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Can't connect built in wireless and Unknown Device in Device Manager

Posted on 2009-06-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Can't connect to the Internet with the built in wireless but I can plug in a Netgear usb wireless adaptor and connect. I also have an Unknown Device in Device Manager that I dont know what it is for. The brand of laptop is Toshiba Tecra M1. I went to the Toshiba drivers site and there are several wireless drivers to download. I am not sure which one to install. Can anyone give some feedback on what I should do to get the built in wireless to work. Also when I click on view available wireless networks with the built in connection there none found. When I do the samething with the netgear adaptor I find several. BTW I have turned on the wireless switch.
Thanks,
bbbb2
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Question by:bbbb2
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Alan Hardisty earned 168 total points
ID: 24729300
How old is your laptop?  If it is new, it should already have the drivers installed.  If not new, then it sounds lie it has been rebuilt (but not completely).
The unknown device in Device Manaer is probably the wireless adapter built-in to your laptop.  Using your Netgear Wireless card, download all the available wireless drivers for your laptop and then install them one by one, or if they don't have a setup.exe, then right-click the unknown device and choose upgrade driver, point it to your downloaded driver.
Eventually you will get one that works.  Alternatively, you might be ablet o unscrew the covers off the bottom of the laptop and get lucky by findig the wireless card.  Does nt always work as they are often hidden elsewhere.
Once you have installed the working driver, keep a copy on the c: drive under a folder such as Drivers\Wireless in case you ever need it again.
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by:bbbb2
ID: 24729375
Should uninstall each driver that doesnt work before I install a different driver?
bbbb2
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 24729386
You can try but there is no easy way to do this as there is no Add/Remove option, so you may have a hard time. The only option I know about is the system restore option.
I would just install one by one until you get it going, then system restore it back to before you started installing and then go for the right driver.
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Assisted Solution

by:phototropic
phototropic earned 166 total points
ID: 24729745
Try this:
Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-System Information. Click on "components" and highlight "problem devices". Any hardware device with a driver problem will be listed here. Make a note of the PNP Device ID line of the entry. It will contain a Vendor number and a Device number (VEN. . . . DEV. . . .)
both four digits long.
Look up those numbers here:

http://www.pcidatabase.com/index.php

This will tell you the manufacturer and the chip number.  First try the manufacturer's website.  If no joy there, try a driver database like Driverguide:

http://www.driverguide.com/


These hardware diagnostics are free:

Belarc:
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
Siw:
http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.html


Good luck!!!
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LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 166 total points
ID: 24731020
You should also find that information phototropic talks about in Start->Run, devmgmgt.msc [Enter]

Double-click on your unknown device, look on the Details tab, and ensure the picklist is set to Device Instance ID.

You can click on the line below that, hold down the Ctrl key and press C to copy it to the clipboard, as copy/paste/etc are not enabled in the context menus of that dialog type. Then you can just paste it into notepad to trim it to the parts you need to search for... as phototropic pointed out, mainly what you need are the vendor and device codes. The subsystem and revision codes usually don't make a difference as to what driver will work with the device.

You might have better luck just googling the PCI\VEN_xxxx&DEV_xxxx part. When I do that with my wireless card one of the hits near the top is the download page for my card on the wireless-driver.com site.
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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 24909765
> You should also find that information phototropic talks about in Start->Run, devmgmgt.msc [Enter]


Oops - Device Manager starts by running devmgmt.msc (not devmgmgt.msc), of course.

If that info does not appear there, run MSINFO32 and look in Components->Problem Devices.
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