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Toshiba Satellite can't find wireless network

October 23, 2010 at 09:34:09
Specs: Windows 7

I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop running Windows 7. It has a built-in wireless card and I've always been able to automatically connect to any wifi connection available. I moved into my sister's home with a Netgear/Clearwire router and adapter which I've never had any problem connecting to. Then one morning I opened my laptop and I had no available networks. Instead of the AT&T-like staircase bars icon indicating my connection, I have a square with a wire kind of icon. When I try to diagnose the problem, it says that there is a network cable unplugged or broken but everything seems to be in working order--the router and adapter say there's a connection and my sister who runs an older version of Windows has no problem connecting. If I plug the Ethernet cable into my laptop then I have Internet access.

I have not tried bringing my laptop elsewhere to see if I connect to a wifi network but my boyfriend brought his windows 7 laptop over and he had the same issues as me. I called Clearwire and after trying to figure it out with the tech guy, we found that in the Control Panel under Network connections, the only icon that appears is the Local Area Connection while a WAN icon should appear too. Then we went into the device manager and under Network adapters, the only thing that appears is the Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller. We tried doing a hardware scan, turning the wifi switch on my laptop on and off, all to no avail. And the light on the switch is orange instead of blue.

I tried downloading some Toshiba Realtek drivers and the new BIOS update but nothing has changed. I'm going to take my laptop somewhere with Wifi today and see if I can connect but is there anything I can do in the meantime? Or any advice, solutions, etc? Thanks for the help!


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#1
October 23, 2010 at 20:44:13

Okay so I called Toshiba tech support and the guy said to download the Realtek driver and if nothing changed then I have a broken antenna. I'm guessing that means I need a new wireless card... which I figure I can just replace myself instead of paying so much money for someone to do it. Does anyone know what kind of wireless card to get? A Realtek one?

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#2
October 24, 2010 at 01:30:45

In a laptop the wireless NIC with antenna is usually inbuilt in the motherboard. It isn't something you can replace. A skilled technician may be able to remove/replace the applicable component if suitable replacement part was available but I doubt you will find a reseller who stocks it. Unfortunately you need a new motherboard.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#3
November 1, 2010 at 15:22:48

If you get this one >
http://www.edimax.com/en/produce_de...
you won't need to replace anything. Just connect it from USB and install the software from cd. It is really small but has a powerful range.

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#4
November 2, 2010 at 13:10:35

Thanks for the replies! I went to the tech guy and bought the USB plugin--I guess the one I had wasn't installing the drivers correctly. So now wireless is working but if I want to completely repair the problem, I'd have to replace the motherboard and the quotes I got were ridiculous. But as long as it's working with the USB, that's good enough for now.

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