There are a couple of ways that should tell you if there is a wireless NIC (WLAN card) present on your computer.
Look at the back of PC, where you can install additional PCI cards on the motherboard. There should be multiple slots about 0.75" x 2.5". There are probably blank slots for expansion cards. They will look similar to the PCI card which contains your Ethernet port. A wireless NIC will have a dongle on it that you can screw an antenna on - the antenna should be present, but may have been removed. If you don't see this type of PCI card present, you probably don't have a WLAN card.
Another way to check is to run the ipconfig command and see if a Wireless Network Connection item appears in the command ouptut:
click Start >> Run >> type cmd.exe >> press [Enter] >> type ipconfig /all >> press [Enter]
What you are looking for is the output to indicate some to the effect of:
Ethernet adapter Wireless Network Connection
If you don't see something to that effect in the command output, probably safe to say that (a) you don't have a wireless NIC (WLAN card) present OR (
its present but there no drivers installed for it. Refer to the next method to determine if you have hardware for which there are no drivers.
::Computer Management GUI method::
Another way to check is look in the Device Manager of the Computer Management console:
click Start >> right-click My Computer >> select Manage
This brings up the Computer Management Console, then in the left hand pane you want to select the Device Manager. In the right-hand pane, which is the hardware tree, you want to look under the Network Adapters node. Click the "+" sign to expand it. This will list all network connection adapters which you have hardware for.
If you don't see a WiFi adapter, WLAN card, 802.11a/b/g adapter, etc. its probably safe to say that your machine doesn't have the hardware. To be absolutely sure, right-click the Computer icon at the top of the hardware tree and select Scan for hardware changes. It will refresh all the hardware devices in the tree. Double check the Network Adapters node.
If you see that there are "Unknown Devices" present. It may be that you have a WLAN card for which there are no installed drivers. "Unknown Devices" show up with a Yellow circle containing a "?" and usually are labelled "PCI Device".
Edited by Cyb3r_Ninj@, 15 May 2008 - 02:28 PM.