I recently reinstalled Windows XP on my Inspiron 6400. I had been having issues with my connectivity, and I thought that starting from a clean slate might help. I made the mistake of deleting the partition that is used to reset to factory settings. I came to the Dell website to download drivers, and when I tried to install them, the driver associated with my wireless card refused to install because the card was not detected.
My wireless card should be fine. My brother with an identical laptop was having issues nearly identical to mine. He simply did not make the mistake of deleting his partition. Is this most likely a hardware problem? Or is there anything else I should try before just buying another card? Of course this happens just a few months after my warranty expires, so Dell wants me to pay them $50 just so they can tell me to buy new stuff. Ugh.
My guess is that after reinstalling Windows XP, you did not install the other drivers or did install them in the proper sequence.
Windows XP, then Notebook System Software, then chipset, then video, then everything else
my Dells:Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bitPrecision M6300 - Windows 10 Pro 64-bitPrecision M6300 - Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa / Ubuntu 12.04.5 dual-bootLatitude D620 - XP Pro SP3
As far as I know, the drivers were installed in the correct order. I started over and reinstalled Windows again today and paid particular attention to driver installation order. MediaDirect Patch 3 wouldn't install properly because it said it needed PowerCinema 4.7. I wouldn't think my wireless card would be dependent on this. However, one of the BroadCom drivers gave me a message saying that the hardware might not work properly. I uninstalled and reinstalled, and it detected an ethernet device but still said it might not work properly.
The other driver that will not install properly says that it cannot find compatible hardware. Looking at my brother's device manager, it says his wireless card is a Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-card. As far as I know, we have the exact same machine as our parents got both of them for us at Christmas. However, the driver that cannot find the correct hardware is a driver for a Dell Wireless 1370 WLAN Mini-PC. This seems like it may be the issue, but it's also possible that both cards run off the same driver.
Any other ideas? Thanks!
The Desktop/Notebook Utility and the chipset drivers need to be installed first or the other drivers will not install.
How to Install Drivers in Microsoft® Windows® on Dell Systems
Since the operating system was re-installed did you remember to go to drivers and downloads, enter your service tag(DO NOT POST SERVICE TAG here or your post will get deleted, since it contains your personal information), and install these drivers in this order.
Hint When downloading the drivers, make a folder for each drivers and name it with the device it belongs with to make it easier to install them in the proper order.
Desktop System Software or Notebook System Software Chipset or SMBus driver Processor Driver (if applicable) Video Audio (sound) Input Drivers (keyboard/mouse) Modem Network Card
What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it?
Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks
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Microsoft MVP - Windows Expert-Consumer April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015
wtswank - are you still having issues with your wireless card? I just finished re-installing XP on my daughter's Inspiron 6400 today and I had an issue with the wireless card driver. I was given a link from Dell tech support that led me to an IntelPRO wireless driver (doesn't work with Dell Wireless 1390 card...duh). I had to remove the IntelPRO driver and install the 1390 WLAN MiniCard driver; filename = "Dell_Multi-device_A17_R174291.exe", dated 5/20/2008, 89.9 MB. After installation of the correct driver, the wireless card works just fine. However, after the removal of the wrong driver and the install of the correct, the computer takes 5-7 minutes to shutdown/reboot. I've got a message into Dell tech support concerning that. I'm hoping I don't have to go through the re-install process again...cj