Can't enable wireless adapter

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Networking' started by ssilk, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. ssilk

    ssilk New Member

    Jul 28, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Hi All,

    I have a 5 month old Dell Inspiron 1564 with a Dell WLAN 1397 Wireless card. I was having some trouble connecting to my wireless router, and as a last attempt to get it working, I uninstalled and reinstalled the driver for my wireless card, using a fresh download of the latest version from Dell's support site.

    The driver seems to install fine, and when I look at the wireless card in Device Manager, it's enabled, but in "Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections" (which can be accessed through the Network and Sharing Center), it is greyed out and says Disabled.

    When I click enable in there, a small window pops us saying "Enabling", then after a few seconds, it says "Enabled" then dissapears. However, the adapter stays disabled in N/W & Sharing center, and isn't picked up by Windows.

    I've tried reinstalling the driver through Dell's driver installer, as well as through Windows' automated driver search, and neither works. I also tried to do a System Restore, but that is not working (can't complete on any of the restore points).

    I also spent 1.5 hours on the phone with Dell support and their final advice was format and reinstall Windows.

    The same issue is reported here and here, with no apparent resolution. Can anyone offer any advice that I haven't already tried? Thanks!

    More details:
    - I am running Win 7 Pro.
    - Wired networking and internet connection works fine
    - I have Zone Alarm and Avast Anti virus, and I've tried disabling both to no avail

    The same problem has been posted by others here, here, here, and here. It seems to happen with various NW card brands.
    #1 ssilk, Jul 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

    Nov 30, 2009
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    An hour and a half with Dell support without a resolution.
    I know I and probably a lot of other members are thinking, what could I possibly suggest that he hasn't already tried (probably twice) or that wouldn't sound insulting or just plain stupid.
    My guess is that since you were having problems with the card, before the driver update, that it probably wasn't and isn't the drivers fault. I suspect that the radio is probably going south and that you were a victim of circumstances. If the radio is actually bad or heading that way, I doubt if a format C approach will be much help.
    The only thing that I would ask or maybe suggest is, have you actually waltzed the thing down the street to a neighbors house, or a coffee shop, or other hotspot and tried it, just to make sure that it's not the wireless router that is causing the problem.
  3. ssilk

    ssilk New Member

    Jul 28, 2010
    Likes Received:

    Thanks for the reply. I actually got my wireless working today. The steps I followed are as follows, keeping in mind the stuff I had already tried as detailed in my original post:

    - Uninstalled Zone Alarm and Avast Antivirus.
    - Rebooted into Safe Mode.
    - Uninstalled WLAN 1397 Driver from Device Manager.
    - Uninstalled Dell Wireless card manager from Control Panel>Programs.
    - Rebooted into Safe Mode again.
    - Reinstalled latest 1397 driver package from Dell (R237742.exe)
    - Rebooted into Safe mode again to verify that the adapter was at least showing Enabled in Safe Mode, which it was.
    - Rebooted normally to find adapter showing enabled.

    Now I'm just back to where I was before, being unable to connect to my router, but I do not suspect my computer or wireless card at the moment because I have four wireless devices in the house (this new Dell laptop, another 4 year old Dell laptop, an 8-month old Sony VAIO and a 6-month old iPhone 3GS). Of all those devices, the only one that will connect to my router is the Sony, so I think I've got router issues as well. I'll probably start another thread on that topic, just to keep this thread focused.

    So, to recap, for anyone having the issue where your wireless card is showing disabled in Network and Sharing Center, and right-click Enabling it does not work even after reinstalling the latest drivers, I would recommend exploring two options:
    - Disabling or uninstalling any Firewall or Antivirus software
    - Uninstalling then reinstalling the wireless drivers in Safe Mode
    If you're interested in narrowing the problem down a bit, I'd recommend trying these separately, probably the Safe Mode option first.

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