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Old 12-21-2010, 02:25 AM   #1
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Wireless card issues

Hi folks, I'm hoping someone computer-savvy can help me work out what's wrong with my computer...

I got my current computer (a PC) in December 2007, I bought all the bits separately and a friend of mine put them together. It included a wireless card, and it did work originally, but by and large I didn't use the wireless capability for most of the last three years.

I moved house to a place where the internet is via a wireless router, and discovered that the wireless card in my comp wasn't working (neither was the CD/DVD drive all of a sudden, but I fixed that). Windows (XP) claimed that the drivers were missing or corrupt - I attempted to re-install them from the original disk, but my computer froze up every time I tried. I also tried downloading the drivers and loading them on my computer via a USB stick, but it still froze up.

I then obtained a new wireless card and tried to install that, but my computer won't even recognise that any new hardware exists. I'm not very experienced with physically putting components into the guts of my computer, but the process was explained to me very carefully and I can't see how I could have messed it up.

One thing that did strike me was that the old wireless card seemed to have a thicker contact bit that went into the slot on the motherboard, than the new card, and I'm wondering if the new one is just too thin to make proper contact in the slot. Is this possible or am I hallucinating?

A friend of mine who attempted to fix this for me (and gave me the new card) is convinced it's a software issue, but I just wanted to make sure it couldn't be a physical matter of the new card simply not fitting properly.

If anyone wants the specifics:

The motherboard is a Gigabyte S-series P35-DS3P;
The old wireless card is a Netgear Wireless PCI Adapter - WG311T
The new wireless card is also Netgear, as above - WPN 311.

I know I'm a complete n00b, thanks in advance if anyone can help. I haven't had my own comp hooked up to the net since August...
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisaura View Post
I then obtained a new wireless card and tried to install that, but my computer won't even recognise that any new hardware exists. I'm not very experienced with physically putting components into the guts of my computer, but the process was explained to me very carefully and I can't see how I could have messed it up.

One thing that did strike me was that the old wireless card seemed to have a thicker contact bit that went into the slot on the motherboard, than the new card, and I'm wondering if the new one is just too thin to make proper contact in the slot. Is this possible or am I hallucinating?

A friend of mine who attempted to fix this for me (and gave me the new card) is convinced it's a software issue, but I just wanted to make sure it couldn't be a physical matter of the new card simply not fitting properly.

If anyone wants the specifics:

The motherboard is a Gigabyte S-series P35-DS3P;
The old wireless card is a Netgear Wireless PCI Adapter - WG311T
The new wireless card is also Netgear, as above - WPN 311.
Since you have already got a new card I won't go into the driver problems of the previous one.

Now, WPN 311 is compatible with all PCI slots. (WG331T requires a PCI 2.2 compliant slot). So you should start by making sure that it's connected to the slot properly. Use some force to push it in. Clean the slot and the contacts of the card. If it doesn't work on one slot try a different one(if available). Some slots just die after a few years.

Also, you need to follow the installation guide properly. I think you'll have to install the software before installing the card. That's the case with most cards. So, install the WPN311 software, Reboot, and then put the card into the slot and connect the antenna(turn off the PC while doing so). After that when you boot, the software should run automatically and you should be able to set up your adapter.

See if that works
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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^ Ditto that and if you can't get it to work see if you can return it and get a USB card, then you don't have to deal with the PCI slots or "installing" anything other than just plugging it into an open USB port.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:21 AM   #4
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Now, WPN 311 is compatible with all PCI slots. (WG331T requires a PCI 2.2 compliant slot). So you should start by making sure that it's connected to the slot properly. Use some force to push it in. [...]
That was all I needed to do... I feel like such an idiot.

Thank you very much for the tip, though... I have this paralysing fear of breaking electronic things if I poke them too hard, so I basically didn't shove the card in hard enough.

I gave it another go tonight, emboldened by your (and Liesje's) suggestion, and here I am, online from my own comp for the first time in four months.

Thanks again, and sorry for making an idiot of myself in public. *L*
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:04 AM   #5
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