Please Help! Can't connect to internet, possibly driver broken after update

Hello all,

Please help, I have been searching on Google for a week now and have done everything possible and still I cannot connect to the internet.

My story: I am connected to my university's internet on campus (wireless and Ethernet available). I have a Dell Inspiron 1520. Driver: Broadcom 440x 10/100. I was operating on Windows Vista Basic. Windows suggested an upgrade to Service Pack 2. After upgrade I was unable to connect to wireless or Ethernet. I tried everything imaginable to fix it. Did everything suggested in websites I found through Google. I thought that maybe upgrading to Windows 7 would fix it. I have upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise. Still no fix. I feel cheated by Microsoft. I don't know what to do.

I have attached information from cmd -> ipconfig /all

Please someone help! Untitled.png


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You're screen shot from ipconfig does not show your wireless adaptor - is it somewhere else in the listing?

No that is all the info available when I command ipconfig /all.

Run these commands one at a time from the elevated command prompt then reboot:

netsh winsock reset

netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt

(You can copy/paste these commands.)

Thanks for your help. I have run those commands and revolted but I don't see a noticeable difference.

Then use another machine to visit the manufacturer's site of your laptop. Download the wired and wireless adapter drivers. Put them on USB stick or burn them, then bring them to the laptop and install. Reboot if needed. You're welcome.


Noob Whisperer
Also you may want to check within Device Manager and take a look for indicators of devices experienceing issues with drivers, usually marked with a problem icon, like a yellow shield or red exclaimation, or barely discernable arrow pointing downwards indicating that the device is disabled.
I checked Dell's site here Drivers & Downloads=
because it's possible you may be missing some drivers specific to your chipset, or network adapters but all I'm seeing are very old 2007 Windows Vista 32bit drivers, which may help get you over the hump, but may take some extra effort to install.

Thanks for the responses. I have attached an image of the available network drivers on Dell's site.

I downloaded the Broadcom driver, installed, and rebooted, no change. I think the broadcom driver would be the wireless adapter you mentioned. I'm not sure which of these would be the wired driver you mentioned.

Also, there are no indications in device manager that any of the network adapters are disfunctional. It shows the Broadcom driver and two bluetooth ones. None of them have yellow indicators.


Noob Whisperer
Actually no, any driver that you see referencing things like 10/100 are generally going to be drivers for wired ethernet adapters.
And conversely wireless adapter will generally mention something about wireless, or perhaps A/B/G/N when they are present.
Unfortunately you have a couple to choose from and I cannot provide any insight as to whether it's a Dell or Intel branded card and I will bet that the chipsets are very different. If you use the service tag number off from you laptop, perhaps it may narrow the options and result in more specific alternative, I just did a general search based on your make and model number.
In an earlier post you attached the results from an Ipconfig /all and it showed that the media state for the integrated wired Broadcom card as disconnected. Have you tried plugging it in or perhaps using another cable?

Yes I have tried a different cable and connection too. That is why I am so confused. The ethernet should at least be working. As for the wireless, I can't find the service tag, the numbers that I have found are apparently not it. So that is really unfortunate as well.


Noob Whisperer
Service Tag numbers on dell equipment are usually plainly identified as that and would be hard to miss, so if it's missing physically from the computer's exterior, I believe that there is a method in the BIOS to see the service tag, perhaps you might try that

Found the service tag. Downloaded the WLAN wireless minicard. Result on install attempt:

No compatible hardware found. The software you are attempting to install is not supported on this system. The software will not be installed.
Setup will now exit.


Noob Whisperer
Yes, that sounds like an installer, that's looking for a different OS like Vista or XP and is Win7 unaware.
So, use 7zip or your own personal favorite extractor and extract the software package to a folder somewhere on your computer then
Open device manager
Right click the device at the top of the tree structure (usually your computer by name) and choose add legacy hardware. This starts the add hardware wizard so click next, select Install hardware that I manually select from a list then next, then network adapter and next then have disk, then browse to the location where you extracted the files.
But again, if it's not even showing up in device manager as an unknown device then you might not have any success with this method either. Did you attempt installing any of the other drivers from dell, that reference the chipset because without the correct chip set driver, Windows 7 may very well not know of other hardware device connected to that bus. There is also a bios update from 2008, probably too old to do much good but perhaps worth a try.

I went to "have disk" but didn't know which file to choose. I couldnt select the entire drive folder obviously.

Also, I selected show all hidden devices in device manager and I discovered a bunch of WAN miniports and a couple microsoft things. I don't know if this changes anything.


Noob Whisperer
It's difficult for me to say with any certainty, but generally when you extract such a package there will often be folders and among these folders there may be one called driver(s) and inside the driver folder there may be others referencing different OSs W2k, Xp, Vista, etc. Basically just drill down through the package once it's been uncompressed and see what you can find.
As far as the show hidden devices is concerned generally what you see are virtual adapters, and 6to4 adapters and tunnel adapters, etc., and are generally harmless you can always right click and uninstall them if you'd like but a reboot will put some if not all of them back.
Do you have a friend, relative or neighbor that you might be able to borrow a USB wireless dongle from, that you could use for testing just to make sure that it is a hardware issue we're dealing with and not an issue with the OS or other software?

To my surprise and relief, my ethernet connection began to work very recently. It is probably because I installed the new driver, but I can't be completely sure. However, the wireless is still not working.

The folders in the wireless driver are

And there are single files in each except for /x64 that are named [ bcmwl6.inf ]

The "Have Disk" will only find .inf files. But if I select the bcmwl6.inf file it doesn't show up in the space allotted and I can't click Next.


Noob Whisperer
Well that is good news regarding the wired card, I hope that it continues to work dependably.
As far as the wireless goes, can you tell me exactly which download to got from dell and maybe provide a link, I'll download it locally and take a look. But again I must point out the if the Operating System had any indications that a particular hardware device was present, it would probably be showing up in device manager, at least as an unknown device of some type. So even if you manage to somehow get the driver software installed it will just be another couple files setting on your hard drive with nothing to do because the device is not present. So, do you know if there is any type of physical button or perhaps a key combination involving the function key (Fn) and another key perhaps with an icon indicating a wireless signal emanating from an antenna (just guessing) that might actually control whether or not the device is ON. Or even perhaps an area within the BIOS of the PC that may control whether the device is available to the OS sometimes under "Advanced" or "Peripherals"

Drivers and Downloads

^^ this is the driver.

I have checked all of the things you have said, except for going into the BIOS. I will do that too. But the button is correct and I don't know of any function key that would change it.


Noob Whisperer
You might give this one a try, go here select the one at the top Microsoft Update Catalog
but again, I suspect that there may very well be an issue with the card itself or the supporting chipset and bus architecture and as a consequence the OS does not no anything about the actual existence of the integrated wireless card. Have you been able to confirm that it is enabled in the bios? Did you try the bios update available on the Dell site for your Inspiron?
If the problem existed in the previous OS, after you upgraded to SP2 for Vista then it has apparently just migrated over with the upgrade to Windows 7, we may have had better luck addressing the problem when it first manifested itself either after the SP2 install or maybe even before. You may seriously have to consider reverting back to your previous OS making sure that the laptop is free of any issues and stable for sometime and then run this Free Download PC Upgrade Advisor Windows 7 Hardware Programs Issues and check for hardwre and software compatability issues before migrating to Windows 7. Probably not at all what you wanted to hear. But maybe my suggestion about borrowing a wireless USB dongle is starting to sound a little better. And if the only problems that your computer is having is with the wireless card, then I would definitely consider that option.

I did update the BIOS. I just went into the BIOS and here is what I got.

Everything is enabled, but under device info the wireless showed <None>

So I assume this means Windows does not even acknowledge that I have the adapter. Bad news. Windows was messed up so much the first time I was in Vista, I'm very hesistant to do this process over again. I may buy a USB wireless adapter to avoid reverting back to Vista to solve the problem. If that is the worst that comes out of this, I consider myself lucky. However, if you think there is another solution please let me know.

You have been an essential help to me in this process, so I want to thank you for that.

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