athwbx.sys prevents Windows 10 from upgrading to newer build?

I have a Toshiba Satellite C655-S5339 laptop which has a bluetooth/wifi adapter that uses the driver athwbx.sys. Tried installing Build 10041 via Windows Update on Build 9926, however the driver athwbx.sys causes a blue screen to occur, and then restores Build 9926? Are there any work arounds at all?
When 9926 became available for Windows Insiders, I had to install it via the iso image once Microsoft made those available since 9879 would not upgrade to 9926 from Windows Update due to the Atheros Driver, athwbx.sys. The last time I tried upgrading to 10041, the aformentioned wifi driver caused a system_thread_exception_not_handled Bluescreen during OOBE and specifically mentioned that driver.

I have this same problem, on a Toshiba DX735-D3201 with Atheros AR9002WB-1NG. Needed to download the ISO for 9926 (wiping and reinstalling from 9879 worked, upgrading didn't). 9926 would not upgrade to 10041. Downloading the ISO and installing the latest build gives me a host of errors, mostly system_thread_exception_not_handled or irql_not_less_or_equal. Everything points to athwbx.sys. The BSOD only occurs when I attempt to use Wi-Fi.

Ironically, trying to give up and reinstalling 8.1 from disc failed, too -- because of athwbx.sys. THAT was a new one for me.

My solution: Install 10041 clean. Keep a copy of the latest Atheros drivers handy (the ones from, not necessarily what pushes on Windows Update). Do not connect to Wi-Fi during system setup and set "automatic updates" to manual. From a local desktop, install the new Atheros drivers (right-click the INF file and let it run). Reboot. After that, you can connect to Wi-Fi without undue drama.

Watch, however, that Windows doesn't decide it doesn't like that you flipped auto-updates to manual, when you move to a your Microsoft account from a purely local account.

If Win Update pushes the new Atheros drivers, you WILL get an immediate BSOD. So watch those settings carefully!

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Question Info

Last updated May 22, 2018 Views 7,515 Applies to: