Hey everyone, my mother's computer recently decided to stop working and she did a reinstall of Windows Vista 32 which came with the computer (Dell Dimension E521). I have since upgraded it to Windows 7 Home Premium 32 using an 'advanced install' (vs recommended quick install because it lacks Service Pack 1, no internet = no updates!) thinking this might solve our lack of wireless problem. If this is in itself is a problem and I need to reinstall Vista and fix the internet issue before updating to Windows 7, I would love to know that right away.
However, we are having trouble connecting to the internet. Windows refuses to recognize the wireless LAN card, saying I must connect manually via Ethernet. The computer has to connect wirelessly, the router is not in a place we have access to in order to set-up an ethernet connection to update the necessary wireless drivers. Hence the downloading of the driver on my laptop and transferring via USB to the computer to install it (assuming this is a viable solution?). After some searching, I found out that E521 doesn't come with a wireless LAN card, so my dad had apparently installed a Ralink RT2500 Wireless LAN card. At least I think this is the case as some searching on other websites lead me into Start-->Device Manager-->Other Devices --> "Network Controller" (this has a yellow exclamation mark beside the graphic, presumably because it has no driver?) --> Properties --> Details --> Hardware IDs (from drop-down menu), and listed are 4 Values:
I have no idea what those mean but another google search indicates it is a "Ralink RT2500 Wireless LAN Card."
Additionally in Properties --> General there is some information given:
Device type: Other devices
Location: PCI bus 4, device 9, function 0
The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)
There is no driver selected for the device information set or element.
Ok, so this is where I hit a wall. My understanding is that because it's listed as a "Network Controller" there is no driver installed at all and windows has little idea what it actually is. So I went to Ralink's [new] website [on my laptop], downloaded the driver and transferred it via USB to the computer. I 'installed' the software but it had no effect on updating this network controller's driver. I additionally tried to update the driver by having the computer search for the driver through Properties --> General, both on the USB K: drive and on the desktop, but it would not recognize this software.
And so my question ultimately is, what steps do I take to find out what driver I would need to install. I am really have trouble interpreting what the information on the following websites pertain to regarding the correct driver.
This website http://drivers.awdit.com/ven_1814/ralink-rt2500-wireless-lan-card/ has an overwhelming list of different drivers, but my limited technical knowledge would lead me to assume most are in essence "version x to version y updates" when I presumably have no version to update from.
The actual Mediatek (formerly Ralink) website http://www.mediatek.com/_en/07_downloads/01_windows.php?sn=500 has less selection and I did try to transfer and install both drivers which have RT2500 listed in their part number without success.
And so I am stumped and turn to you guys/gals. If there is anything you think I did wrong or any steps I might need to take that I haven't, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the help.
PS the disk that came with wireless card is most likely not going to be found, we have been looking.