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How To Troubleshoot (Condemn) D820's Wireless WAN Card?


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#1 Guest_Aaron_Warrior_*

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 10:30 PM

I bought this Dell D820 used from a non-NewEgg Vendor from the NewEgg website for $120.  It arrived today and I've been testing it out.  It seems fine via LAN, but the wireless connection speed is pitiful.

 

 

WAN:

 

0.12 Mbs (Down)

0.38 Mbs (Up)

Ping = 1222 ms

 

 

LAN:

3.60 Mbs (Down)

1.15 Mbs (Up)

Ping = 143

 

I've uninstalled and reinstalled the Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-Card in Device Manager using drivers downloaded from Windows Update, thinking maybe previous malware had corrupted the WLAN's drivers.

 

I've run "Windows Repair" from Tweaking.com, to reset/repair permissions and re-enable any Windows Services that might not be working.

 

It feels like I'm circling around this thing, but the only way I can think of to definitively condemn the hardware is by replacing it.  eBay sells WLAN cards that Vendors claim are compatible with a Dell D820 for about $5.00.  So that's "Option A".

 

I don't have an "Option B", hence this post.  I'd hate to delay the repair and waste the money on a card that won't work because of a software/driver issue, or whatever.

 

Random Questions and Thoughts:

1) The Dell specs say the D820 shipped with WinXP, and it now has Win7.  Device Manager shows all drivers as installed normally, and everything seems to work except the wireless.

2)  The Vendor sells these as "refurbished", but I wonder if they weren't BROKE, and maybe it's still BROKE.  Maybe replacing the WLAN card is the solution.  If so, there's some ambiguity about these cards.  Device Manager shows it as a "1390", and the Dell Specs (that I've seen) do not name a specific Wireless card.  I wonder if this is the card it shipped with, or if the Vendor replaced it with a 1390 because the original was either broken, or not compatible with Win7 (drivers).

 

I don't know much about wireless cards for laptops.  Are they all "one size fits all"?  Is there an opportunity to "upgrade" in some way.  Example is a $5.00 WLAN card from eBay "good enough".  Will it even work?  How do I find out what originally shipped with this laptop?

 

3)  I've read about "driver clean-out" programs, which are marketed with the idea that sometimes the same old, bad, broken driver gets reinstalled and the only way to make sure it doesn't is to completely delete it from the computer and install a new one.  Is this worth trying?  What "driver clean-out program" should I use?

4)  Does it make a difference that I got the WLAN's driver from Windows Update and not directly from the manufacturer?  (What if the manufacturer's driver is not for a 1390?  Then what?)

 

5)  Also in the back of my mind this "super slow wireless internet connection" problem has provoked an alarm bell ringing, like I've either seen this before, or read about it, and there's some kind of "magic bullet" solution.  Maybe commonly caused by a particular malware, or maybe Combofix needs to be run, or something.  I wonder if the "refurbished" computer used to be infected and may still be?  Or there is still System File damage?  I like Windows Repair from Tweaking.com, but nothing fixes everything.

 

 

Anyways, that's what I've got.  Hope I get some help.  Thanks in advance.


Edited by Aaron_Warrior, 25 March 2017 - 11:29 PM.


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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 05:08 PM

Point 1.  XP to Win 7 would be a pretty normal upgrade especially if this laptop is fitted with (the maximum supported) 4 GB of RAM.

 

Point 2. Some laptop wireless cards are replaceable, some aren't, they are part of the mobo. An effective repair is to use a USB wifi dongle instead, this just plugs into one of the USB slots.

 

Point 3 and 4. The general opinion on BC is that so-called 'driver clean-out' programs are to be avoided like the plague. Drivers only need to be replaced/updated if you are having problems with the hardware, in which case the best place to get them is from the builder's web-site. Since you have a Dell there should be a sticker with a barcode on it on the bottom. Make a note of this number then go to the Dell site/support and you will find a box to type this number into. This will take you directly to the support page for that model of laptop where you will find all the drivers.

