Solved Is there a combo Ethernet wireless pci express card?

February 17, 2017 at 19:23:03
Specs: Windows 10, Intel i73.4GHz/12GB DDR3
Hello, I have a dell that has an integrated Ethernet card that also handles wireless. Sometimes the Ethernet drops and wireless is only enabled. Dell swapped out the board a few years ago when my XPS 8300 was under warranty because the integrated half card had issues.

Anyway I am thinking about buying an Ethernet pci express card that I can connect directly to the modem. I only have one pci express slot available and am looking for a card that handles both wireless and Ethernet. I checked NewEgg but they don't have anything like this. Does anyone know if anything like this exists? Thanks for your help.

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✔ Best Answer
February 18, 2017 at 07:58:29
"The issue is that the card Dell has on the desktop is DW1501 Wireless-N WLAN Half-Mini Card, it's integrated into the motherboard"

The DW1501 is a card commonly used in laptops. The motherboard has a special slot for it but I'm not sure if I'd call the card "integrated", anymore than I would call a graphics card integrated because it has its own PCIe slot. The Broadcom ethernet however, IS integrated. If you're using the wired connection, the wifi card is unnecessary. If you do a search, you'll find the problem is not hardware related, it's Windows 10 related. Uninstall the current driver & force the Win7 driver to install.

Mini-card: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon...

See the following: http://en.community.dell.com/suppor...

Also see #26 here: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/fo...

EDIT: I'd bet you didn't have these issues until upgrading to Win10. Your system is a bit dated & there are no Win10 drivers for the old Broadcom ethernet controller. Win10 loads generic drivers but as stated in the above links, those drivers don't work properly. If you want to spend money on hardware, that's your business, but I don't think there's a combo card (wireless + wired) available. You would have to buy them separately. But once again, if you're using the wired connection, the wireless isn't needed. IMHO, drivers are the problem, not hardware. Make sure any hardware you purchase is fully supported & includes Win10 drivers.

message edited by riider



#1
February 17, 2017 at 20:40:09
If you already have the ethernet, you could purchase a USB Wireless

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...

There are others of course. It just depends on how much you'd like to pay.

Doing the best I can here... And remember, there's always more than one path to success. :)


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#2
February 18, 2017 at 06:00:32
I assume your desktop is stationary, in other words, you don't carry it around with you. If it's right near the modem/router, why would you use wireless? A hardwired ethernet connection is the best way to go. If the internet drops out occasionally & you're sure the problem isn't with the modem/router, try updating the network drivers & possibly the BIOS too. Pull the wireless mini-card if you don't need it, it may be interfering. You could also try updating the modem firmware.

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us...

https://www.broadcom.com/products/e...


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#3
February 18, 2017 at 07:02:22
Hi, thanks for the replies. I use the wireless for WiFi. I do want to use the hardwired Ethernet connection. The issue is that the card Dell has on the desktop is DW1501 Wireless-N WLAN Half-Mini Card, it's integrated into the motherboard. When I first got the system in 2011, hardwired connection and WiFi worked great. While the desktop was still under warranty, around 2014, the hardwired connection would drop and only wireless was enabled. I would have to reboot the FiOs modem and the PC and hardwired connection was available. I researched and found that Dell had issues with the half cards, so I called them and they sent out a tech to swap out the board, It worked fine. I upgraded to Windows 10 last year and worked great. I thought maybe it was a driver issue but Broadcom NetLink doesn't make a driver for Windows 10. I tried new cables as well but the same result. I thought it was the Verizon router, I have my wife's Dell on Ethernet port 1 and mine on port 4. Her hardwire connection works great. Anyway I don't want to look into a motherboard if that's the case I may as well buy a new system but other than the issue I am having, the system works fine. I thought the inexpensive way to go would buy an Ethernet card I can insert in the available PCI Express slot I have, and get hardwired Ethernet connection that way. I don't want to give up the wireless for the WiFi so I was hoping I could find an Ethernet card that does both, hardwire connection and wireless. Does anyone know if such a card exists?

Thanks so much for your replies and help!


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#4
February 18, 2017 at 07:41:35
Hi again, I just did some testing. I went into the Bios and disabled the Networking. As soon as I did that and restarted, the port number 4 light was out. The Ethernet hardwire connection wasn't available but wireless was. So I guess the card Dell installed handles both. So that tells me the issue is with the motherboard piece that handles the hardwire connection. I guess I can find an Ethernet card and hope that whatever integrated card they installed for the wireless continues to work. I am curious if anyone knows if an Ethernet card that does both, hardwire connection and wireless exists? Thanks again!

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#5
February 18, 2017 at 07:58:29
✔ Best Answer
"The issue is that the card Dell has on the desktop is DW1501 Wireless-N WLAN Half-Mini Card, it's integrated into the motherboard"

The DW1501 is a card commonly used in laptops. The motherboard has a special slot for it but I'm not sure if I'd call the card "integrated", anymore than I would call a graphics card integrated because it has its own PCIe slot. The Broadcom ethernet however, IS integrated. If you're using the wired connection, the wifi card is unnecessary. If you do a search, you'll find the problem is not hardware related, it's Windows 10 related. Uninstall the current driver & force the Win7 driver to install.

Mini-card: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon...

See the following: http://en.community.dell.com/suppor...

Also see #26 here: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/fo...

EDIT: I'd bet you didn't have these issues until upgrading to Win10. Your system is a bit dated & there are no Win10 drivers for the old Broadcom ethernet controller. Win10 loads generic drivers but as stated in the above links, those drivers don't work properly. If you want to spend money on hardware, that's your business, but I don't think there's a combo card (wireless + wired) available. You would have to buy them separately. But once again, if you're using the wired connection, the wireless isn't needed. IMHO, drivers are the problem, not hardware. Make sure any hardware you purchase is fully supported & includes Win10 drivers.

message edited by riider


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#6
February 20, 2017 at 09:21:37
Hi riider,

Thanks so much. I wasn't able to force the Win7 driver, I kept getting an error. But since In uninstalled the driver and rebooted, the hardwire connection is enabled. I emailed Broadcom to see if they pan on having a Win10 driver but I doubt they will. Thanks you and to all for your help.


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#7
February 20, 2017 at 10:08:09
Here's is how to force the Win7 driver to install:

Let's say you download R235081.exe from the Dell site. Double click on it & it will unpack to C:\dell\drivers\R235081. If it begins to install after unpacking, immediately cancel out of it. Go to the R235081 folder, find Setup.exe & do the following:

Right click on it, click Properties, then click the Compatibility tab. Check the box next to "Run this program in compatibility mode for" & select Windows 7. Also check the box next to "Run this program as an administrator", click Apply, then click OK. After doing all that, double click on Setup.exe & see if the driver will install properly. Make sure to uninstall the current Win10 driver 1st.

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