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Dell Inspiron Laptop
Windows 7 (64bit)
Wireless card - Dell 1510 mini (but I think made by Broadcomm)

Been getting BSODs (always whilst on wireless) - so updated wireless driver to the latest one on the Dell site.

Now the wirelss adapter won't enable.

I've tried old and new drivers (from the PC, from the new download and from "the internet").

I've tried de-installing the adapter and letting plug n' play take over - same result.

I don't normally use Win7, so I'll just say that in "the big page which shows your adapters" (lie Network Connections in XP) the wireless adapter is clearly disabled. Enabling it brings up a message "Enabling" followed by "Enabled" ... but it isn't. However I try to enable it it stays disabled (including the F2 applet).

But in Device Manager it says that it is working properly (!). It can be enabled ... but going back to the Connection section shows that it isn't (nor do we get any wireless connection to our netork - something normally automatic).

Troubleshooting the connection says that "There may be a problem with the wireless driver" and it goes away and tries various solutions - none of which work.

I am logged on as Admin and I have tried many reboots.

System Restore doesn't seem to work. This is the first time I ever tried it - fat lot of good that turned out to be. It complained about anti virus progams. I run Avast. Although I can turn off all of the shields I don't see how I can actually stop running Avast completely. So I am unable to System Restore to yesterday.

The only thing I DID notice was that before the problem I'm almost certiain that I had TWO entries in Device Manager (one called Dell and I think one called Broadcomm). Ever since I have only had one (Dell).


What else can I try ?

a) to enable the wireless card,

or

b) to run System Restore

Regards

Graham

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Last Post by earningsilence
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I think this problem is because of win 7 64bit.In win 7 64bit connectivity problem occurs. but try this disable your firewall and then try co connect.if faced this problem again then install win7 32bit OS it work properly.

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wireless updated driver to the latest one on the Dell site.It contains anti virus progams.

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Well, I keep turning the Firewall off to test that I'm still not able to enable. It never makes a difference.

On reflection, whilst I can see that the Firewall may block data, I don't think that it is the culprit here.

Remember - Device Manager reports the wireless as OK (and enabled) - the Network Adapter page shows it as disabled (although you can start the enabling process, which appears to be working, but doesn't actually enable it) - and finally the troubleshooter thinks that "there may be a problem with the driver", but can't fix it.

I have carefully followed the Dell instructions and updated both the chipset drivers and the wireless card drivers. I even went direct to Broadcomm and tried one of their drivers (my "best guess") - but it made no difference at all.


I'm at my wit's end. I've been pluging away at this for about eight hours yesterday and today - Help !

Regards

Graham

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More info.

I've used Admin Tools and seen a lot of Network related services which are running, also in system config. There aren't any obvious candidates which need to be turned on.

I also looked in the BIOS and saw that wireless is enabled there too.

I have also posted in the Dell Support forum. I noted quite a few "similar" problems (broadly speaking, people who have lost wireless connectiity). Despite many of them being months (or years !) old, there are very few replies ... and almost no resolutions to any of them ! I'm surprised (in fact appalled) that Dell can allow this state of affairs to exist !!!

Regards

Graham

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you need to delete any entry's of the card ever being in the computer. Whether its a laptop or desktop that wireless card needs to comeout. Restart the computer and be sure device manager doesn't see it. turn off again and put the card in and allow windows to install a driver if it can. Also if its a laptop for the love of God make sure there is no switch or FN + somebutton command that turns it on and off.

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Thanks for the replies guys (which is more than the official Dell Support Forum can manage !).

This is a Laptop and it came with Wireless built in. Whilst it's called a "card" it's probably more like a card attached to the motherboard - it certainly isn't a user-removable slot-in PCMCIA type card. It's a tiny (brand new) laptop and I wouldn't dare to try and open it up (even if I had a clue how to).

I'm happy to try and delete any evidence of the card and start over - but how do I do that ? I've tried de-installing it (and selecting "remove drivers") whilst in Device Manager. That didn't do it. What else can I delete ?

