Computer Help forum


Lost Internet Capabilities

by Skittlebrain / December 30, 2012 12:11 PM PST

I have a second Dell Inspiron laptop that I planned on giving to my niece for Christmas. It has Windows Vista. I reformatted it so it would be as new for my niece. Before I reinstalled Windows the laptop had internet and wireless connections. Afterwards I am unable to connect to the internet. It cannot find any networks even though I have that available and use with my other laptop and could should be able to connect to it but I can't. I installed all drivers and such from all the disks and it still claims there's no internet connections. What do I do now?

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All Answers

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WiFi Switch
by sunwatcher / December 30, 2012 12:32 PM PST

You haven't mentioned if you've checked the common things first. There should be an WiFi indicator light on the laptop; if so, be sure it's lit. There is likely a switch or function key which turns the WiFi on/off. The switch is usually located around the edge of the laptop somewhere.

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by Skittlebrain / December 30, 2012 4:34 PM PST
In reply to: WiFi Switch

Yes I have checked the WiFi switch and it's not lit and I can't get it to turn on. When I go to Network adapters and try to update the drivers for ethernet it tells me I must contact the manufacturer which is Dell. I am assuming Dell has some kind of protection where you can't fix these things yourself? I've owned this laptop for a couple years and it's been great and I've never had a problem until I reinstalled Windows.

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Dell doesn't have some kind of protection
by glb613 / December 30, 2012 8:48 PM PST
In reply to: WiFi

installed. Uninstall the network adapter through the device manager, reboot and let Windows reinstall it. If you don't have the correct drivers, you'll get an error message and there will be a yellow exclamation point next to the device. Go to, service and support, enter your service tag number and get the correct drivers.

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by Skittlebrain / December 30, 2012 10:31 PM PST

the network adapter and when rebooted the system found it but a message came up it was unable to find the drivers to install. Ok thanks I'll see what can be done via

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Did you install the WiFi driver?
by wpgwpg / December 30, 2012 10:23 PM PST

Did you check Device Manager to see if there's a driver installed for the network adapters? Since some laptops use a physical switch for WiFi and some use a combination of the Fn key a one of the numbered F keys, you need to be sure you installed the driver from Dell for that as well.

Good luck.

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by Skittlebrain / December 30, 2012 10:35 PM PST

I did and there is/are drivers installed for the network adaptor that I uninstalled as per the previous post tip then restarted and it said it was unable to locate any drivers. Thanks for telling me about the keys as I wasn't aware of that and I need all the luck I can get with this!!!

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try connecting with
by itsdigger / December 31, 2012 12:57 AM PST
In reply to: Driver

an ethernet cable and reload drivers at Dell's website. Just a thought ..Digger

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Ethernet and drivers
by Skittlebrain / December 31, 2012 1:14 AM PST
In reply to: try connecting with

I can't connect to the internet to download the drivers but thanks Digger!

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You need to ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 31, 2012 9:20 AM PST

go to this link and enter the laptop's service tag number to get all the proper drivers required. Probably need a second connected computer to do this then download all the proper drivers to a CD or even better a flash drive so you can install them on the problem PC.

You should also find the Dell Quickset utility if it is available for your model of laptop. This link tells you a bit about it:

Now, having said that are you certain that you do not still have the recovery partition Dell installed on your laptop? I know you mentioned reformatting but if you didn't mess with the partitions you may still have it and this link might help:

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Thank you
by Skittlebrain / January 1, 2013 4:52 AM PST
In reply to: You need to ...

for your links and advice..they are great. I will get a flash drive tomorrow. I did recheck for the recovery partition but can't find anything other than the date I reformatted it and nothing previous. I'll let you know how everything goes.

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