Suggestion on repairing WIFI connection on Dell laptop

 I've reached my wits end with this dang machine! I've been fixing my mom's laptop, and I decided to just reinstall the OS...and I've ran into the strangest problem! Suggestions are welcome!

Machine, DELL Inspiron 1525
OS, Vista Basic

The problem: I'm unable to connect to a wifi network. The PC has an internal card, but it doesn't seem to know that it exists (since OS reinstall). In the Device Manager, there is no category called Network Adapters! It's totally gone! Everything else is in the device manager, like normal, but no network stuff!!

What I've done so far:
*I checked the BIOS and everything in the wifi category is enabled.

*I ran a 'diagnose network problems' in the 'connect to a network' function. It says no driver for the device exists. I followed windows-help instructions on fixing this, but it says go to Device Manager, and select Network adapter... Unfortunetly, no such option is on the Device Manager list called Network Adapter.

I have trouble searching the web for help with this problem because most solutions are specific to XP and not Vista Basic. I try following some of the XP solutions, but Vista gave different names for the same functions (to make it harder to use...lol) and I cannot get very far before I'm lost LOL


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blkhawk7 years ago
Go to Device Manager again and search for any component listed with a yellow question mark next to it. If you do see one, then maybe you need to reinstall the drivers like my friends here have said. You should have an emergency disk that came with your computer with all the drivers for your computer. If not you may have to download those at www.dell.com.
Sometimes you may have to enable internal network cards using the setup utility of your computer.
nepheron (author)  blkhawk7 years ago
 There is a whole row of 'base system devices' with  ! marks. I am unable to update the drivers... windows cannot find them. I have the driver disk inside the computer, running.
Sorry I am still stucked in Windows XP! Those exclamation points mean that the operating system "sees" the hardware but does not know how to use it because it does not have the necessary drivers.
nepheron (author)  blkhawk7 years ago
 What is the setup utility? How can I access it?
Thanks!
It is what you called BIOS. And it seems that you already looked at it.
Burf7 years ago
Sounds like a driver problem to me. Go HERE and make sure your driver is up to date and re-install if necessary.
nepheron (author)  Burf7 years ago
 The trouble is, I cannot find anything on the computer that recognizes that there is a card inside. I have no idea what kind of card it is, or anything about it because it doesn't show up on the device manager.
Have you tried shutting down, pulling the card, rebooting, shutdown, reinsert card and reboot, so that windows can first forget it had one, then recognize "new hardware found!"?

then you can install those drivers you downloaded by following Burfs' sage advise. (coughs once for emphasis, ie, find and download the appropriate drivers before you reinstall the card)
Kryptonite7 years ago
I would have said the firewall, but seeing as it's not recognized at all, I don't know...