious.
  5. Carefully loosen the antennae. Using a small plastic bit if probably the safest way, but a small metal flathead is fine too as long as you are careful.
  6. Undo the screw locking the module.
  7. The module can now be taken out. However it is still being held to the rubber block on it’s backside by an adhesive pad. Carefully peel it off, take your time with it. You could try to heat the adhesive up a bit. I simply pulled it off slowly and when a bit of adhesive started to tear I used a pair of tweezers to pull it off carefully. I wanted to keep the adhesive as intact as possible to keep installation of the replacement module into the motherboard easy (as it keeps the WiFi module nicely lined up).
  8. Once the module is off, put the adhesive back onto the rubber and install the other WiFi module (or connect the antennae first if you think that’s easier). I installed the Intel AX200 now. Align the top of it with the mounting screw and press it down onto the rubber standoff with the adhesive on it.
  9. Connect the antennae to the replacement card. This was the most finicky bit of the process. Just stay calm and keep trying. They simply pop on once they are in position, but maneuvering them into position is a bit of a pain. Some tweezers can be useful here.
  10. Put the casing back together. Hinge point is at the top underneath the label.
  11. Install in the motherboard and screw it back on again.
  12. Done. And it works excellent both on Linux and Windows for me.

I have more pictures, too bad the forum just lets me upload two.

3 Likes

@stejoo nice work, this absolutely deserves it’s own thread, so I created one for you. Feel free to edit the thread topic and your original post if you want. :slight_smile:

I believe the picture upload restriction is because of your trust level. If you keep on reading the forums you will be automatically promoted to next trust level and have more user privileges, like posting links etc.

The above steps work on most motherboards with WiFi cards mounted vertically in a can.

I know all ASRock AM4 boards with WiFi cards mounted vertically can be replaced using the steps above for sure.

I wasn’t able to post in the original thread about it, but I did manage to get a Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Rev 4.3 and took the Intel WiFi out of that and successfully installed it to my B450-I.

The only thing I do out of precaution is to disable the WiFi in BIOS when doing a BIOS update. No issues ever since installing it.

I left WiFi and Bluetooth Enabled in the UEFI. Gave me no problems. I have not tried to use wireless in the UEFI to connect to anything tho. I expect that not to work anymore, but I really don’t mind that a bit.

As w.meri said: this procedure should work in other boards that use modules like this. And I’m thinking most of them do because this is a easy way to add WiFi to a board and it’s probably also cost effective due to the sheer number of PCIe M.2 WiFi cards being produced because it’s the same form factor that’s used in laptops (so economy of scale there).

I only disable it during a BIOS update to prevent firmware being flashed to the card if Realtek firmware updates are pushed in the BIOS update. You never know.

I keep it on when generally tweaking in BIOS, but I always use physical media like a USB drive to flash BIOS, and I never do it over the internet.

This is going to be a pain to replace. lol

I have my B450-I in an Inwin A1+ case with a Be Quiet DRP4 cooler and 2060 vid. I will have to take it all out to get to that stinking small thing.

Oh well. May the pain begin. Thanks for the work you did so I know it will work.