Refurbished Acer Travelmate 3200 LAN & Wireless Network Adapters not shown after Windows XP reinstallation


I'm helping a relative who got a refurbished Acer Travelmate 3200 : according to specs,
this model is supposed to come with a LAN as well as a built-in WIFI network connections.
In fact from the exterior view, I can see there's an RJ45 LAN port and a wireless button
which I suppose is meant to activate/deactivate WIFI but when I press on this button, its
LED did not light up.

Also when a valid LAN cable from a switch is connected up to the LAN port, the LED on
the port did not show (ie the LED remains not lighted up).

I've reinstalled Win XP on this Travelmate.

Do I need to download specific drivers from Acer to get them enabled?  I thought these
should be quite common & the drivers are supposed to be built in in Win XP installation
CD.  This XP CD is from Dell but it appears to the usual Win XP CD.

In the Network, Show All Connections, only 1394 (ie Firewire) is shown.

How can I verify if the LAN & WIFI adapters are functioning and how to get them working?

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B HCommented:
hi there

acer uses cheap components that won't be detected by xp - yes you will need the drivers for both.

another thought:
1. they might be disabled in bios, that would survive a reinstall... you should check bios for those
2. the wireless card may have been removed.  there's a little door on the bottom you can open to verify that it exists, i'll post pics in a sec

links for your drivers will follow in a sec too
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

Gee thanks Byron;  I've downloaded the latest bios - how do I upgrade the BIOS.

Btw, I just power up, press F2 to get into the PhoenixBIOS but don't see any option in it for
setting / configuring LAN nor WIFI.

It's 2am my time now, I'll catch up with the postings after I woke up ....... thanks again
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sunhuxAuthor Commented:

Btw, I don't see the usual little sound/Volume control icon on the bottom right corner that I
see with my Dell laptop & when I got into Control Panel's "Sound & Audio Device Properties",
the volume control is greyed out, ie I can't adjust it
Are there any flagged devices listed in the Device Manager?
Dale MaySecurityCommented:
perhaps the drivers are not on the Windows disc:
Do you have Windows updates enabled, and set to automatic?
Do a custome update, as the required files for the adapter may be updated by Microsoft.
B HCommented:
your audio icon will be back, with sound working, with this driver:

@dmay he can't run windows update without a network connection

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sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Hi Byron,

So from those zip, I'll get .exe files which I just need to run them?

> Do you have Windows updates enabled, and set to automatic?
Can't because no Lan / wireless/ Internet connection.
B HCommented:
sun - yeah if there are exe files in there, extract the zip file to some folder, run the exe...

example: - extract it to like, desktop\audio
inside desktop\audio, run SETUP.EXE
that will install all the drivers and software necessary for audio.

same for the other zip files, you should just do them all...

if one doesn't have an EXE file, that's ok here's the process for those (if any):
extract them to some folder like  desktop\whatever
then right-click my computer, manage
device manager > find the thing it relates to (name of the zip file)
right-click it, update driver, specify a location, browse to desktop\whatever
(might also be a subfolder you extracted, like desktop\whatever\drivers\disk1)
hit ok a few times and it's good

remember, drivers tell windows how to talk to your devices (the little chips on the motherboard).  since acer uses cheap chips from obscure places, windows xp won't naively know about most of them, so this is how you tell xp about them... loading all the drivers
First you need to identify which drivers you need.
Click on Start> and click RUN >Type: devmgmt.msc
A window showing all your devices will show up, but look at the ones with a YELLOW apostrophe, as those are the ones that need drivers.

Now go to the ACER website:
Select the type of machine you have, and download the drivers you need. Once all the drivers are installed, and you no longer see any devices with the YELLOW apostrophe on them, everything should work.

NOTE: since this machine has no internet connection because of the lack of the drivers, you can use another machine to download the drivers, and copy them over to your laptop and install them that way.
Good luck!
B HCommented:
i've already given him direct links to what he needs
the yellow mark is an exclamation point /!\ not an apostrophy /'\
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

Hi Byron,

The audio & wired NIC are fine now after updating the given driver
but there's still outstanding issues.   Sorry for replying late.

