WLAN problem, can't turn on wireless connecion card

By ralphchas ·
I have Dell mini laptop model 1011 and have it plugged directly ito the router because I could not turn on the WLAN card to work wirelessly. Other computers on the LAN work fine wirelessly. I checked the Dell manual and it says to press Fn F2 to toggle this on and off for wireless or direct connection. But this toggle does not work. It shows it is NOT working wireless according to the icon in the desktop tray. I am running XP home with SP3. Runs OK as connected, but from time to time it disconnects me from the web and I then have to reboot to get back n the web. Can anyone assist? Sounds to me like the WLAN card is somehow defective. If so, can I relace it myself? I am not a pro - just a long time user Appreciate any assistance.

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All Answers

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RE:- If so, can I replace it

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

Easy answer is no you can not replace it.

This is not a Notebook it is a Netbook so it has a low power Processor small screen and as a result case and no Optical Drive.

The result is that things are stuffed inside the case and are not easily accessable.

But if you want to have a go the Service Manual for this unit is located here.


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Beware whitelisted cards

by gechurch In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

I don't know it's that bad. In my limited experience, notebooks these days are pretty easy to work with. The small notebooks/netbooks I've seen are a cinch to get in to.

Be aware though that most manufacturers have a whitelist in their BIOS of accepted WiFi cards. Don't expect to be able to buy any old WiFi card and use it. There's every chance that when you boot the laptop with the new card in that you'll see a message saying "Unauthorized card found. This has been disabled" or something equivalent.

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Ensure All Hardware is Functioning

by Tyharo In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

Try to get to the device manager in XP and ensure all devices listed under the "Network Adapters" tab have no issues. This could also be a driver issue, I'd say go to Dell's website and see if you can find drivers for your wireless card on their site. Install the new drivers, restart and see if you can turn the card on or off with the fn + F2 combo. I have also see some laptops have the wireless adapter disabled in the BIOS but that is a rare site.

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Reponse To Answer

by ralphchas In reply to Ensure All Hardware is Fu ...

Tyharo: Tks for yr assistance. I checked the dev mgr and it looks OK. I went to Dell download mgr and downloaded the correct driver ell Wireless 1397 WLAN Minicard. However, the install program would not install it, saying that there is nothing on my computer that is compatible with this file. So it seems I am back to GO!. I know I have the correct file name. One thing; when it tried to save the file, it said there is no directory for Dell/drivers and "Shall I create one?" I said YES and it downloaded to Dell/drivers/R210421/filename. Can this be the problem? Any ideas will be helpful and tks again. Situation is unchanged. Ralph

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Uninstall wireless drivers

by avlwiz In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

Go to device manager and uninstall the wireless driver. Click the + sign next to the network adapters and then right click the wireless adapter and select "uninstall". This will remove the driver and adapter from device manager. Then right click the "network adapter" and choose "scan for hardware changes" It should load the correct drivers from the original install, if not, go to dell/drivers/R210421 and try installing it again.

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Try re-seating the hardware

by kmthom In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

Follow the link above to download the product manual and get to the wireless card. I would try unplugging the card and re-seating it, then power back up and see what happens. Sometimes, those little antennae wires have a tendency to pop loose - hopefully that is what happened and is an easy fix.

Just be sure to plug them back in the right way. A cell-phone camera comes in handy if you have trouble remembering how something looks before you tear into it.

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If you are not connected wirelessly

by tintoman In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

as you state in your post, then the fact that you are being disconnected from the internet is nothing to do with the wireless lan card.
As I understand it, pressing and releasing the Fn key toggles to Functions on or off, so try pressing the Fn key on its own, (not Fn and F2 together) then press the F2 to turn on the wireless. If that doesn't work do it again and it should come on.

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I'd go with

by grh In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

avlwiz's suggestion. This is the first thing I do and usually it works; if not try it a couple of times at least. I have also done a system restore as well if it fails and that works too. I think sometimes a system update upsets it so it sulks a bit.

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News from ralphchas

by ralphchas In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

Many thanks to all of you. I tried many of the things suggested - none have worked. However, since I use this computer at a desk very close to the router (which is a new Netgear28, by the way) I decided to just disable the wireless card and it is plugged from the computer into the router direct. btw, I noted in the help section (right click on the wireless icon in the tray) that if you plug the cable from the router into the computer, it wil automatically disable the WLAN card. I removed the direct plug, but I was unable to enable the card (Fn-F2 does not work in any manner) and also the computer does not show any of the nearby WiFi signals from my and other nearyby routers in the neighborhood. All other compiuers in the LAN show multiple bars. I used this computer on a trip to Europe a few yrs ago and it worked fine and picked up all local WiFi signals. I just do not have any more time to play with this. Trying to make a living!!!! If I decide to move it around in the future, I'll have to address this problem again - I have kept printouts of all your suggestions and wish to thank you all again for your assistance and concern. RL

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sorry posted this then saw your reply...

by banny33 In reply to WLAN problem, can't turn ...

If you go to device manager, drill down to the wireless device and right click, it should tell you why it isn't working - Disabled, Incorrect Driver etc etc

If its an incorrect driver, download driver pack

This should update/add the drivers and update any other dated drivers that you may still have installed.

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