Hello! I have just bought a Dell Inspiron 1520. I installed Windows Vista on it (came preloaded with FreeDOS). Everything seems fine, however when I flip the switch to enable wireless connection it only enables bluetooth, when it's suposed to enable both. I checked and in QuickSet the settings are set that the switch should enable both connections. Also in Device Manager I see a "Netwrok Controller" under "Other devices". I believe this is the wireless controller, but when I click "Update driver" and even specify the exact location of the extracted driver it still won't install. What gives? Neither the Dell driver cd nor the driver downloaded from the support site will work.
Also, shouldn't the WiFi indicator light up when I flip the switch even if the driver is not installed? Because it doesn't now.
Maybe someone had the same problem and could help me? I would appreciate any support, because warranty support in my country is like a snail and could take up to a whole month.
The list of drivers for Vista on the Inspiron 1520 are:
If you failed to install the Notebook System Software, that is most likely the cause of the problem.
And to do that I have to unscrew the back of the laptop? Won't I lose my warranty over this?
If you are not a Dell Certified Technician and you break something while doing it, then it would not be covered by the warranty. If you don't break anything then the warranty is unaffected, reguardless of whether you are a certified tech or not.
If you don't feel comfortable doing it, however, please don't force yourself. If you call into tech support and have the tech walk you through things it would be covered, or you could have a local computer tech do it for you (possible for a fee, perhaps for free).
The service manual for the 1520 has the instructions for replacing the WLAN card. As long as you take your time and follow the instructions you should have no problems at all. Since you aren't actually replacing the card you don't even need to disconnect the antennae (which is the part most people are afraid of breaking). When I worked in tech support I would walk people with all manner of computer experience through this; even the 80yo retirees could do it.
No, reseating the antennae wouldn't change how Windows sees the card, just the signal strength of any wireless connections the card could receive (e.g., without antennae it would have to be inches from the wireless access point in order to connect, assuming normal broadcast strength).
Unfortunately, it looks like that is a bad card. On the bright side, all it should take now is a quick call into tech support with a description of what it is (isn't) doing and what troubleshooting you have already done to get a replacement card shipped out to you (if you feel comfortable doing the swap yourself, which I assume you are).