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My Dell Netbook is not recognizing the wireless adapter. I want to reinstall XP to verify if this is a hardware or software issue but I don't know how. I have the Reinstallation CD I got with it, but there is no CD drive! How am I supposed to use this CD to reinstall?

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Last Post by mps727
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To reinstall you should be able to use an external cd/dvd drive. If there is a recovery partition you can install it from that.

Have you tried looking to see if the device is listed in the device manager? Is there an exclamation mark next to it?

For the price of an external drive you could probably get a wireless network adapter.

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To reinstall you should be able to use an external cd/dvd drive. If there is a recovery partition you can install it from that.

Have you tried looking to see if the device is listed in the device manager? Is there an exclamation mark next to it?

For the price of an external drive you could probably get a wireless network adapter.

In my device manager I do see "Broadcom 802.11g Network Adapter", and I do not see an exclamation point.


When I go into Wireless Network Wizard it says "The Dell Wireless WLAN Card is still disabled. Slide the Wireless ON/OFF switch to enable it or press Fn-F2 to enable it."

Now there is no physical ON OFF switch on this model. Also, Fn-F2 doesn't make sense to me because the F2 button is actually on the "S" key and pressed by using the Fn modifier key. There IS however as a modifier on the "2" key, an icon that looks like a tower emitting a wirelesss signal. I seem to remember this key turning on or off the wireless when I first got the netbook but now it does nothing, so I am unable to turn it on. I've tried to contact Dell tech support but they're pretty worthless.

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I would like to add that the "Wireless Network Wizard" I mentioned is something I downloaded from the Dell website. It's possible I downloaded the wrong thing.

But when I go into Start-> Network Connections -> Wireless Network Connection 3 (This icon has a red X on it), it asks me to Choose a Wireless Network. In the box where you would normally click a wireless network it has this message:

"Windows cannot configure the wireless connection. If you have enabled another program to manage this wireless connection, use that software. If you want Windows to configure this wireless connection, start the Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) service. For information about starting the WZC service, see article 871122 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base on the microsoft.com website"

I assume that this article tells you how to start services, which I already know how to do. So I right clicked on My Computer, Clicked on Manage, then clicked on Services & Applcations->Services. I right clicked on the Wireless Zero Configuration service and clicked "Start".


Now the message changed to say "If you wants to use Windows to configure this wireless connection, click 'Change advanced settings,' click the Wireless Network tab, and then select the check box labeled "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings."

So I clicked change advanced settings, and checked the box it told me to above and hit OK.

After doing this a pop up message bubble came up in the system tray that said "Wireless Network Connection 3 is not connected. Wireless Network Unavailable".

So NOW the choose a wireless network box simply says "No wireless networks were found in range. Make sure the wireless switch on your computer is on. To see an updated list, click 'Refresh network list.'"

Clicking refresh doesn't change this. The wireless router is less than 5 feet away and I have other devices connecting to it, which makes me think again, the wireless adapter is disabled, and I am still unable to enable it.

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In Device Manager, rt-click the Adapter, select "Uninstall" then reboot.
If the adapter is found on restart, it's properly installed.
It sounds as though you also have a Dell Utility installed to manage the wireless adapter. Look for something like "Dell wireless utility" on the program menu and open it.
I installed Ubuntu Netbook remix from a flash drive on my netbook and have never looked back.

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In Device Manager, rt-click the Adapter, select "Uninstall" then reboot.
If the adapter is found on restart, it's properly installed.
It sounds as though you also have a Dell Utility installed to manage the wireless adapter. Look for something like "Dell wireless utility" on the program menu and open it.
I installed Ubuntu Netbook remix from a flash drive on my netbook and have never looked back.

Just tried this and it says "Failed to uninstall the device. The device may be required to boot up the computer."


However it did get removed from the list. I restarted and it said it was reinstalled.... sigh. This is getting frustrating.


The Dell Utility also does nothing.

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