 

Point 5.  Wifi is always slower than LAN but that does seem slow, but then your LAN speed isn't brilliant either. I don't believe in 'magic bullets' but if you are concerned about malware you could download and install Malwarebytes (a free download from BC) and run a scan with it. If it finds any problems it cannot fix itself then start a topic in the 'Am I infected?' section of BC. But if getting the correct driver from Dell does not improve your wifi performance try a dongle, they are reasonably cheap, about £UK 10 - 15.

 

Do NOT use Combofix unless you consider yourself expert in its use. Wrongly used it can brick your computer.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 06:49 AM

I agree with Chris, vis-a-vis the use of a USB wi-fi dongle.

 

Internal wireless cards can be a nightmare to troubleshoot and/or 'fix'. There are 'nano'-sized USB wireless adapters out there that are so small they can be left permanently plugged in and forgotten about, since they don't stick out far enough to catch on anything, and thus get broken.

 

Here's a good example, which I myself have used to very good effect for some years now with a 15-yr old Dell laptop that never came with a wireless card installed from new:-

 

http://uk.tp-link.com/products/details/TL-WN725N.html

 

The build quality of TP-Link stuff is exquisite, and, more importantly, their gear just 'works'. They cost perhaps a wee bit more than most such items on the market, but it's well worth paying the small amount extra. Penny-pinching, by going for the ultra-cheap items from the Far East, can end up costing you more in the long run.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 28 March 2017 - 10:11 AM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

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Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:24 AM

Agree with using a USB dongle. Avoid the headaches of trying to diagnose the issue with the internal card. 

 

Spec sheet for the D820. The 1390 card is 802.11g

 

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/latit/en/spec_latit_d820_en.pdf

 

Device Manager would say if you have the 1390. Right click the Wifi device in Device Manager. Select Properties. Under the Details tab select Hardware IDs in the dropdown box. Copy and post the first line.

 

Did you try a different Wifi channel on the router. There may be some interference. Possible removing and attaching the Wifi card may help along with making sure your antenna wires are properly attached to the card. Don't do this if the warranty will be voided by opening the computer.

 

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#5 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:55 PM

Agree with using a USB dongle. Avoid the headaches of trying to diagnose the issue with the internal card. 

 

 

Couldn't agree more, John.

 

USB dongles are so readily available nowadays, and so incredibly easy to set up & use, that it's honestly not worth the aggravation of tiffling around with the internal card if it's misbehaving.

 

I know many people with built-in wireless cards who have ended up using an external adapter.....simply because it was easier to do so. Most people just want to get online; they're generally not too fussed about how they achieve it.

 

I guess, when it boils down to it, it really depends on just how much of a purist you are.....but that little TP-Link 'nano' adapter I would recommend to anybody. It's given me 4 1/2 yrs of faultless service so far, and shows every indication of continuing to do so for many more to come. And it's quite happy with streaming video, like NetFlix and YouTube.....so data transmission quantities are not an issue, and it's doubtful whether most folks would in fact get anywhere near the 150 MBps limit in real life.

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 28 March 2017 - 01:02 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 


#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:00 PM

Though I have never used it, I usually recommend that TP link dongle because I heard a lot of good things about it and being nano makes it that much easier more convenient on a laptop.


Edited by JohnC_21, 28 March 2017 - 01:01 PM.


#7 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:10 PM

We'll see what the OP thinks of our suggestion, John.....  :lol:

 

I, too, had heard a lot of good things about it when I first bought my v2; the v1 version had already been on the market for around 2 yrs at that time.

 

I visit a mate around 20 miles away, every other weekend. He's a 'tech dinosaur' (his description, not mine.) I take the old Dell with me, and because he doesn't have the internet, I take a TP-Link wifi 'hotspot' along for the ride, too. They work flawlessly together. The combination is one hell of a lot easier to use under Linux than a broadband 'dongle', I know that much..!

 

The 'hotspot' is on the UK 'O2' network, and since it only gets used when I visit my mate, a 12 GB pre-paid SIM card, valid for a year, easily lasts the course.

 

I've developed quite a lot of respect for TP-Link this last few years. Whatever else goes wrong with the old Dell, I know I can rely on those two to just keep on working...

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 28 March 2017 - 01:17 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 





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