The following are outstanding:

wireless driver: this can't install (missing .inf file)

video driver (ATI): this can't install (missing .inf file)

chipset driver: this installs without error

video driver (intel): this installs without error

LAN port driver:  Yes, this works & wired NIC working now

latest bios: the patch won't install with an error message tt it can only update BIOS in safe mode

manual (UK... us version was deleted): Can't access this link / url anymore

sunhuxAuthor Commented:

btw, when running "Windows Update", it can't find the wireless driver too
B HCommented:
ok so - what are the problems?

wireless driver: this can't install (missing .inf file)

video driver (ATI): this can't install (missing .inf file)
**** if you dont have an ATI card, skip this, and use the nvidia one ************

latest bios: the patch won't install with an error message tt it can only update BIOS in safe mode
*** you don't have to update the bios, i'd skip this one completely ********

manual (UK... us version was deleted): Can't access this link / url anymore
******it's just the user manual, if you really want it i can track it down... i was just being thorough*********

is it safe to say just the wireless driver is needed?

B HCommented:
please go over here:
do the free web scan
get the URL of the results and post it here

that'll tell me the exact drivers you need, and i'll get you some direct download links for your specific devices.

did you ever determine if you actually have a wireless card in there?  it may have been removed by someone....
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

> did you ever determine if you actually have a wireless card in there?
Think I'm supposed to determine this based on the manual's instruction but I can't
download the manual.  Perhaps describe how I can determine this?

Anyway, I managed to borrow a 3G USB modem to connect to Internet via 3G (no luck
with Windows update or "Update driver" (right click on those yellow ? ) : it says
this device could not be installed.  The 3 yellow ? under "Device manager" are:
-? Other devices
      -? Network Controller
      -? PCI Modem
      -? Video Controller (VGA Compatible)

IE was able to browse Internet for a while but alas, I think my PC got hit by virus
 while connected to the Net & now with this 3G, I could ping to a couple of public
 IP addresses but when browsing using IE, it gave "Page could not be displayed"

Even with the wired LAN NIC connected with a cable to the 2Wire Broadband modem,
I was able to ping to public IP addresses (eg: ping   or  ping   got the ping reply timings) but somehow IE & now even Firefox would
not be able to browse any site / link ( or driversagent.coM) at all.

I'm trying to figure what next I can do to get connected to the Internet, other than
wiping out XP & reinstall to rid off the virus (or get an AV to clean it)
B HCommented:
well, the site I referenced is, note the lack of an S

In IE, look in tools, internet options, connections, lan settings... there should be no checkmarks

More later, on mobile now
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

I've got everything unchecked for LAN Settings in IE but when I browse in IE,  it gave the message
  "Internet Explorer could not open the search page"

I've done "Delete Cookies", "Delete Files" & "Clear History", exit IE & relaunch it,
still same issue.  At MSDOS prompt while 3G network is connected,
"ping"  gets reply timings & resolve to

Just downloaded the latest SuperAntispyware Home Edition & scan through but
no malware was reported.

B HCommented:
wow - well, maybe if you can do it on a wired connection?

in internet explorer, tools, options, connections, lan settings, there should be no checkmarks

weird how you can resolve it to an ip, but not get there in a browser... wonder if the 3g somehow blocks it
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

I just booted up in Safe Mode & did a restore prior to installing all the Acer drivers.
I've managed to get my 3G connected again & this time, IE could browse the various
Internet sites.  Weird .....

I'll take a Checkpoint backup before proceeding further.  Running now,
posting results shortly
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

Url / link to the scan results :

This is the state before I install those drivers you gave earlier as I've restored back to an
earlier checkpoint, thus there's 5 yellow ?  (Ethernet Controller was fixed after I install the
Intel NIC driver indicated earlier;  Multimedia Audio Controller  was addressed by the Audio
driver you gave earlier.  

Going to sleep & catching up tomorrow
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

From the scan, does this Acer Travelmate 3202XCi  has a WiFi / wireless NIC adapter?
B HCommented:
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

I've just installed the Audio & LAN NIC driver given earlier (but have not got to install
the WiFI driver just given as it's still being downloaded), & the results are :

Still has 3 more yellow ?  to go.  

Can you provide me the link to the rest including those that have a red cross (ie not
the latest drivers)
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

Gee, that's splendid.

