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I was reading some online tutorials on how to replace my WiFi card in a old netbook I have laying around, and one of them was very different in the steps. Instead of disassembling the whole enclosure, removing the keyboard, some metal shield, and a piece of plastic, you can unscrew a panel on the bottom and slip it out. This seems weird that only one person is using this "flap," and that makes me have doubts. Will using this flap work? Should I be aware of anything else before trying this method? My computer has this flap, but is it meant for something else?

The link to the guide (Scroll down to step eight for a better picture of it.)

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Have you opened the 'flap' to see what is inside? You'll either see Ram, a Hardrive or a pci connector. Every model of laptop is different. – spuder Aug 18 '13 at 0:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Check to see if there is in fact a wireless card already in the lower slot. Feel free to test it by installing into that port before going further if it is in fact for wireless, and see if the system is able to use it properly. If you're going to permanently replace the wireless card, I would definitely recommend to replace the internal one.

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It does depend on what exactly you'll be using it for. The slot on the inside would be the 'primary' card that would be used, as the outside port is more of an expansion port for say, a 3G card or other PCIe card. Most computers don't have 2 wireless cards, so as a permanent solution it would cause less trouble to only have one installed. – parashep Aug 18 '13 at 1:11
I still think it would be easier to change something in BIOS or disable the internal one in settings, or both. Edit: forgot about the antennas... :(. – Anonymous Penguin Aug 18 '13 at 1:13
Like I said, give it a shot! If the card fits into the slot, it's only a few screws away and won't cause any problems that aren't reversible by just taking it out again. I personally replaced the internal card when I did that, without prior knowledge of laptop assembly and it's had no problems. – parashep Aug 18 '13 at 1:18
Forgot about antennas....... – Anonymous Penguin Aug 18 '13 at 1:19
What do you mean? Does the port in the bottom of the computer not have antennas? – parashep Aug 18 '13 at 1:23

If that's the same model you have then yes, the manufacturer made it easily accessible to swap out the miniPCI-E card via the cover/door. Always remove the battery (and unplug from the charger) before attempting disassembly.

However, on page 3 they take apart the entire netbook to get to the internal miniPCI-E slot. This netbook has TWO miniPCI-E slots. The one that is hard to get to is likely your existing 802.11 Wifi card and the easy access slot is likely either empty or contains a cellular "3G" card.

Additionally, both of the slots on that netbook are miniPCI-E full-size. Your slots appear to be compatible with half-size and full-size cards. Caution, this is different from miniPCI. It's also not the same as PCI, PCI-E, ExpressCard, PCMCIA, etc.

Plus there are two Hirose U.FL antenna connectors that connect to antennas inside the back of your laptop's LCD panel. Newer Wifi cards have three connectors but you can still make do with your two antennas.

Also of note, replacing the harddrive on this model requires taking the entire netbook apart and much like getting to the internal miniPCI-E slot strongly risks damaging a fragile ribbon cable.

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What is the ribbon cable for? Keyboard? Something more important? How fragile is it? Or are you just saying if you accidentally yank it... Can you replace it if you break it fairly cheap? (Less than $10) – Anonymous Penguin Aug 18 '13 at 2:44
There are several components in a typical laptop such as the power button, keyboard, LCD, touchpad, harddrive, etc. that may be part of a single or separate ribbon cables to the motherboard. Particularly in devices such as smartphones they may contain a lot of circuitry. They tend to be specific to a particular device model, therefore not easy to replace. Ribbon cables can be torn/cut fairly easily and may leave your device a paperweight, so use a tutorial if available and carefully disconnect them instead of yanking on them. – justbrowsing Aug 18 '13 at 3:41

Many laptops have an access panel to replace RAM, hard drives, wireless cards. This is nothing special. Go ahead and try. Wireless cards will have two connectors for the antenna wires. Nothing you can really hurt unless you loose the screws. Also check if there are any kind of graphic symbols on or around the plate.

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