Error 151 in Windows 7

We have recently become aware of a problem that some users are experiencing that is preventing Shearwater Desktop from working properly. This document addresses how to identify this problem and how to correct it.  Please read this document in its entirety before performing any operations on your computer. If you are unable to complete the steps listed below, please contact us.

Error 151:

Error 151 on Windows 7This error means that Shearwater Desktop is unable to find any Bluetooth hardware on the PC or Mac. Typically this means that the Bluetooth dongle has not been plugged in.  However, it can signal other problems with the Bluetooth hardware.

With every Petrel, NERD, and Predator we ship, we also include an external Bluetooth dongle. This is to support those people whose computers do not have built in Bluetooth, or whose built in Bluetooth is not supported.  Installation of this hardware is typically seamless as the software used to operate it (the driver) is included in Windows.

Microsoft has recently released an updated version of the driver for the Bluetooth dongle that we supply.  Unfortunately, this driver is broken and causes the Bluetooth dongle to stop working.  This is what causes the 151 error.


How to identify whether this affects you:

Error 151 can happen for more than just this reason, so it’s important to be sure that the driver problem described above is indeed the cause of your problem before proceeding with the solution below.

  1. This problem is known only to affect Windows 7 users. If you suspect that this problem affects you and you are not using Windows 7, please contact us before proceeding.
  2. Ensure that your Bluetooth dongle is plugged in.
    • If your dongle wasn’t plugged in, that was likely the cause of the 151 error.
  3. Open the start menu and type “Device Manager”. Click on the icon with the same name.
  4. In Device manager you should see a list of all the hardware that is installed in your computer.
  5. In Device Manager, look for a list of the Bluetooth hardware. Click the small arrow to expand the list.Device Manager
  6. If you are affected by this problem you will have only one entry: CSR Bluetooth Chip.
    • If you have Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator in the list, you are not affected by this problem. Please contact us and we will help you resolve your 151 error.

How to fix the problem:

  1. While still in Device Manager, locate “CSR Bluetooth Chip”.
  2. Right-click on “CSR Bluetooth Chip” and select “update driver”.Update Driver Software
  3. In the dialog box that appears, please choose “Browse my computer for driver software”Update Driver 2
  4. In the next pane of the dialog box, please choose “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”Update Driver 3
  5. You will see a list of possible drivers. Note that CSR Bluetooth Chip is selected. Please select “Generic Bluetooth Adapter”.Update Driver 4
  6. Click Next. Windows will install the correct driver.
  7. Please wait for a few moments for the software to install.update driver 6

How to determine whether the solution was successful:

  1. Open Device Manager if it was closed.
  2. Expand the list of Bluetooth devices.
  3. You should see “Generic Bluetooth Adaptor”.
  4. You should also see “Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator”
  5. You should not see “CSR Bluetooth Chip”update success

Once you have performed the fix, please attempt to download your dives from the dive computer.

If you experience any other problems, please contact us.

Thank you.

13 Responses

  1. fixed bluetooth error 151

  2. Didn’t have the realtek driver in the specified location, but found it online and installed it – all OK now thanks

  3. I don’t show the Realtek driver. If I try to update the CSR Bluetooth chip driver, the system tells me the best driver is already installed.
    The Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator never starts up.

    I’m on Windows 7 x64

  4. I’m having the same problem as Paul. Windows pretty much tells me that it knows better and I am at the latest. I can navigate to the correct directory when trying to update my driver but it will not give me the option to use a generic version. I’m interested to know what drivers John Topham downloaded because when I tried downloading realtek 8169 drivers I found that they are on windows xp and vista only. So I’m at a l\oss as to what to do next. Please advise. Thanks!

  5. Hi

    had a problem with the Bluethooth driver in Win 7 and got that fixed. Now getting error # 160 and cannot connect
    Suggestions ?

    • Avatar Shearwater Research

      Hi Michael,

      It’s always best to contact us at our info address with a problem. Mark will be able to help you with this.

      • Hi,

        I got resolved ! thanks !

        Just a simple restart of the computer and everything seems to be A OK


  6. That worked for me too, thanks!

  7. After a Win7 update today, that included a suggested Bluetooth software update, my adapter just quit working. I have never heard of your company, nor use your product, but a search result of CSR Bluetooth Chip brought me to your page. I wasn’t getting Error 151, just Error(10) (device can’t start), but your suggestion described above fixed my problem immediately. I’m glad I found your site (after 2+ hours of searching for a solution).

  8. Hello,

    I have the same problem: error 151: bluetooth radio not available !
    with W7 …
    With an other Bluetooth key it doesn’t work …

    Help …..

    • Avatar Mark Lee

      Hi Alain, are you still having this problem? If so, please email us ar


  9. I have the error 151 too, i have followed the instruction, but the error continue, help me.
    thank tou

    • sorry, I forgot, I’m using W10