Dell Inspiron WiFi Setup Issues

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Feb 6, 2010
Central Texas
I'm really stumped on this one. It's a Dell Inspiron B130, about 5 yrs old, given to me by a neighbor. I wiped the HD, reinstalled XP through SP3, with all updates. Typed the service code (D19RPB1) into I click the "Sys Config" tab to see how it came from the factory and it gives me bezels?, screws?, I want to know what HW it has, specifically the wireless card. Under "drivers & downloads" > Network it says "Intel Prowireless connection". I get the driver, install, reboot, and it doesn't work. Under device manager > network adapters is only one entry: Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated controller. Is there supposed to be anothe entry here for 'wireless'? I see a post on a help forum that a Dell 1470 internal wireless card was also used on some of these models. So I try that joy. I dwnld HWINFO32 & run. Under network, it only shows Broadcom BCM4401 Netxtreme fast ethernet controller. I remember the wireless card working before I erased the HD. Has it stopped working? Is it toes-up? Is it disabled somehow? I'm out of ideas. Please advise! Thanks.
It is enabled in the bios. Fn + F2 turn it off/on & verified with an enable light. Problem is it's not even installed to be turned off/on.
No. I made a CD with Dell 32 bit diagnostics on it. Booted from it, the broadcom 10/100 card tested fine. It didn't see any 'wireless' anything. I don't get it. I'm assuming this is a piece of HW, unless it's dead HW.... it did work last week. And WOW is Dell's user site frustrating to deal with....
Yes it is very odd. I downloaded Dells Support Center, but it won't run because I don't have .NET installed! It's always something. I had IE6 installed as part of SP3, but then Dells SW needed at least 7, so I found IE8 and installed that. Wouldn't allow me to use FF. I DO have a linux Live CD, but I'm going to's after 3am. Thanks for chiming in. zzzzzzzzzzz
Go here. Depending on how well the link works you may have to step through the finder, either with your service tag number or by model. Either way you'll end up with a list of drivers specific to your Inspiron. I believe the wifi card driver you're looking for is R151519.exe. But, of course, you'll want all the relevant drivers. Quick edit. Looks like the link will take you directly to the drivers I found for the Inspiron B130 so you won't have to do the complete lookup. You'll find your WLAN driver under the Network heading. Hope this helps, Larry
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If youre really out of ideas theres a few more things. Check to see that the wifi catcher is set to on. I would think the device would still show up in device manager regardless, but worth a shot. You can also take a look at the physical wifi card to see the exact card that you have so that you can download the right driver. Wouldn't hurt to make sure that the 1 or 2 leads going to your wireless card are securely connected and didnt pop off by accident
That's been my main link to Dell. Some mousing around uncovered this. Evidently the ORDER of the drivers is critical. However, this model doesn't have the critical notebook system software mentioned as #1. I looked it up anyway: It's for Vista. Perhaps I need to uninstall all drivers and start over.
Originally Posted By: sxg6
You can also take a look at the physical wifi card to see the exact card that you have so that you can download the right driver. Wouldn't hurt to make sure that the 1 or 2 leads going to your wireless card are securely connected and didnt pop off by accident.
This finally occured to me early this AM. It DOES say Intel with a Dell part number of 0C9063. So now I know what I'm dealing with. Interesting that when I dwnld'd Intel's driver checker/updater from their website, it didn't recognize this card at all. I removed the card and reinstalled it, no joy. Still working on it . . .
Have you tried checking to see if there are hardware conflicts, I remember old computers using xp (and earlier windows versions) can sometimes have hardware conflicts where they are assigned the same IRQ and one of the device will keep the others from showing up or working. Goto start menu>accessories>system tools>system information and check the Hardware Resources. I'm not too sure how to resolve the conflict, it depends on the computer, but you may have to manually assign IRQ or disable other devices that are causing conflicts.
FINALLY figured this out. It WAS turned off in the BIOS. Problem is, I don't remember doing it! I did upgrade the BIOS, not sure if that would change it. (Someone please insert the hand-to-the-head emoticon several times here...don't see it on the list) Never dealt with a wireless computer before. This was also a multi-day project, where I stopped & started many times. I was following an online guide for a new installation of XP and the author recommended turning off wireless via the device manager, before connecting to the internet and retrieving all the updates/patches via a WIRED connection. When I followed his commands though, there was nothing there. During many reboots, I went through the BIOS and Dell has a few 'switches' there that enables/disables it. What confused me, particularly as a HW guy, is doing so will prevent the OS from recognizing the wireless card, even though it IS there, IS receiving power, and IS hooked up to the buss. I thought it would still show up, just show up 'disabled'. Instead it turns into a 'black hole'. Further, I didn't realize that XP was still so tied to the BIOS? (More hand-to-the-head). This Dell doesn't have a switch, but uses Fn+F3 or F4 to toggle the radio on/off. I also learned that this action will survive reboot. Lo & behold, the device appeared on reboot. I reinstalled the Intel driver from Dells site, rebooted again, ran the HW test, and it recognized the card. Finally! I later found out, according to Dell, some hardware may not function IF the drivers are installed in the wrong order! I thought this was the problem. So I went through, ripped them all out, and started over 'in the correct order'. That didn't work either. At that point, I decided to VERIFY & TEST all my assumptions...that's when I discovered it WAS off. Geesh. . . Their site really is a pain: I signed up for an account to post a Q on their user forum, only to be told that I needed to create another username for an on-line account in order to join a forum???? Then it directed me to a marketing area, where it wanted to send me a bunch of junk! So that door was closed. Further digging revealed that I could obtain a set of OEM install disks if I filled out an on-line form. When the neighbor did this, it wouldn't allow her to 'complete' without typing which PROVINCE we lived in???? We used a USA zip code: There is NO province! So we chose North West Territory! Knowing Dell, they'll probably ignore the Tx address and send it North! Everything does work now. I ran CCleaner, defrag'd the HD and made an 'origin' image with all updates, patches, & duct-tape installed. Lesson learned . . . .
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