Regards

Graham

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In device manager find the wireless device and choose uninstall. once uninstalled restart the computer and jump into your bios and locate the wireless in there and disable it. save your changes in the bios and restart the pc again. let it go into windows.(at this point when going into windows the wireless device should not be auto-installed by windows). Turn the pc off, then on and go back into the bios and enable the wireless. save changes once again and restart. Post results plz. and errors

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One more thing, check control panel - add/remove programs - search for the wireless drive in there, if there is, and remove that as well.

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Dear EarningSilience,

I really can't thank you enough ! Someone is actually listening and helping !

Sadly my partner has just had to leave (15 minutes ago !). She is now in transit from the UK to the US on a week-long business trip with this slightly disabled laptop.

I'll try and get her to do what you suggest though. She is a competent user - although not given to dabbling in the BIOS.

One clarification please - at which point should she do the add/remove program bit ? Before or after disabling the wireless ?


Thanks again


Regards

Graham

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Thanks,

So it's :

Check add/remove for anything wireless related and remove it
Reboot (what the hey !)
Uninstall in Device Manager (and check "remove driver from disk")
Reboot (before the PC can rescan for hardware changes)
Catch the boot with F2 and go into the BIOS
Navigate to Wireless in the BIOS and disable it
Allow the machine to come on
Reboot
Catch the boot with F2 and go into the BIOS
Navigate to Wireless in the BIOS and enable it
Allow the machine to come on

... at which point it should auto-detect the wireless card and install a driver.


Have I missed any steps ?

Don't worry, she's by no means a novice ... but like most women she leaves the mucking about with the o/s and BIOS to men, being more concerned with the important stuff like getting work done !

It's not lost on me that if (perhaps) I hadn't tried to update the driver a) I wouldn't have wasted several hours, and b) her laptop would still have wireless access. True, it had been known to go BSOD about once a week ... but only whilst actually on a wireless connection (something which is actually quite manageable in a work situation - just turn it off during presentations, etc,...)

Cheers

Graham

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that would be correct. you actually dont have to reboot after addremove. you can jump straight to device manager part. thats when you have to reboot.

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I had this problem recently - it seemed to be related to a Vista auto update (stupid Microsoft) which eventually removed my whole operating system. Had to pay to get it fixed - and now it is starting again. Am very interested to find out what is up - virus? Vista bug?

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that would be correct. you actually dont have to reboot after addremove. you can jump straight to device manager part. thats when you have to reboot.

Thanks again.

This procedure certainly seemed to "work" in that it did what we wanted and properly installed a wireless driver.

But the bad news is that wireless still doesn't work - and now the messages are slightly different (as far as I can tell from so far away).

The really bad thing is that the machine is now BSOD'ing regularly - sometimes after only 5 minutes of up time.

My partner is terrified of going on line and only does so for a couple of minutes at a time (with an ethernet cable) to send/receive email. I told her to leave the wireless disabled in the BIOS as that may make it just a little more stable.

I would love to just give this back to Dell (with detailed instructions as to where to put it !) but I guess that I will have to do some sort of rebuild from the installation disks and then probably a full re-install first. If I was a gambling man I would say that it will probably still fail - I reckon that there is a hardware fault with the wireless card. If it was a desktop I could easily pull it out and test the theory ... but laptops are a whole different proposition.


If anyone has any other ideas we are willing to try anything right now. The machine is only a cough and a spit away from being a paperweight at the moment - so we have no qualms about fiddling about in the BIOS or changing any settings.

Regards

Graham

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Another way to tell, flat out, if its the actual wireless device or windows creating the problem.... You can save all important data from the pc and use the recovery disks from Dell to completely start from when it first came out of the box. Process takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. If the recovery is performed and the bluescreens still happen that would mean the actual chip itself is bad. I'll stick with you on this. You'll get it fixed.

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Another way to tell, flat out, if its the actual wireless device or windows creating the problem.... You can save all important data from the pc and use the recovery disks from Dell to completely start from when it first came out of the box. Process takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. If the recovery is performed and the bluescreens still happen that would mean the actual chip itself is bad. I'll stick with you on this. You'll get it fixed.

Thanks again ES. This is a job for next Monday (when the PC comes back).

