Inspiron 1100 can't find wireless networks with PC card - can with USB adapter!

Networking, Internet, Wireless

Networking, Internet, Wireless
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Inspiron 1100 can't find wireless networks with PC card - can with USB adapter!

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Brought D-Link DWL-G630 PC card (WLAN adapter), downloaded updated drivers from D-Link, installed with recommended option to let Wireless Zero Config manage wireless connections, install said it finished OK & Device Manager shows working properly. But it can't find wireless networks eg my new Netgear mobile broadband router with no security yet (both PC card & router are 802.11g), or Macdonalds hot spot, or mate's network.

Uninstalled D-Link card, then installed a mate's USB WLAN & it detects & connects to my Netgear router, so router not the problem. Uninstalled internet security before I installed WLAN card, so that's not the problem. 

Store exchanged the PC card, but same problem with new card. Installed the card & drivers on mate's laptop & it detected his network immediately, so can't be the D-Link card or drivers.

The Inspiron laptop is 6 years old, upgraded to Windows XP SP3 Pro, but not all other Windows updates. Updated BIOS to A31 yesterday.  Updated WLAN by R151517 from Dell a few days ago, but ignored lots of TrueMobile updates (that's a Dell PC card?). Never used PC card in it until now - no pins bent inside card slot.

Device Manager showed Network adapter DWL-G630 with D-Link driver version 1.1.1.0 dated Aug 7 2006 & PCMCIA adapter Texas Instruments PCI-1510 Card Bus controller working properly using MS driver ver 5.1.2600.0 dated 2001. In device manager I tried to update drivers for D-Link card & Texas card bus by letting it connect to internet. Device Manager said can't find later driver for card bus driver (2001 sounds old, I wonder if this bus now known by different name, company taken over?).   D-Link did update, now shows driver as Ralink Tech Corp Nov 24 08 ver 1.2.6.0 (make the cards for D-Link?). I thought I already had the latest drivers from D-Link site, so can't figure that one out - it still can't detect my wireless router. Windows always detects when card inserted, but the lights on the WLAN card have nothing to do with real situation eg both always on or always off.

So could be Card Bus controller or drivers? How do I test that, or any other ideas please?

All Replies
  • Just realised mate's laptop OS is Vista, so PC card working on that still leaves open possibility of Win XP SP3 driver not working properly. Any help appreciated thanks.

  • Still trying to solve this problem - up to reinstalling Win XP. Tested the WLAN PC card in Toshiba laptop with XP SP3 & it detects wireless networks, so I think its a Dell update I'm missing or installed when I shouldn't have. Any ideas please anyone.

  • Ron100,

     

    If you're doing a clean installation, did you install the drivers in the correct order?

     

     

    The Desktop/Notebook Utility needs to be installed first(if applicable), then the chipset drivers. If they are NOT installed first, then the rest of the drivers will fail to install.

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

    Idea Hint Idea 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(if applicable)
    Chipset or SMBus driver
    Processor Driver (if applicable)
    Video
    Audio (sound)
    Input Drivers (keyboard/mouse)
    Modem
    Network Card

    QuickSet(Laptop only)

     

     

    Rick

    #DellRockStar

    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 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • Rick, Thanks very much for taking the time to help & the link to order to install updates which I hadn't noticed in Dell Support.

    My mistake in updating is not having installed Notebook System Software yet, I went straight to the Network update for WLAN outside US & Japan, then updated the BIOS. Is it easy to uninstall WLAN update & start again, or would a clean install of Windows be the best? XP SP3, so lots of updates will have to be redone. I have made an image of C drive in preparation of re-install.

    The updates for my Inspiron 1100 are shown at http://supportapj.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=au&cs=RC1050265&l=en&s=gen&catid=&impid=&os=WW1&osl=en&SystemID=INS_PNT_CEL_1100 

    Would u mind looking there to see what Network updates apply? My laptop doesn't have a built in wireless adapter (might have been an additional option at the time of purchase), thus I brought a D-Link PC card that is a WLAN adapter. Are most updates just for Dell WLAN cards? Maybe I shouldn't install any? I only need the PC card to work, & D-Link PC card driver works on Toshiba with same OS. Also I didn't notice QuickSet (your last mentioned update), so none applies to Inspiron 1100?

