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How to tell if network card is installed on new computer?

Posted on 2004-10-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
From a configuration menu, or without opening the computer case, how can I tell if a network card came with a new computer?
I would like to be sure no card came with the computer before I go out and purchase a USB wireless network adapter.
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Question by:cornell256
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6 Comments
 
LVL 67

Expert Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 12203257
Start->Run->Devmgmt.msc
if using xp or 2k or higher.

Control Panel/ System / Device manager if lower Win OS.
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LVL 67

Assisted Solution

by:sirbounty
sirbounty earned 300 total points
ID: 12203265
Plus, you can just look at the back and see if there is an RJ45 (fat telephone-looking port).  RJ11 (phone) is smaller.  If you've got a spare phone cord, try plugging it in.  If it's perfect match, it's a modem - if there's room to spare on either side, it's ethernet.
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 12203344
Thanks!  I forgot to say, it is Windows XP.  I'm a little bit confused, I guess.  Ethernet I know - I have that on my desktop for using DSL.  Does a wireless connection need different hardware, or does Ethernet work for that also?  On my laptop, I have an ethernet card internally, but I use a Netgear card to connect to a wireless when I am away.  I'm sure I sound totally confused!
After I get the hardware correct, I'm sure I'll be asking more questions here as I try to configure and get it working wirelessly with the existing network.
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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
lyle-granger earned 300 total points
ID: 12203353
You can do this from windows by going to the device manager.  

1. Proprties of My Computer
2. Hardware Tab
3. Click on the device manager button
4. The expanded computer will list all devices.  

If you do not see a network adapter here that means that there is no adapter installed and possibly not one in the computer.   Or you could look for the RJ45 plug (Fat telephone-looking port) like sirbounty said.  

Hope this helps

Lyle
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LVL 67

Expert Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 12203362
"Ethernet" is not really a tangible thing - you're looking for the physical RJ45 jack in the system.  It will either be integrated (built on the system board) or external (a card in one of the computers slots on the back).
If you don't see it - you don't got it.  Simple as that...
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Author Comment

by:cornell256
ID: 12204666
Thanks, folks.  I'll be accepting both answers above.
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