If it's not too much, can you teach me how you manage to hunt those drivers & the links
down?   Do you need to subscribe to ?
B HCommented:
you could subscribe, it's a very handy website... we have a subscription for 200 machines per year

alternatively, a lot of google'ing will find the drivers

for your specific machine, most of the drivers map back to this one page here:

sunhuxAuthor Commented:

Hi Byron,

I have been out all day & have not got the time to download / install the drivers
given in thread ID: 32635050.

However, I managed to use the WiFi / wireless  a couple of times after installing
the driver from:

but I'm getting intermittent /occasional "Page could not be displayed" in IE browser & usually
clicking on "Reload" button to refresh the IE would  overcome this & the site / page would
display fine.  With 3G modem connection, I've yet to encounter such intermittent behavior
while browsing sites.

Is the above WiFI driver the issue (or there's later versions?)?  I'll test out the 3G Internet
access a few more times to see if I see this issue with 3G but for sure using WiFi, I'm getting
this intermittent failure to display page & without exiting IE, reload/refresh would allow the
pgae / site to be displayed.    Any idea?
B HCommented:
well, i doubt the problem is the driver - the driver makes it work or not work

how strong is the wireless signal strength?  
can you run a constant ping to something, for 60 seconds or so:
start > run > cmd
ping -t

let that run for a minute, then hit control-c
see how many packets got replies

how's the wireless security... non, wep, or wpa?

is the 3g connected at the time (or a wire)?  that will confuse things
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

The wireless signal if 4 out of 5 bars, so it's pretty strong.

Did "ping -n 100"  &  the results are :

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 99, Lost = 1 (1% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 28ms, Maximum = 141ms, Average = 33ms

Wireless security : WPA

When I did all these accesses / tests, I've always enabled only
one type of connection, ie only 3G is on;  or only WiFi is on or
only LAN is on.  I'm aware that when 3G is on, the LAN will
somehow get dropped.

Thanks very much, I'll just monitor further : I have an X61 Thinkpad
that works fine at my company's WiFi network (doesn't drop) but
when this same X61 connects to my home WiFi, the connection
drops sometimes after a while : the disconnection is not intermittent,
it's persistently dropped & even disconnecting/reconnecting to the WiFi
service won't resume back the Internet connection & the X61 has to be
rebooted to be able to resume connectivity to Internet.

Perhaps it's my home broadband 2Wire modem that's the culprit.
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

> chipset (takes care of all the usb ports):
For the above, IE returned "page could not be found" : perhaps there's a typo error.
When a USB external hard-disk is inserted into the Acer's USB port, will get a message
like "speed of port is lower than what it can be supported" or something to that effect
(think it's still in USB 1.5  but the external Hard disk is USB 2.0)

> bios for ati graphics:
For the above drivers, when I ran the executable, it gave an error message with a beep
that "cannot flash when memory managers eg: EMM386 is present"
sunhuxAuthor Commented:
  The pointing device url / link above gave "Page could not be displayed" too :
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

I don't get anymore yellow ? under Windows Device Manager  anymore though
the 3 drivers below are still not updated (not available from the url / links ) :

a) chipset (Btw, correction, the message is "Power Surge on Hub Port" )
b) ATI for bios graphics
c) Touchpad / pointing device
B HCommented:
alright - on this link:

you can find the chipset driver referenced above, along with the touchpad driver

note that if your touchpad -works- you don't really need the driver... only if you want to be able to program special things to do with the touchpad

it's better to skip that ati bios install at this point, it's not a driver, but kinda like firmware.  if it doesn't work perfectly, don't even try it... flashing bios's can be dangerous if not working perfectly

sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Hi Byron / all

I'll close this thread as the intermittent "Page could not display" issue
appears to be my home broadband / Telco issue.

I just opened another new question in EE, ID: 26170275  under the zones
  Network Cards & Adapters, Microsoft Operating Systems, Wireless Network Cards & Adapters

Appreciate if Byron or anyone else can take a look
sunhuxAuthor Commented:

The question I just posted  in EE  ID: 26170275  is driver issue, as this
laptop can't access LAN as well as WiFi
B HCommented:
awe man i thought the wifi and lan worked fine on this machine?

i'll head over to your new question
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