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Windows 7: WLAN Mini-card Good, but cannot detect WIFI ??


28 Dec 2012   #1

Windows XP Pro SP3, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Windows XP Home SP3
 
 
WLAN Mini-card Good, but cannot detect WIFI ??

guys this one has me stumped cold. Dell Inspiron laptop, very clean software wise, had original mini-card [internal] which could not detect any wifi networks - known good wifi AP's. All the windows checked showed the device working properly but I finally replaced it with one of the better "n" cards out there. Same thing all over again. Put it right next to a working AP, cannot detect a thing. Antennae is hooked up properly.

If I plug a good WIFI stick into USB, it works immediately, no drama.

I have no idea what is preventing this from detecting anything. What should I be looking for?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jan 2013   #2

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Hi zapp22,

It appears that the 'Wireless Card' is currently 'Disabled'; please check its status in 'BIOS' and 'enable' it if needed. To access 'BIOS' you may follow the steps listed below:
- Power off the laptop > Power it back on and at 'Dell splash screen', repeatedly tap 'F 2 key' (BIOS screen should appear) > Usually 'Dell Inspiron' laptops have a 'category' named 'Advanced' > Ensure that WLAN is enabled > 'Save Settings' and 'Exit'
(Note: BIOS setup may vary based on different laptop models)





If the wireless card still does not detect any networks in 'Windows', try tapping <Function><F2> or only <F2> if the previous key combination does not work. This is the 'radio control' for the 'Wireless Card' installed in the system.

Hope this helps. Do reply with the finding; would be glad to assist.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2013   #3

Windows XP Pro SP3, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Windows XP Home SP3
 
 

yep - figured it out a few days ago. hindsight is great - I should have extensively googled it before posting as it fooled a lot of owners of these models. there is no visual indication of the soft-switch having been invoked either way, and it is slow to respond, but I read enough posts to see that this was probably it, and it was. the function key in this case turns off/on the radio, so the only indication you have at all is that it is not receiving any signals [no wireless ap's in the box]. no other hint..

now that we know better, we look for the bluetooth "on" indicator in the taskbar - in this model we have no option to turn on wifi but not bluetooth, other than disabling bluetooth via device manager

thank you for your diligence!
hny
z
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Jan 2013   #4

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Hi zap22,

'Happy New Year'

Thank you for the reply. Glad that you got the 'wireless card' to work. Dell offers a feature to control the 'Bluetooth' in 'Windows Mobility Center'; you may find the following steps useful:

Open 'Windows Mobility Center' (Customized by Dell)
Click 'Radio Control' Options
Place a check mark besides the 'hardware button' to only control 'WPAN, not wireless'
Use <Fn><F2> to turn Bluetooth on/off while always leaving WiFi on

Hope this helps. Do reply if you have any further questions.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 WLAN Mini-card Good, but cannot detect WIFI ??




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