Wireless adapter is working, but can't find wireless networks

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by videobruce, May 24, 2010.

  1. videobruce

    videobruce Limp Gawd

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    On a Dell Inspiration 1545 Laptop with a Broadcom 4312BG wireless chipset (I believe), the driver installed (stock from Dell), when I try to scan for available networks, nothing shows including mine that is three feet away. My other laptop in the same place sees four networks.

    I'm running XP pro w/sp3,
    No firewall or security software,
    No encryption, passwords etc.,
    Device manage shows good, the connection shows in Networks with no issue.

    I originally tried the software included with the 'Dell' package which was a Intel program (??), but it couldn't find anything. Then I just tried the Windows program, but the same thing.

    Other than a broken cable(s) to the internal antenna, or a outright
    defective chipset, is there a Windows 'Service" if stopped would cause this to happen?
     
  2. Nate7311

    Nate7311 2[H]4U

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    Go into Device manager and "uninstall" the wireless adapter. Then hit rescan to force Windows to redetect and reload the driver. If that doesn't work, you have 2 possibilities. Bad card or bad antenna connection.
     
  3. King Icewind

    King Icewind [H]ardness Supreme

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    Do you have the wireless adapter on?

    I'm not sure about the Dell Inspirion 1545, but with the majority of other laptops there is a button or switch to turn the wireless adapter on or off. Most of the time when people can't connect it's because they accidently hit the button.

    So just look for the button and make sure it's on. Usually there's a blue light.
     
  4. videobruce

    videobruce Limp Gawd

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    This isn't my machine. I forgot about the switch on the side of the Laptop, that is directly below the Express Card slot making you believe it is the release latch for that slot. It is the on/off for the Wireless NIC. There is NO top panel indication or any indication within Windows this is disabled other that the red 'X' through the double computer icon in the system tray which would be there anyway if there was no connection.

    Nothing telling you it is disabled! On a scale of 1 to 10, this stupidity gets a 11! Apparently it serves double duty as it is also a release for that card slot. There is a LED, but it doesn't lite up at all, not that that would matter since you can't see it anyway.
     
  5. King Icewind

    King Icewind [H]ardness Supreme

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    You probably already have, but just mess the switch (on and off) to see if you get anything.

    Also if you have a USB wireless adapter, I would try hooking that up to see if you can connect. If you can, then there's something wrong with your wireless card. :(
     
  6. videobruce

    videobruce Limp Gawd

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    There is a dual purpose switch hidden on the right side below the Express Card slot, that apparently ejects the card and turns off the 'RF" of the wireless NIC. The LED is in a row of LED's on the very front with very small icons that you have to examine closely to see what is what.

    Really lame!
     
  7. King Icewind

    King Icewind [H]ardness Supreme

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    So is it working then?
     
  8. videobruce

    videobruce Limp Gawd

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    Yes, in spite of them linking to the wrong software. The laptop apparently has a Broadcom chipset, but the driver/software package was Wintel. Eight processes run 24/7 and it consumes 80 MB of memory. :mad:
    I un-installed it.
     
  9. King Icewind

    King Icewind [H]ardness Supreme

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    That's good. ;)

    So if anyone ever comes to you asking why their laptop wireless is off...you now know 9/10 times why. ;) :D
     
  10. videobruce

    videobruce Limp Gawd

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    My HP has a 'button' above the keyboard with a LED that can easily be seen unlike this Dell where it is hidden.
     
  11. King Icewind

    King Icewind [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yea mine is on the left side by the power switch. Unfortunately it varies from laptop to laptop. :(

    Just always look for this,

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Oldie

    Oldie Mean Old Administrator Staff Member

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    I had an Acer notebook a friend of mine had purchased, and I was removing the crapware from it for her. I couldn't get the wifi enabled. There was no switch, but then I noticed there was a function key with the wifi logo on it, so I assumed pressing that would enable it. I was wrong.

    After calling Acer, their tech support guy said it was on a function key, but he didn't know which one. I told him there was a key with the wifi logo [​IMG] (<--like this) on it, and he said that should be it and that if it didn't work we should return it. As I was getting ready to do so, I figured I would see what the other function keys I didn't recognize did, and low and behold one of them, with no obvious indication that it had jack to do with wifi, worked. Friggin retarded.