Are Wireless LAN minicards universal?

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Are Wireless LAN minicards universal?

Postby PDM » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:51 am

A friend asked me to take a look at her laptop (HP Pavilion dv6000) because she said that she couldn't connect to her wireless router.

The wireless minicard doesn't show up in the Device Manager. I tried re-installing the wireless NIC driver but that didn't help because there's nothing for it to see.

I took the cover off and re-seated the minicard and nothing changed, so I think it may have failed.

My question is, to replace what's in there do I have to get the exact part or are these things universal? I see there are a few on Newegg and I ASSume that I can replace it with anything, but figured I'd ask before I get myself in a jam.

Thanks in advance. Recommendations welcomed.
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Postby Mr T » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:09 am

The card is switched on with the wireless button?

HP's wireless cards are generally locked down in the BIOS, you stick another type in and the machine won't POST properly... Easiest option is to get a mini USB one, like this or like this.....
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Postby PDM » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:46 am

When I read your reply, I thought "holy crap...is the switch off and I didn't check that ?!?!", but yes, the wireless switch is on.

After I posted, I did a little more research and found that Intel wireless minicards only work with Intel chipsets. This laptop has an AMD processor with an nVidia chipset, so your point is well taken.

So you like those EDIMAX devices over brands?
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Postby Mr T » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:42 am

Yes, and a BIG yes... Have found Edimax to be very reliable, the wifi has good range, well supported website and they are cheap...
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:29 pm

I would see if there is a way to test the card out before purchasing a new one, especially if your ordering online. That way you don't lose out on returns and shipping.
I have seen that part of the laptop motherboard fail.
It might be safer to pick up a PCMCIA or USB version if your friend doesn't mind..
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Postby PDM » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:42 am

So in order to test it, I'd need another laptop of the same model (or at least one that uses the same NIC) that I could plug the supposed defective one into right?

If so, that could be a problem as I don't have such access. This is kind of a "one of" situation.

Is there another way to test it?
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Postby Mr T » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:21 am

HP's have had a bad run of motherboards and wifi cards.. You can test the card in any other laptop that has a mini PCI-e slot... Its just HP ties the wifi card to its BIOS on the motherboard.. Either way if the PCI-e slot on the board has failed or the HP wifi card has failed, it still needs replacing.. USB is the easiest and cheapest workaround...
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:17 pm

Check a local pc store chain and see if they are willing to test it for you.
If its dead, you might be able to use them as a supplier for the new one.
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Postby evasive » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:07 am

It is slightly more complicated. HP and other laptop makers are using a whitelist for the mini-PCI slot:
http://www.wimsbios.com/forum/topic9388.html
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