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Upgrading HP Compaq nw8240 laptop wireless to 802.11n

Posted on 2008-10-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
I'm looking to upgrade my HP Compaq nw8240 laptop's wireless to 802.11n without using an annoying PC card add-on. I see many 802.11n miniPCI modules available in the right form-factor to fit, plus add-on internal antennas that give the needed 3rd leg. But I also read articles about the BIOS rejecting new wireless cards.

Does anyone know if the nw8240 will work with any 802.11n modules, and which ones?

Thanks
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Question by:kd78728
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by:Grizzly072000
ID: 22643347
It is true that many manufacturers ensure you cannot install your own cards. There are workarounds, though, but not for the faint of heart.
Installing an internal card WiFi in a laptop is not always easy, either. Now in the case of N, you must be aware it uses 3 antennas, where G is only using 2. So you'll have to install the 3rd one, which usually entails working around the screen.
Lastly, why N? Do you know it's not a standard yet? That it can only operate with the same equipment, usually from the same manufacturer?
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by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 83 total points
ID: 22643355
HP has many issue with their own wireless mini card, and as now they only supports ABG mode for the model you have. Since you wont like the PCMCIA or usb wireless, then the option is very limited in your search. The third party mini card will cause more problem.
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by:Pugglewuggle
Pugglewuggle earned 83 total points
ID: 22643378
For the time, it is better for you to stick with ABG if you already have it. MiniPCI wireless N cards generally not up to snuff for the time being.
However, if you MUST make the switchover, Intel (which has historically been in the top two, and as of lately is the best wireless card manufacturer) has two MiniPCIe wireless cards you can choose from. I think it would be safe to bet that they are compatible with laptops with Intel chipsets and CPUs.
Intel WiFi Link 4965AGN :
http://www.intel.com/network/connectivity/products/wireless/wireless_n/overview.htm
Intel WiFi Link 5000:
http://www.intel.com/network/connectivity/products/wireless/adapters/5000/index.htm
HOWEVER - HERE IS THE ISSUE YOU WILL RUN INTO WITH YOUR LAPTOP THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS MENTIONED:
YOUR LATOP ONLY HAS AN INTERNAL MINI-PCI CONNECTOR.... ALL NEW WIRELESS CARDS FOR THE LAST YEAR OR TWO HAVE BEEN MINI-PCIE (PCI EXPRESS).
I don't think anyone even makes Wireless N miniPCI cards... they are all MiniPCIe
I'm sorry, but that's your answer. :(
Cheers!
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22643434
If possible, dont use cap ... it seems not polite.
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22643441
I KNOW. :) Just making sure the asker saw it. :-D
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22643446
Dont insult people, they can read.
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by:Pugglewuggle
ID: 22643537
Most people anyways. I'll be the first to say I miss things sometimes unless they're emphasized, especially when scanning forums.
Cheers!
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Author Comment

by:kd78728
ID: 22644133
Alrighty... I SAW already!
I need faster than G because of large files going back and forth, and I cant always be tethered down via cables. Hence the push to go 802.11n even if it's not a ratified standard.

Antenna-wise I think I have it covered also: the laptop has 2 already and I can get an additional internal stubby antenna for the third leg. The nw8240 has miniPCI type IIIB but those 2 Intel cards won't fit, they're too tall. I just found a Gigabyte card GN-WI30N-RH  which is the right form-factor, but I don't know how to deal with the BIOS rejecting it, anyonw know how to work around that?
So far though it looks like I'm out of luck... unless someone can add something positive!
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by:
Grizzly072000 earned 84 total points
ID: 22644463
Have a look at http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=55837&sid=249bf7b88014970ae8559a1a046b28e6
It'll give you a good idea of what you are up against.

Good luck.
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Author Closing Comment

by:kd78728
ID: 31503134
I've battled many complex hardware issues over the years  (and conquered most) but... okay you've all convinced me not to go this route. I don't want to mess with the BIOS and I certainly won't take apart the laptop for something that may or may not work!

Thanks for the discouraging words (and saving me from potentially having a brick).
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