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my wife's Toshiba Satellite L500-1WG won't connect to wireless networks suddenly. In fact, it appears not to have a wireless network driver any more. I tried downloading the latest driver and updated the BIOS, but to no avail. Anyone have any idea what could cause this and what I can do about it?

In the Toshiba PC Diagnosis tool, under network it just shows:

RealTek PCIe FE Family Controller version=7.3.522.2009

But no reference to a WLAN controller.



Edit: Never managed to find a solution to this, so I ended up putting in a new USB wifi dongle. Working fine now, but still a mystery. My best guess is that the built-in wifi adaptor broke somehow.

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I am guessing it doesn't appear in Device Manager either, as an "unknown device" or a network card and exclamation point? – Paul Jan 16 '12 at 23:22
I suppose the wifi adapter could be off? If I remember correctly on many Toshiba laptops you can press Fn+F8 to turn on and off the wifi adapter, or maybe there is a switch on the front? That said, I would expect it to at least show up as disabled, but maybe not. – opsin Jan 17 '12 at 3:33
That's right: it doesn't show up in Device Manager. Most weirdly, not only does Fn+F8 not do anything, but if you hold down Fn, F8 doesn't show up as an option any more. I'm going to try reinstalling all the drivers again tonight in case I missed something last night... – Ben Jan 17 '12 at 8:50
In the end, I gave up and just installed a new wireless dongle on the laptop which works fine. I guess the built-in wireless card broke for some reason... – Ben Apr 7 '12 at 13:35

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