Dell laptop Wi-Fi will not connect automatically, ethernet broke

  1. Hello, I have a dell inspiron b130 that I've built from scratch, long story! anyway my wifi will work if I manualy install ip address. however it will not work when switched to auto. it worked wonerfuly until I installed windows xp sp3. I worked on it for 2 days to get it to work, nothing. eventualy I uninstalled sp3 now I have this problem. another prob I'm ha'ven is that I can not find a driver for the ethernet controller. I find files but they dont load onto cump. the pci card is broadcom 170c aka 4401 I have gotten downloads from dell and broadcom both do same thing. some help would be nice, thanks
  2. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 6,613   +336

    Not mentioning your OS is part of the problem here.
    I recently re did a Vista, (tower) turned into XP Pro & could get wifi but no ethernet.
    After installing ALL the updates, I finally got my ethernet.
    I would suggest putting SP3 back & on not being too concerned about wifi yet.
    Hopefully someone else can help you further.
  3. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Barely anything supports XP SP2, they have all moved to SP3
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,348   +622

    Even my old 98/se still finds connections and the XP/SP2 I did have also worked well.

    IMO, changing systems is a brutal, last ditch effort.

    (you may need to save to a thumb drive to get it to the dell inspiron b130)
    go to the Dell Site and use your Service Tag to find the correct driver; download it.
    Google Search for the broadcom 170c driver, download it

    Use the Device MGR to uninstall the network driver for the broadcom 170c
    Now Install the new one on the thumb drive.

    Verify the device mgr sees the device and driver.


    WIRE a connection to your router, wait 30 seconds and then check the following
    start -> run and enter ipconfig /all
    there should be several lines of output and the critical values
    IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.x.B
    Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
    Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.x.A

    the value X is typically 0,1,2
    A is almost always 1
    B will be anything between 2 and 254

    With those values you can PING, not get timeouts and see tcp timings.

    === NOW THEN== you're ready to look for a WiFi connection

    Disconnect the wired connection, enable the wifi

    Now see this topic for details on XP WiFi setup
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Yeah, but most microsoft products and games have given up XP, some programs still probably have a majority of users so they arent moving. I feel like there will be prolonged support for XP in the browser sector (Chrome, Firefox, etc) since IE8 has very limited support for HTML5 if any.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,348   +622

    The O.P. is only attempting to get a WiFi connection to his/her own router :)

    IMO, we do the best to help the user by trying FIRST to fix the problem stated and then to suggest alternatives or upgrades.

    Just my $0.02
  7. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    haha sorry, I just wanted to prove a point
  8. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,393   +107

    Re-install SP3 uninstall the WiFi drivers but don't delete them. Let Windows rebuild the driver pool. Work around for this would be to buy USB WiFi adapter that supports XP still.
  9. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 6,613   +336

    tipstir, I'm confused as to why the OP would have to buy a USB WiFi adapter that supports XP?
    The one I use on my W7 works just fine on my XP.
    Not arguing, just curious. :)
  10. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,160   +198

    Some hardware has drivers that only support a certain operating system, Usually these devices support older operating systems, as I found out AFTER installing windows 7 on my sons pc only to discover the linksys wireless card I have installed does not run under windows 7.

    However a USB device should be pretty much plug and play on any operating system.
  11. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 6,613   +336

    Thanks fimbles. I was using my USB Belkin on my W7 tower till I found out my W7 had built in WiFi so I put it back in my XP. :)
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,393   +107

    The OP said he's using XP. Lot of these lower price WiFi USB runs on pretty much anything and some don't need drivers. Depends on what your using. I

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