Inspiron 1520 WLAN - unable to enable

Networking, Internet, Wireless

Networking, Internet, Wireless
From Wi-Fi to wired Ethernet, mobile broadband to modems: it's all spoken here.

Inspiron 1520 WLAN - unable to enable

  • Hello! I have just bought a Dell Inspiron 1520. I installed Windows Vista on it (came preloaded with FreeDOS). Everything seems fine, however when I flip the switch to enable wireless connection it only enables bluetooth, when it's suposed to enable both. I checked and in QuickSet the settings are set that the switch should enable both connections. Also in Device Manager I see a "Netwrok Controller" under "Other devices". I believe this is the wireless controller, but when I click "Update driver" and even specify the exact location of the extracted driver it still won't install. What gives? Neither the Dell driver cd nor the driver downloaded from the support site will work.

    Also, shouldn't the WiFi indicator light up when I flip the switch even if the driver is not installed? Because it doesn't now.

    Maybe someone had the same problem and could help me? I would appreciate any support, because warranty support in my country is like a snail and could take up to a whole month.

  • The list of drivers for Vista on the Inspiron 1520 are:

    • Dell™ Notebook System Software
    • Intel® Mobile Chipset Driver
    • Mobile Intel® GMA X3100 Video Controller
    • Ricoh® Media Card Reader Driver
    • Intel Flash Cache Logic Chip (Intel Turbo Memory)
    • Broadcom® 440X 10/100 Integrated Network Controller
    • Wireless driver (if applicable)
    • IDT® STAC 9205 Audio Driver
    • MDC driver
    • Dell Touch Pad Driver
    • Bluetooth® driver and stack

    If you failed to install the Notebook System Software, that is most likely the cause of the problem.

    You can request replacement reinstallation media for US purchased systems here.
    Dell Drivers & Downloads for all systems.

  • I installed everything of the support CD that was marked with a tick and Quickset with Dell OS. The strange thing is that the WiFi indicator won't light up - I even never saw it light up.
  • Try reseating the WLAN card to make sure it is connected properly.  I've seen cases where the connection isn't quite right after shipping and simply taking the card out and putting it back into the connector resolves the problem.  If that doesn't work you might need to do other troubleshooting and/or call tech support for a replacement.

    You can request replacement reinstallation media for US purchased systems here.
    Dell Drivers & Downloads for all systems.

  • And to do that I have to unscrew the back of the laptop? Won't I lose my warranty over this?

  • ge2x wrote:
    And to do that I have to unscrew the back of the laptop? Won't I lose my warranty over this?

    If you are not a Dell Certified Technician and you break something while doing it, then it would not be covered by the warranty.  If you don't break anything then the warranty is unaffected, reguardless of whether you are a certified tech or not.

     

    If you don't feel comfortable doing it, however, please don't force yourself.  If you call into tech support and have the tech walk you through things it would be covered, or you could have a local computer tech do it for you (possible for a fee, perhaps for free).

     

    The service manual for the 1520 has the instructions for replacing the WLAN card.  As long as you take your time and follow the instructions you should have no problems at all.  Since you aren't actually replacing the card you don't even need to disconnect the antennae (which is the part most people are afraid of breaking).  When I worked in tech support I would walk people with all manner of computer experience through this; even the 80yo retirees could do it. :)

     

     

    You can request replacement reinstallation media for US purchased systems here.
    Dell Drivers & Downloads for all systems.

  • Ok, I'll try. I'm not new to repairing electronics stuff so I don't believe I'll break anything. The most annoying thing would be to deliver the laptop to warranty, because warranty support would take two or more weeks.
  • It didn't work. I removed the card and inserted it again, but didn't work. Maybe I should have disconnected the antenna cables?
  • No, reseating the antennae wouldn't change how Windows sees the card, just the signal strength of any wireless connections the card could receive (e.g., without antennae it would have to be inches from the wireless access point in order to connect, assuming normal broadcast strength).

     

    Unfortunately, it looks like that is a bad card. On the bright side, all it should take now is a quick call into tech support with a description of what it is (isn't) doing and what troubleshooting you have already done to get a replacement card shipped out to you (if you feel comfortable doing the swap yourself, which I assume you are).

    You can request replacement reinstallation media for US purchased systems here.
    Dell Drivers & Downloads for all systems.

  • I fixed it after all. I installed the Broadcom driver and it works now. However it is strange to me as to why wouldn't the Dell driver CD detect that I have the Broadcom wireless card and why wouldn't it offer to install it to me.
  • That is odd.

     

    Checking back through your other posts I notice you didn't specify which wireless card your system has.  If you can post that I can tell you which Dell driver should work ...

    You can request replacement reinstallation media for US purchased systems here.
    Dell Drivers & Downloads for all systems.

  • The Dell driver disk I have found is not all that great. I think it is more generic than anything. I recently reloaded vista on a friends computer and went to load the wireless driver. Well the driver on the disk was  for a Dell 1390 card. The computer had a 1395 card in it, which was not on the disk.

    I guess the moral is to know what hardware you have in your system. I my self very rarely rely on the disk. 

     HomeBuilt SandyBridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 ghz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
    Dell Studio XPS 1645  Window 7 Pro

    Forum member since 2003


  • Davet50 wrote:

    The Dell driver disk I have found is not all that great. ... I guess the moral is to know what hardware you have in your system. I my self very rarely rely on the disk. 


    My personal opinion has always been to use the Resource CD to get the computer up and running and on the net, then go to the Dell support site to get the latest drivers.  With very few exceptions the drivers on the website will be newer, work better, or both.  The Resource CD is still useful, however, because it allows you to reinstall Windows even without having access to the internet; the drivers will just be whatever was "new" when the disk was created, which could be quite a while ago.

    You can request replacement reinstallation media for US purchased systems here.
    Dell Drivers & Downloads for all systems.

  • Now my OS recognizes the WLAN card as Dell Wireless 1395. The really odd thing is that when I used Update driver in Device Manager Windows could not find the correct driver neither on the net nor the CD. In my opinion, the Dell driver download site is quite confusing and could offer to download the ISO image of the driver CD, as min e has begun to crack in the middle and is not readable anymore.
  • Your better off just downloading the drivers that are applicable to your individual system. As you can tell there are numerous entries for certain drivers. I keep a rewritable CD just for that purpose.

     HomeBuilt SandyBridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 ghz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
    Dell Studio XPS 1645  Window 7 Pro

    Forum member since 2003