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Recently reformatted, having trouble connecting to wireless


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#1
faroose99

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Hi guys,

Last week, I started having the same XP bootup/login problems everyone else seems to be having. Because I had all of my files backed up and I was sick of dealing with it, I just reformatted my hard drive and reinstalled XP on my Inspiron 8500. I can log in fine now, but my XP loaded with no icons on the desktop(besides the recycle bin) and I'm unable to connect to my home network. I'm not even getting an option to "View available wireless networks" when I right-click the network in the control panel.

I thought I'd reinstalled all the necessary drivers from dell, but I could be missing several for all I know. I've also installed the driver for my Netgear card and run the setup, but it's telling me that my adapter is not inserted (even though it's clearly in there and the blue light is on).

Can anyone shed some light? Please help a noob in need.
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#2
sarahw

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Hi faroose99,
Sounds like a lack of drivers. If I understand you correctly, the blue light just means there is power to the device, your computer does not recognise it yet.

Right click My Computer and select Properties.
In the new window, select the Hardware tab then click on the Device Manager button.
Look for any yellow ! or ? or red X's.
You'll need to install those drivers.
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#3
123Runner

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Welcome to Geeks to Go.
What did you use to reformat the disk? Was it a XP full CD, XP oem, or the recovery CD?
If a recovery CD it should take it to the state you purchased it in. That means all original software.

Dell Drivers
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#4
faroose99

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Thanks for the replies.

There are a number of yellow question marks with exclamation points in the device manager. I went to Dell's website to download the drivers onto a flash drive, but there's not an option to download them all, so I've just downloaded their "recommended" networking drivers one at a time.

The devices missing in the device manager are: ethernet controller, networking controller, pci modem. Any idea what specific drivers I might need?
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#5
123Runner

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The ones you list are generally associated with what is called the chipset drivers (main board).
Another way to get them is to enter your Dell service tag at the Dell support site. The tag is on the bottom/side/ or back of the computer. This will get you to exactly what is on your computer.
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#6
faroose99

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Hmm ... I'd already downloaded the one chipset driver they had listed on the website without any change ( http://support.dell..../...tid=&impid= ). I wish there were an easy way just an easy way to download and install all the drivers at once, rather than one at a time like they have on the website.

Edited by faroose99, 21 October 2009 - 09:17 AM.

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#7
faroose99

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Reinstalled the chipset driver and checked the device manager again. No change.

Also, forgot to mention that the audio and video controllers are also yellow exclamation marks according to the device manager.
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#8
faroose99

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Okay, I think I'm getting somewhere. I just installed the Broadcom drivers that are listed as "optional" on the dell website, and "ethernet controller" is no longer showing up as an unknown device. I'm also getting a disconnected LAN icon in my networks, which wasn't there before.
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#9
rshaffer61

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Right click on the icon and one of the options should be Repair.
Click on that and let 123Runner know if it fixed the problem.
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#10
faroose99

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Repair option is grayed out when I right-click.
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#11
faroose99

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Okay, I've installed some more drivers, and I've taken care of "ethernet controller," "audio controller," and "video controller." The only remaining problem areas in the device manager are "PCI modem" and "network controller."

I think "network controller" is the key because that icon disappears when I remove my Netgear adapter. Any ideas as to what driver I need for that?
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#12
sarahw

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I'm guessing your using a PCMCIA wireless card on this laptop. Can you remove it and look for a model number & brand name on it.
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#13
faroose99

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Sorry for the late reply. Was at work all day. The card is a Netgear Rangemax Next Wireless Notebook Adapter - WN511B.

Thank you all again for your help. I feel like I'm almost there.
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#14
123Runner

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The following should get you what you need. Downloads, FAQ's, drivers, etc.

Netgear Rangemax Next Wireless Notebook Adapter - WN511B driver
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#15
faroose99

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Solved. I had already installed the Netgear software and driver, but something must have gone awry. Downloaded and installed them again, and it seems to be working now. I'm happy to be typing this from my laptop.

Thanks for all your help guys. I'll be sure to visit again when my ignorance rears its ugly head again, which will be soon, no doubt.
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