Device Manager Woes

By garmann
Aug 12, 2008
  1. OK...I have an older Sony Vaio laptop that does not have an integrated wireless card. I have to use a PCMCIA card adapter. It worked for quite a while with my belkin adapter then the adapter broke. I went without for a while as i could hook up through my LAN with a hard wire. Recently i decided to install a new card. I tried installing a 2Wire card from my qwest dsl network package i got sometime ago. The card wouldn't install, the device manager reported it as being a broadcom 802.11 netowrk card. so i figured maybe broadcom made the 2Wire modem for qwest, so i went and got the drivers for the broadcom and still didn't work, i got the drivers from the 2Wire site for it and still not working. So i decide to borrow and try another adapter. I got a belkin card ran the install inserted the card and device manager says it is a broadcom 802.11 network card and it isn't working. So i borrow a linksys card and run the install and same result. OK so at this point i say screw it and i decide to wipe the laptop clean and rebuild the OS, (it needed it anyways), so now with a fresh new software build i try the whole process over with all the same results!!

    I am running Windows XP Pro w/SP3

    Why is my device manager seeing everything as a broadcom card and not loading the drivers for belkin or linksys or 2wire?

    I admit i am stumped
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    What happened when the Belkin Adapter broke. Could the problem have started then?

    We see this problem occasionally in our shops, and it is usually fixable.

    Are there any yellow or red flags in the Device Manager?

    I would first go to the device manager and remove or disable all the related drivers. Then reboot and install the device or driver you wish to use. If that works, try to duplicate the old problem by adding a device. Does the old problem reappear?

    Regardless of whether it is working properly, I would replace or update the Device Manager, do a Windows Repair install, as follows:

    You can use a Windows Full Retail install disk from Microsoft, or an OEM XP Professional or OEM XP Home disk or an upgrade of either to performa your Repair Install. You can also perform an inplace upgrade of Windows.

    You cannot, however, use the Sony Company restore disk sets from Sony or other manufacturer. The hidden restore files found on a hidden partition also will NOT work. But a OEM or Full Retial disk of the same service pack version will work... or you can create a Slipstream disk set to repair it. Do a Gurgle search to learn how to do that.

    A properly handled repair install will replace the system files, and hardware files with those found on that disc version. It will not work easily if your install CD is older than the installed Winodws on the hard drive.

    Once done, you will find your applications, files, folders, and data as they were before. But you will need to re-install Windows Updates, and Service packs. It is handy to have ordered the Windows Service pack on CD from Microsoft for $3.40 plus shipping… or about $10 as it usually arrives by delivery service. But of course you would have to wait a week, so use a download if that is all you have.

    Your repair install will replace any files altered by such malware and adware program, but will not fix the underlying problem. So you must run a new scan with trustworthy software at the end of the repair install.
    You should disconnect from any possibility of connecting to the internet. No firewall. No hardware cable. No Wireless card or connection during this repair or upgrade process.

    Begin the repair install by booting to the Windows CD you have. You could find that you need to change the boot order in the BIOS to do this. Do a gurgle search or get back to me if you have trouble doing this.

    You should soon see the Welcome to Setup on your screen. There will be options beneath this screen. You will get a notice something like, “this portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer; then to setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
    Next, you will get something like, “To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R. YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS! STOP BEFORE YOU DO.

    Your next choice, is To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

    But the main choice now is, “Press <ENTER> to begin the Windows Setup:
    You do not want to select the Repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R, unless you are very experienced in the use of the Recovery Console.

    Otherwise, you are going to be very confused, waste a lot of time, and likely make a lot of regrettable mistakes.
    You will get another chance to select an R for Repair below.

    But first, you need to accept the Microsoft License Areement and Windows will search for your existing Windows installation you want to repair, and give you a list.
    Choose from the list Windows provides the XP Installation you wish to repair and
    Press R which will begin the repair.

    If you do NOT get the R choice, end this setup, and start over. NOW.

    Otherwise, Setup will begin copying the needed files from the CD to the hard drive, as you are in Repair Mode. When done, reboot.

    Don’t press the key for booting from the CD when that choice reappears. Setup will just keep on going as though it was doing a new install. Your Files, folders, applications and settings will remain as they were before you pressed the R choice.

    When done, your Device Manager should be updated along with your Windows Software.

    Now, give us an update on how it is working.
  3. garmann

    garmann TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The original belkin adapter broke when not in the PC it got crunched by accident under the boot of my son. So the break had nothing to do at all with software or the laptop.

    There is a yellow exclamation on the Broadcom 802.11 wireless adapter when i have a card inserted. It just doesn't matter what card i insert the device manager sees it as being the broadcom and the driver for that device will not load so always it has the exclamation. it's weird!

    I did uninstall the older belkin application before trying to install the 2wire adapter. With the subsequent adapters i also uninstalled the previous before trying to install a new one.

    I did a complete format and reinstall of the OS from a MS XP Pro disk after i first experienced the problem and couldn't resolve it. I did not use any recovery disks or partitions.

    My next step is to wipe it clean again but first write zero's to the disk to get rid of any potential nasties. I will also delete the recovery partition as i will never use it. In this way the disk will be completely clean before i do the reinstall of the XP Pro OS.

    I'll keep you informed but would love to hear from anyone who might recognize this problem and have a solution.
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