After sorting out the back up, I was hoping that there would be some sort of "repair" or "rebuild" option with Win7 - to refresh all of the system files and drivers from the installation disks. Isn't there ?

Only if that failed was I going to do a "factory reset".

I recall spending the best part of two afternoons getting the laptop into the shape that we want. As well as acting as a network backup (so there's loads of data to put on it) we also like to change the firewall and av software to match our other computers. Actually getting it to fully recognise the network caused a lot of problems and then there's other stuff to put on it like Outlook files and various templates, not to mention browsers (we avoid IE at all costs). We have it set up with an administrator and two separate users - who each have their own desktop settings etc.

I would really rather avoid going through all that again (so soon !) ... especially if, as I fear, it'l make no difference.

Regards

Graham

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There is a way but i've never trusted the system restore provided with windows... The first thing i was taught was to never expected system restore to fix a problem. That would be all up to you. I understand, however, trying to avoid that long process of bringing everything back up to speed after a recovery. As you said tho, it may be fate

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There is a way but i've never trusted the system restore provided with windows... The first thing i was taught was to never expected system restore to fix a problem. That would be all up to you. I understand, however, trying to avoid that long process of bringing everything back up to speed after a recovery. As you said tho, it may be fate

So, Monday evening now.

I have performed a full "Repair Install" which took several hours in total (about four).

When the dust settled (and I had re-installed my firewall and AV) I found that the wireless now works !

I poked it about a bit, did some wireless browsing ... seems OK.

I then updated Skype to the current release.

As a final test I unplugged from the mains and walked about happily with a working laptop !

Then I called the laptop from the desktop PC using Skype. As I tried to accept the incoming call ... BANG, BSOD :O(

Ten minutes later I heard the desktop PC reboot itself (a sure sign that it had BSOD'ed itself). I'm starting to wonder if Skype is the culprit here - it seems to be "in the mix" quite a lot when this happens (although admittedly not quite 100%).

One concern I have is that there is something "wrong" with the installation on the desktop PC. I can't update Skype (it says a previous version needs to be uninstalled first). I can't uninstall it as it's name doesn't appear on add/remove programs. I downloaded Revo uninstaller - that can't find it either.

There is no uninstall option within Skype, nor can I find any uninstall.exe type program in a Skype subdirectory.

Is there any way to "manually" uninstall Skype so that I can replace it with the current release ?

Regards

Graham

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That was an awesomely detailed post. I read up on your problem and you are def not alone with getting the bsod. What version on skype do you have on your problem pc?

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That was an awesomely detailed post. I read up on your problem and you are def not alone with getting the bsod. What version on skype do you have on your problem pc?

Well, it appears that the Windows 7 Repair (very helpful guide here - http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html) fixed the wireless problem completely. It was relatively painless (it didn't even ask me to re-key the horrificaly long product key either). It did however take about four hours to run (mercifully requiring no more user input once it was properly under way).

The BSOD with Skype was worrying though.

I quickly noticed that I could also trigger a blue screen by merely running the Dell WebCam software ... so it wasn't actually directly triggerred by Skype.

I experimented by removing the Firewall and then uninstalling my anti-virus. I could still trigger a blue screen by running the Dell software. I tried to update the Dell package - but I couldn't (it was already the lastest).

I wondered if the act of running Skype had "caused" the damage - so I did another Windows 7 repair and then, without running anti-virus, firewall or Skype, simply tried the Dell webcam software - BSOD.

As I started to uninstall the Dell Web Cam software, with a view of re-installing from another web source, it ocurred to me to just leave it uninstalled.

So now, with no Dell Web Cam software, I run Skype and ... Bingo ! No probs !

It seems that the Dell-included package to control the webcam is not needed by Skype (and, on this laptop, causes a reproducable BSOD).

I've been using the laptop for about four hours now. I've made a couple of Skype video calls and used the wireless connection. It is presently running a full backup of the Desktop PC. So far so good !


Now, if only I could uninstall the old Skype from the desktop PC in order to load up the same (newest) version as I now have on the laptop. I guess I'll post that as a separate question with a more relevant title.

Cheers

Graham

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haha yea, good work man. nothing works better than the trial by error. Well if i helped at all i'm glad i could.

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