Saturday, 12 July 2014

Dell XPS 1645, Windows 8.1 and Bluetooth

My trusty Dell laptop is still going strong 4 years on. It's showing signs of being well used - the screen is a bit scratched in places, most of the rubber feet have fallen off and the battery doesn't last as long as it used to, but it does the job.

Until recently I hadn't really needed to use any Bluetooth devices, and it was then that I realised that Bluetooth had somehow disappeared. The Bluetooth status light on the front of the case would blink briefly when booting up but then stay off, and there was no Bluetooth icon in the Windows system tray. I'm sure these used to be there originally! A bit of Googling revealed that it was probably upgrading to Windows 8/8.1 that would have disabled it, due to out-dated/incompatible drivers.

I downloaded the latest Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Minicard Application, but after it self-extracted, the installer was prevented from running by the Windows Program Compatibility Assistant. Sometimes you get the option to proceed with caution, but in this case not.. Or so it seemed.

Window Program Compatibility Assistant warning dialog

Next, I wondered if I could get newer drivers directly from Broadcom? Well yes you can – from, but after downloading and running the app it wanted to see the existing Bluetooth device (as it presumably then goes and downloads specific drivers for your devices). But that's the problem, I can't get the device working in the first place!

I came across this post - which at first glance looked like one of those annoying content aggregation sites, but in this case either the site is legitimate, or at least the instructions were valid. To repeat the relevant steps here:

  1. Go to C:\dell\drivers\R226750\R226750\Win64
  2. Run BtwMM.exe
  3. Run Inst.exe

This time, the drivers installed and bingo, I had Bluetooth devices appearing!

Figuring there's probably a good reason that Windows wasn't keen on these older drivers, I then re-tried the Broadcom Software Update application.

Broadcom Bluetooth Software Download application screenshot

This time, it detected the existing Bluetooth devices and so could proceed to download and update the drivers to newer versions (that apparently do properly support Windows 8/8.1).

Rebooting, I noticed that now just a 'generic' Bluetooth device was listed in Device Manager. Right-clicking on this and choosing Update Driver Software, it then updated the driver back to the Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Mini-card (version

Device Manager now looks like this (yes, my laptop is named 'Clarabel' Smile)

Windows Device Manager, showing Bluetooth devices

And there's the Bluetooth icon in the system tray again:

Windows System Tray showing Bluetooth icon

We're good to go!


Tom Bauer said...

You saved my day, thank you so much!

Peter Bateman said...

I've suffered from the same problem since the 8.1 upgrade.
The solution worked perfectly.
Thanks very much for sharing this.

Myst said...


Shara Mae Soguilon said...

Worked perfectly! Thanks a lot!

Shara Mae Soguilon said...

Worked perfectly! Thanks a looot!

Michael Anderson said...


M. T. Hatch said...

Thank you. This have been driving me crazy for about a year now.

M. T. Hatch said...

Thank you so much. This has been driving me crazy for over a year.

T Carter said...

Thanks David, great write up.
This helped me get the Bluetooth working as well, although I had to modify my process a little.

After following your steps, the Bluetooth adapter was showing as a hidden device in Device Manager. Even when I clicked on it and tried to update the drivers it wouldn't install the Dell Bluetooth 370 Minicard drivers.

I even tried pointing the update to the drivers, but every reboot it would still show as "Generic Bluetooth Adapter" in Device Manager.

I downloaded the latest driver from the Dell website:
- extracted it, then ran the setup steps you mentioned originally:

1. Go to C:\dell\drivers\V7VRR\R235898\Win64
2. Run BtwMM.exe
3. Run Inst.exe

I now have a working Bluetooth Adapter with Broadcom driver version

Thanks for the guidance!

Richard Weaver said...

When I installed the Broadcom driver, it disabled the Bluetooth driver. It no longer had the icon displayed and Bluetooth was gone from the Deviice Manager. I had to rerun Inst.exe to get the Bluetoooth running again before I saw Bluetooth in the Device Manager. Then I could update the driver that was installed by the Broadcom package.

My sequence was:
1. Go to C:\dell\drivers\V7VRR\R235898\Win64
2. Run BtwMM.exe
3. Run Inst.exe
4. Run the Broadcom installation
5. Restart Windows
6. Go to C:\dell\drivers\V7VRR\R235898\Win64
7. Run Inst.exe
8. Update the driver in Device Manager.

Николай said...

Hi to all!
I have searched a way to install driver for bluetooth mini card 370 on dell latitude e6500 in WINDOWS 10 t.p. Unfortunately I didn't find but I found some ideas which led me out to the solution.
So this is it:
1. You need your driver in C:\dell\drivers\.... directory in my case: C:\dell\drivers\R226750\R226750\Win64
2. Go to: Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting
3. Choose under "PROGRAMS" 'Run programs made for previous versions of Windows'
4. Select: Advanced
5. Click on: Run as administrator
6. Hit on: Next
7. Choose: Not Listed
8. Hit again on: Next
9. Select your executable file. In my case it is: C:\dell\drivers\R226750\R226750\Win64\Inst.exe
10. Hit again on: Next
11. Use: Try recommended settings
12. Click on: Test the program...
And installation of bluetooth driver goes on.

Christopher Vadden said...

I am trying to get the 370 minicard installed on Windows 10 OFFICIAL VERSION I have tried to use the same stuff listed above and keep hitting a roadblock of a UAC error, I even bypass the UAC error by logging back on as a true Administrator but and I manage to get the INST file to run but it stops partway through and says that the installer was interrupted, run the program later to try again. ARRRRGH, I rebooted, try again does the same thing. I also tried to use the Broadcom installer but it just sits there and says to plug in or turn on my card while the searching for existing driver just sits and spins..... Anyone got any ideas????

XPS 1645 Broadcom 370 w/ Windows 10

Nic Townsend said...

Thanks very much for the steps! They did the trick, though I needed to do the same as Richard Weaver on 12.Jun.2015 - re-run Inst.exe after the Broadcom install, then Update Driver after re-boot.

Studio XPS M1640 with Windows 8.1 - still going strong 7 years later hence the late (Jan.2016) update from Vista.