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Re: dellwireless card driver.
Re-install the drivers firstm, go to www.support.dell.com amd select your model or put in tag number, then download them and install. Then make sure it is enabled by right clicking on the icon and selecting " ENABLE" or right click MY COMPUTER and select MANAGE, then when it opens, go to devices and locate it under network cards, should be a green little icon, select it and enable it form there if you can or see if its got a malfunction symble.
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The answer to your question will depend on what expansion slots your new Acer desktop computer has and whether one of these will match the specific 'half mini PCI-e' card which is used in the Dell Optiplex 160L per http://www.dell.com/uk/business/p/optiplex-160/pd which states it is an Optional Dell Wireless 1397
802.11BG Half Mini-PCIe card. You will also need to obtain the device drivers for this wireless card in order to use it in the Acer. Given that the Dell wireless card is only an 11/54MB standard card (802.11BG) I would recommend buying a newer 802.11N wireless card which will be sold with the necessary device driver and software applications needed, will give higher speed connectivity access and be much simpler to install and manage.
To connect your computer to the Linksys wireless router using the LAN card in your computer you need to install the LAN card driver. If you want to use a wireless connection with your Dell desktop, you will need to install a wireless card on your Dell plus the wireless card driver. For the LAN card driver, download the driver from the Dell WEB site.
You can download the device drivers from Dell WEB site,the support download page. Make sure you select your model desktop or laptop,better still, type in the Service Tag number, it is printed on the label on thebottom of the laptop and on the back or sides of a desktop. (If the Service Taglabel is missing then go into the BIOS setting and on one of the BIOS pages,the Service Tag number will be displayed). This will open the page where thespecific drivers for your model computer are located. Also make sure you selectthe Windows of the drivers for your Windows operating system. Click on thislink to download the drivers: -
I found that drivers of the wireless card may not work with the latest
drivers of the router. As was in my case. I updated my router. All
good. Updated my wireless drivers on laptop, I see network but can not
access it (Dell says they are still working on it). However, I could
connect to other wireless connections. So it was the Dell card for sure. Did you recently update any drivers? Maybe try rolling back. If not, maybe try updating them and the router.
You need a network card that is functioning to connect to anything. If your network card in the desktop stops functioning, you will need to replace it (or, if it's built into the motherboard, add a card). Unless you have a wireless card also installed, you cannot connect wirelessly.
It seems that you have Dell Desktop computer, unless you requested a wireless card to be put into the computer, it would not come with one. Just like stang_1 mentioned, you should check your network adapters to see if your wireless card is listed. Also since it is a desktop, you can check the back of it to see if you have an Antenna sticking out of it. That would indicate that you have a wireless card on the PCI slot. And if that is the case and you do not see it listed in the network connections, check the Device Manager and make sure that the drivers are installed properly.
This is probably because your wireless adapter or network driver was uninstalled with the installation of Windows XP. I suggest looking up your motherboard and finding its network driver. If your wireless adapter is a card, then look up that driver as well.