Question about Dell Inspiron 9300 Notebook

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Intel 2915abg on Inspiron 9300...Help?

Hi all,

I have been actively seeking help for this problem on another forum and I received a lot of great advice and tips from the users there. Unfortunately, nobody was quite able to figure out what my problem might be...so I thought I'd try here.

In brief: I do not pay for internet access at home because I live next to our town library which supplies free wireless access to the neighborhood within range. I have the Inspiron 9300 set to automatically identify and log onto the network each time I raise the lid.

One day, about two weeks ago, I raised the lid and received a pop-up error from the taskbar saying, "Unable to connect to any of your preferred wireless networks, yada, yada, yada." Through a frustrating process of trial and error, I found that the adapter would not even attempt to connect to any open-access wireless network around my neighborhood (there are several). However, it WILL try to connect to all protected networks up until the point where I need to enter the key which, of course, I don't have.

So....I have physically removed the wireless card (internal), uninstalled the driver, removed the adapter via the Device Manager, downloaded the updated driver from Dell and reinstalled everything. No dice.

I uninstalled SP3 as someone had suggested that as a possible culprit and repeated all the above steps. Nothing.

BUT, a couple of days ago, something strange happened: The adapter latched on to an open-access network and easily connected! Out of the blue. I'm assuming that it, like the others, is a private network so I don't want to steal someone's service. However, ethics aside and just for the purpose of troubleshooting, I have confirmed that my adapter loves connecting to this network and yet refuses to connect to the other FOUR open-access networks within range of my house. Even though ALL FIVE networks share all the same properties with the sole exception of operating on different channels.

So...any ideas? Need more information? Help, please? Thanks!

Posted by on

  • Jeremy Aug 30, 2008

    Thanks for the help, guys! I have no anti-virus, anti-spyware or any 3rd-party firewalls installed. I made sure to eradicate all traces of all that stuff just to see. Windows' firewall is also disabled.



    I'm guessing that Pyrhyc is correct in his statements. Nobody had thought of that route before and it's the first time I've had the "radio" explanation provided to me; it makes sense.



    I'm just gonna' purchase a new card and see what happens. Thanks again!

  • Richard Finch May 11, 2010

    Are you using Norton Internet security with firewall or any other kind of third party firewall?

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The only thing that comes to mind is that either your firewall or the networks firewall were at odds. it's a long shot but you do have a unusal problem that i have never come across before. good luck and please rate this solution ......thanks and good luck.

Posted on Aug 30, 2008

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In most cases this is generally a driver glitch, but since you have done the uninstall/reinstall of the drivers, I'm going to say that the wireless card has malfunctioned. The wireless card works off of frequency, and receives in a certain preset FCC regulated frequency range, thus the term radio in the wireless settings. Occasionally the radio will malfunction and lose the ability to receive certain frequencies, but pick up others perfectly fine. Some wireless networks will let you see the frequency that it's broadcasting on, so, if you can see the broadcast frequency, compare the different networks, and I'll bet that you find the one you are receiving is different from the rest. If this is the case, then you will need to replace the card in order to get the full range that it is supposed to receive, and pick up the other networks.

Posted on Aug 30, 2008

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