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I dropped my old dell e1505 laptop. Works fine but now I've lost my wireless connection under "Network Connection." It's like the laptop no longer recognizes my wireless card. So, I checked my device manager and under "network adapters" it does show "Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller" - there's no red X or question mark. Finally, I checked my BIOS and under wifi device it says "none." Any ideas on getting the computer to recognize the card? Not sure if something came loose when I dropped it.

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I suspect you've identified the problem. Something got knocked loose when you dropped it.

The Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller is likely your Ethernet (also called LAN) port, not a wireless card. Since you seem to have a separate wireless card, perhaps this will correct the problem.

  • Remove the wireless card, wait a few seconds, and re-insert it.
  • Wait a 10 or 20 seconds for Windows to recognize the card and start establishing a connection.

That may not work because Windows only sets up the connection when restarting. Try to force that to happen.

  • Remove the wireless card
  • Shut down Windows
  • Start up with the wireless card removed
  • Shut down Windows
  • Install the wireless card
  • Start up Windows

If that's not successful you may have damaged the card or knocked something else loose. If you are good technically you could disassemble it and check for loose parts. If you haven't done this before, the first thing to do is find a service manual (try this) and study it. If reading it carefully makes you more nervous, then should take it into a shop to have it repaired.

Note that all those screws are different for a reason. I have a second-hand IBM ThinkPad that someone else repaired. All the screws are mixed up and occasionally fall out because they are a little too short for the location. Don't try this if you aren't good with repairs. You may wind up with an unrepairable laptop.

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Thanks Wayne. I followed the Dell service manual and reseated the minicard. Wasn't that hard to remove the hinge and keyboard actually. I booted back up but still ain't working. Computer is pretty trashed so may not be worth spending any money on it. Fortunately I can still access the web through my phone broadband plan. –  user30367 Mar 6 '10 at 15:45

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