Dell Inspiron 600m suddenly can't detect wireless networks

By divdivyaya
Dec 17, 2008
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  1. I apologize if this has been posted before, I tried searching but couldn't find it.

    About 3 weeks ago, my Dell Inspiron 600m running Windows XP Pro (32 bit) suddenly became unable to detect wireless networks in the area. I have a standard integrated wireless card (Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG) and all signs show that it is working properly, only it won't detect wireless networks that are clearly available.

    Also, when I go into Wireless Network Connection Properties and hit "Configure" next to my wireless card, I get a pop-up notification stating "Adapter state not found in registry." I don't remember seeing this message in the past, but I can't really say when it started happening.

    I have tried various networks in various locations, it doesn't detect anything. I have an updated driver (w29n51.sys & Netw2c32.dll) , I tried using system restore to roll back to before the problem began, no luck.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    Is the wireless card integraded or installed in a PCMCIA slot on the laptop? If it is part of the motherboard try using an add-on wireless adapter, and see if the detection improves
  3. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 333

    The 600M uses a built in card. It's probably gone belly up, as that is a rather aging machine. You can replace them, though. Just pop the cover off on the bottom of the machine and swap it for a different one.

    First you may want to try manually editing the registry, deleting all the entries for the wireless card and then rebooting so Windows can redetect them, etc... Or reinstall the driver afterwards. Just be warned that if you delete the wrong things your computer may not boot at all, in which case you're in for a repair install.
  4. divdivyaya

    divdivyaya Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Thanks for the advice. I think I'll try an add-on or USB wireless card or swapping out the integrated card. Probably won't risk editing the registry because if I mess up it wouldn't be worth it to repair a machine this old.

    Thanks again.
  5. timaea

    timaea Newcomer, in training

    divdivyaya, were you able to get either of those methods working? My dad's 600m also developed the same problems within the last few weeks. Nothing changed in my parents' network, and my mom's MacBook is okay. I tried swapping out his wireless card with another that works in a different laptop and also an old USB adapter that I had. Still can't detect any wireless networks.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,361   +167

    Before doing any of that:Go to Device Manager, what does DevMgr say is device status?

    Now check Control Panel->Add/ Remove and to see if Wireless has a program listed there. If yes, remove it. If no, go to Device manager and Uninstall the driver

    Confirm your card now appears in Device Manger with a yellow question mark icon

    Go to dell site to be sure you get latest wirelss version from Dell support and reinstall.
  7. divdivyaya

    divdivyaya Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 17

    sorry it's taken me so long to reply timaea. I did not try swapping out the integrated card of installing a new card/usb yet. It has not magically started working again either. I will try lookinaround's suggestion, since putting a new wireless card did not work for you dad's comp. Thanks to both of you for saving me the time and money before i go out and buy a new card.
  8. xehqter

    xehqter Newcomer, in training Posts: 85

    Are you sure the wireless radio isn't disabled? Try pressing Fn + F2
  9. xehqter

    xehqter Newcomer, in training Posts: 85

  10. divdivyaya

    divdivyaya Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 17

    WOW, xehqter....I would have never thought after all these years I could ever feel this computer-illiterate. Your suggestion worked perfectly...don't know why the wireless radio was disabled or why I didn't see any sort of status notification that it was....but it was. Thanks for saving me a lot of time, I really should have thought of that before.

    To the rest who responded, thanks again for all your effort.

    Dell Inspiron 600m: Still alive and bitchin.
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