I have a brand new Dell laptop and just installed Windows 7 onto it. It seems like it can't find any drivers (not even for ethernet). I downloaded 1 of several drivers from dell and now ethernet works, but when I look for wireless options, there seems to be about 7 that I can choose from. How do I know which one is missing? Is there any easy way. I wouldn't mind downloaded all of them but they range from 50MB to 261MB. Which is huge... and crazy if you ask me.
Don't forget, most of the drivers you download from Dell Support are actually just self extracting zip files. you can change the name from .exe to .zip and extract the contents. Once you have done that you can put all the wireless card drivers in a folder (without installing any of them) and tell windows 7 to look there for the driver. It will search the folder and find the right one by itself. then you can make note of the correct driver and delete the rest.
Somewhere on your laptop is a serial number. Dell's name for that is a service tag. It is a combination of 7 letters and digits. Write this one down on a piece of paper since is is most often found on the bottom of the laptop or behind the battery unit. Neither turning your laptop up side down or removing the battery while surfing is fun. A piece of paper with that number helps.
Then go to Dell's support pages.
The website will ask if you have a service tag. (You did, you just wrote that down). Enter it.
It will now list all drivers relevant for your model. (Including wireless drivers).
In an other tab go to the same website and search for you hardware configuration. (Dell keeps note of which hardware is in your laptop and you can look it up. This will show your laptops precise configuration, including which wireless card).
Select the right one, download it. Done :)
Note 2: Are you sure the laptop did not come with a driver DVD? Usually Dell ships with both a reinstallation DVD (with extra bloatware on it) and a combined driver/test DVD.
Just open up the lid to your wireless card on the bottom of your laptop, and take a look at your card. Write down the information for the card and look it up online using the ethernet connection. Of course, once you are online, you should be able to just do a Windows Update and it should find the exact drivers Windows 7 needs to download for your machine. Or, I believe Dell has an ActiveX utility which can detect your computer and provide the exact drivers for you.