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If your PC has USB jacks, you can install a your choice of either wired or wireless network interface cards without as much as touching any tools (except for maybe a razor knife to open the package). If opening the case is something you're not comfortable doing, this may be the easiest way to get network connectivity.
Installing cards is not that difficult, but you need to open the case and determine if there is an open slot available and which type of slot it is. Most modern PCs have PCI slots and a PCI express (or older AGP video card slots). Again, not too hard figure out which type you've got.. search for pictures of slots on google. Look for PCI AGP PCIe and ISA slots so that you might compare them with those inside your PC to determine which type NIC you'll need. Then, buy a NIC that matches the slot and install as per directions.
The solution is to remove (Uninstall) the Dell WLAN Management
software this removes the device as well. Then Reinstall the wireless
card with the Drivers ONLY. (It seems the DELL software doesn't work properly with the DELL branded network card in a DELL Laptop; go figure)
When you download the driver it will unzip and try to install
automatically; but this will only reinstall the offending software
again, so you must cancel the installation after you unzip the file.
When I searched for new hardware again it found the device as a
Broadcom wireless card but could not install the drivers. This allows
you to click Update Drivers and point to the 'drivers' folder in the
location that the files were unzipped to. Once the device driver alone
is installed the wireless card works immediately and finds any
It seems that after re-installing windows you have missed the Driver installation for your hardware. If you have a disk (which reads Drivers and Utilities) that came with your computer, You can insert it in your CD Driver and select the Driver for Network adapter. If you do not have a disc, you can always visit the Dell's support site i.e.:support.dell.com and Get the drivers suitable for your hardware by selecting the model or Entering the Service Tag of your Dell computer.
There should not be any problem with you buying your own PCI ethernet card and install it yourself. They are not that expensive. www.newegg.com has on for only $7.99 and it will work fine in your computer. It does not need to be from Dell.
Hi spring chicken.
Two ways of going about this, cost about the same, £15 - £20. Your computer needs to talk to wireless tower, this is done by a plug in USB wireless dongle, (small stick, plugs in computer USB port) or by a wireless PCI card that fits inside your desktop in a PCI slot,(white slots on your motherboard,3or 4 of them side by side) Both ways are straight forward plug & play. You say you are near a wifi tower, this is fine as long as you are in what we call a wifi hotspot, where the owner of the tower allows unrestricted access to other users, Library's & the such allow this service. Your dongle or card will let you see if the networks are security encripted (WEP) or open unsecured. A secured network requires a network key to be used, (an 8 or 20 digit number set by the owner)
You can only get free network access in a hotspot.
Or ask the owner of a nearby network if they would be kind enough to allow to use their network, you will need a security code from them.
Hope this helps, do have a nice day.
If you don't want to wait until Dell send you back one, just go to Best Buy or any other computer store and buy a small-factor PCI network card, I assume you have an free PCI slot available, if you have a wireless router then it maybe be easy to get an external USB-based wireless network card.
Check for the pins inside the integrated NIC to check if the pins are bent / disfigured. Does not look like the additional card is making any different, looks more like a moving NIC cable is makin the difference.