after having issues with my windows installation, I decided to finally replace my 1TB HDD + 32 GB SSD storage solution with a standalone SSD. So I bought a Samsung Evo 850, downloaded all drivers from the Dell page, and set up a Windows 10 Installation USB Stick.
I replaced the hard drives, installed windows 10 and then all drivers, which is where I started running into issues:
- during Setup, Windows did not connect to Wifi, which i found unusual, but didn't mind much.
- I tried installing the recommended driver (v18.xy) for the Intel AC 7260 (that is the networking card), and it failed to install (OS not supported)
- I checked in devices manager: no networking devices found, no unknown devices, the network card is simply missing
- I tried newer and older versions of the driver, they installed but didn't do anything (card still missing)
- I opened up the laptop and popped out the card and placed it back in, no result.
- I flashed the BIOS (most recent version, as it was before, but worth a shot I guess)
I have no idea what is happening. I can't believe that replacing the SSD & Hard Drive and reinstalling Windows kills the networking card.
And the two USB Ports (2.0 & 3.0) on the right side also stopped working.
The device sadly is not covered by warranty anymore.
Thank you for your help.
Replacing hard drives/SSDs certainly doesn't kill a WiFi card on its own, but if you don't see your network card or any unknown devices listed in Device Manager, then there was no point trying to install drivers for it. Windows 10 has native support for the Intel 7260 anyway. But if your right-side USB ports have also stopped working, then it sounds like you've either damaged something or at least failed to reconnect things properly, since the WiFi card is in the same area as those right-side USB ports. And in this case, not having a warranty anymore wouldn't really matter since they wouldn't cover issues arising from your own actions. If you haven't already, I would go to support.dell.com and get the manual for that system so you can see what you're supposed to check. You can also try getting a replacement WiFi card, since they're only $25, although that of course won't help if the problem is elsewhere.
Ok, I went and checked for you. The WiFi card and the right-side USB ports both run through the same "I/O Board" on that system -- and it appears that the camera, the coin-cell battery, and even an important cooling fan are also connected to the board, so you may have more going wrong with your system than you realize at the moment. As I mentioned above, go get the manual to see instructions about removing and (properly) reconnecting the I/O Board, particularly the ribbon cable that connects it to the motherboard.