Using your laptop to wirelessly surf the internet is one of the greatest advances of the 21st century. But sometimes even the most advanced technologies fail. The wireless connection in your laptop is powered by a wireless card located on the motherboard. Rather than buying a new computer if your wireless card breaks, one of the most inexpensive ways to fix your connection problem is by changing the wireless card in your laptop.
1.Order a replacement wireless card. Make sure that you get a wireless card that matches your current make. You can find this information for laptops running Windows by going to the “Device Manager.” This should also be in the specifications that came with your laptop manual or on the manufacturer’s website. The specifications on the manufacturer’s website should also give you an idea of where exactly your wireless card is located on the motherboard. This is helpful information to know when you are disassembling the laptop. On some models, for example, the wireless card is located beneath the keyboard.
2. Power down your laptop. Unplug it from the wall.
3. Remove the bottom casing. Turn the laptop over so that the bottom is facing upwards. Rremove the screws. Make careful note of which screws go where. An easy way to do this is by trying to keep the screws in the same orientation when you remove them and set them aside.
4. Ground yourself by touching a large metal object. This will dissipate any built-up static electricity in your body, which can harm internal laptop components and circuitry.
5. Open the laptop by unscrewing the screws. Remove the keyboard. The keyboard is usually secured with screws located in the bottom of the case. Remove these screws and you should be able to gently pry the keyboard up and away from the motherboard. (The removal of the keyboard is only necessary in models where the card is located beneath the keyboard.)
6. Look for the wireless card. Where it sits on the motherboard depends on your particular laptop model. Generally it is located towards the back of the motherboard, towards the LCD screen. Some cards will still have the factory identification sticker on them that reads WLAN card. Another way to identify the wireless card is by the two antenna leads, which look like wires, that are attached to one end of the card. You may have to remove additional components, such as hard drives, in order to get to the card.
7. Remove the antennae from the card. Gently pull on the antenna at the end, where it is connected to the wireless card. Do this for both of the antenna leads.
8. Loosen any screws that are holding the wireless card to the motherboard. Set these aside.
9. Insert the new wireless card into the slot on the motherboard.
10. Replace the screws holding the wireless card.
11. Reattach the wireless card’s antennae.
12. Replace any internal components that you removed.
13. Replace the laptop case cover. Tighten the screws.
14. Plug your laptop in and boot into the operating system.
15. Open up the network settings. Go to your wireless adapters. Make sure that the laptop can see and recognizes the new wireless card. If you are replacing the wireless card with a newer model, you might need to upgrade the drivers. Check your wireless card’s manufacturer’s website for the latest drivers and software.
16. Test the card out by trying to log onto the internet through the nearest wireless network. Make sure that you have the network ID and key in order to be able to connect.