    Thanks again for your time & kindness in helping me with this drawn out problem.

    Ron

  • Ron,

     

    Just start with installing the drivers in the listed order below and then see what you have. I wish you had posted this before you decided to do this as I could have suggested you make a slipstream disk with all the drivers that were on your system before you reformatted.

     

    The Dell Notebook System Software and the Intel Mobile Chipset need installed first. After you install these two, the rest of the drivers can be installed, no special order needed.

     

    Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller

     

    Then install the drivers for your network card. Dell QuickSet was listed under applications.

     

     

    Rick

    #DellRockStar

    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 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • Thanks Rick,

    I see nothing on Dell download pages warning about the order updates must be installed, & I find the description lacking especially if optional, so thanks for trying to sort out my problem. I installed Notebook System Software, Intel chipset update, then their video adapter update, then Broadcom internal ethernet adapter update, then audio update. Then reinstalled the PC WLAN card, but it still can't detect my wireless network. Ditto after uninstall WLAN card, run Dell WLAN (outside US & Japan) even though that might only apply for Dell WLAN card.

    To clarify my position, I haven't yet reformatted my C drive, nor re-installed Windows. I made an image of C drive a week or so ago, so I can resotre to that & see how far System Restore will then take me back. Since then I've tried dozens of things, so the system might be a mess. So it looks like I now have to start with a reinstall or reformat, so would appreciate your advice on what to do in what order.

    I have: Dell Reinstallation CD Win XP Home SP1, Win XP Pro SP2 CD that I used to upgrade Win, Win SP3 & some of the later Win updates I've downloaded on separate DVD. I'll then have to use Microsoft Update to update the rest of Win. Dell Drivers & Utilities CD, Dell Application CD (I don't use Roxio to burn discs nor most other Dell utilities although AccessDirect is handy). Then I have Internet Security, Office, printer & camera software, & a number of other programs & Acronis True Image CD that I use to create backup image of C drive without having the program installed on the laptop.

    The first thing I'd like to happen is have the WLAN card work. I can then install other programs & see if any affect WLAN connection. Thanks again for your help.

    Ron

  • Ron100,

     

    Sorry for the delay, was away.

     

    First, since this is an upgrade, this will not work. Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings

     

    You have to folloow these instructions. How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer On the page, you'll see mention about...

     

    How to Install Drivers in Microsoft® Windows® on Dell Systems

     

    After the Desktop/notebook utility is installed and any drivers under chipset drivers, (Drivers & Downloads) then the rest of the drivers will install.

     

    Did you install the software and drivers for the USB Adapter?

     

    If this was already installed, I would have made a slipstream disk using vLite. It would make a slipstream disk with your operating system and all the windows updates. You can also include the drivers by adding them using Wndrvrbckup Backup Utilities, that way the drivers and everything else gets installed at the time of installation.

     

    Not quite sure how it works if it was an image you made. People and most businesses use imaging using Acronis or some other type of software.

     

     

    Rick

    #DellRockStar

    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 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • Rick, thank you very much for your help. I too have been away & ran into a bigger problem then.

    The laptop was overheating after a few hours, so someone I trusted took out the keyboard, sheild & the processor with thermal cooling unit attached & blew the fluff out of later. But when reinstalled hardware, nothing appears on the display when attempt to boot the computer. So I'll now post to Laptop forum to see if any suggestions how to determine what needs replacing, looks like the display adapter part of motherboard is my guess.

    So once again, thank you for your time & help, I think with the web pages you pointed me to & a lot of time, I can reinstall Windows & other programs, but it might end in buying another laptop.

    I did use Acronis to create an image, & this works like PC Restore by Symantec, except the restore file isn't on a hidden partition. So using Acronis to restore will put a bit by bit copy of hard drive into any partition I wish, so all programs & their settings, drivers etc the same as when created restore image file.

    Ron  

  • Ron,

     

    Sometimes when they blow out the computers, then there are issues.

     

    Good luck and I wish you well.

     

     

    Rick

    #DellRockStar

    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 

    Welcome to Dell Community!