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How do I change a Blue Tooth network card for an Ethernet card in a laptop

Posted on 2013-11-10
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi experts,

I have probably 50 or so desktops, but I have never owned a laptop. Just never needed one. So, obviously, I know little about them.

I am helping someone with their Dell Inspiron laptop, and when I connected the Ethernet cable, it revealed that it seemed to be a Blue Tooth connection. How do I change that? Do I just purchase a card online and change it out? I have never opened a laptop.

Thanks.

Bert
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Question by:Bert2005
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39637475
I'd be very surprised if that's really the case - which model?

The Ethernet ports are hardwired to the motherboard.

There's a good chance the laptop additonally has a PCI BT module as an option and that the BIOS is set to use this (or a wireless card) when the laptop is on battery only.  That's configurable both in the BIOS and if you have QuickSet installed through the networking options there.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39637483
Bluetooth is an antenna in the lid of the laptop. To the very best of my knowledge, you cannot plug an Ethernet cable into Bluetooth.

If the port is marked with the Ethernet marking (two little bars with a third bar in the middle and offset) and if the Ethernet cable fits easily in and clicks, then that is an Ethernet port.

Go to Device Manager (in Control Panel) and open it. Is there both Bluetooth and Network Adapter Categories?  (and other categories as well, of course).

Expand the Network Adapter section. There you might find Bluetooth devices, Network adapter devices and some WAN Miniport devices.

Do you have a Network Wired Connection?  What name is it?

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 39637486
Hi Masqueraid and thinkpads_user,

Thinkpads_user I am glad you are still helping me, lol.

When you go in Device Manager, it has two devices for Blue Tooth and four for Ethernet. It definitely has Ethernet controller, all in yellow exclamation points.
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 39637489
Yes, there is the two little bars with one in the middle. Maybe I just need drivers? I did look in the BIOS, and there were things in Advanced that pertained to network connectivity, but nothing worked.

Thanks again.
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 39637490
Thinkpads_user I was just kidding with you. You have ALWAYS been very helpful to me.
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 39637495
It sounds like you need drivers for the network card. Find the Dell service tag on the machine, go to the Dell support site, find the Ethernet Driver and download it. Put it on a USB key, go to the Dell, and try to install the network driver from the USB key.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 39637497
I certainly will do that. Thanks. If it doesn't have drivers, does it default to Blue Tooth. Actually, it probably isn't defaulting to Blue Tooth at all, it just shows Blue Took in the system tray along with the Ethernet icon that shows it is not connected.

I will try. Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39637501
"If it doesn't have drivers, does it default to Blue Tooth"

Depends on the BIOS configuration

- With the power adapter connected the order is:
Ethernet
Wireless
BT

- On battery:
Wireless
BT
Ethernet (by default disabled)

Install the drivers first then let's see if you're still getting the issue.
Always install the chipset driver first then the peripherals
The basic Dell laptop Ethernet driver is likely to be a Broadcom chipset
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Author Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 39637505
Thanks, already on it. For future reference, it is always plugged in as I am working on it. :-).
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bert2005
ID: 39637604
Worked right away with the Realtek Family PCIe driver. Took a while to get back as I was downloading updates.

Thanks Masqueraid for all your help. I did look in the BIOS and couldn't find anything there. It sounds like it would have required a driver any way.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39637609
@Bert2005 - Thanks and I was happy to help you as always.

.... Thinkpads_User
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