Wireless adapter cuts out

By merfman
Aug 29, 2009
  1. now i've had my dell inspiron 6400 for quite a few years now, and its done its job for those years, but for the last little while my wifi connection just stops working and becomes disabled even though my internet works perfectly normal on my other computers

    on the keyboard at the top the wifi icon is normally lit up but when it cuts out it isn't lit up anymore and my internet stops working but will work normally once the computer is restarted. when i go to my connections and try to repair the problem i get the following message:

    Windows could not finish repairing the problem because the following action cannot be completed:
    Enabling your wireless adapter
    Make sure your network adapter is properly installed

    i was wondering if anyone has ever had this problem occur or has any knowledge to help me fix this problem

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    You have a lot of old stuff... if still using your original Inspiron 6400 and its hard drive, you are creepling along the edge of disaster.
    Burn all your valuable data to an optical disk or flash drive before you work on this system further...
    The Dell 6400 has been a terrific computer, but you need to repair and upgrade every few years.l
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Left off: Often when a hard drive is getting to the end of its useful product life, all sorts of product failures begin to rear their ugly heads. Be sure your system is sound before you attempt a fix elsewhere on it.
  4. merfman

    merfman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 58

    all of my information and files are currently on my external hard drive and i only use that computer for games for my kids and just random software that i dont have installed on my new computer. so there isn't really much to lose haha

    so your saying that its time for me to take it to get upgraded and repaired from the original parts? or is there anything that i can do to try and fix it instead of paying to have it done?

    thanks for your help raybay
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Nahhhh.... if the hard drive were going you'd be seeing LOTS of different problems. NOT just a problem with the wifi adapter cutting out!
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    No, I was not saying anything... but suggesting IF it is old and used a lot... You never know what problems will come up when a hard drive is cutting out... unpredictable... Because of the age of the Dell, It can sometimes be a maintenance issue...ANYWHERE in the system. We have a lot of the Inspiron 6400 units installed... over 100... so we worry when they are not regularly updated... Drivers, BIOS, and any changes from the Dell site.

    Do you know that the system is free of dust, dirt, hair, fibre? Have you performed relatively simple tasks such as removing and reinstalling your wireless drivers and setup? That would be an obvious task with which to begin.

    It appears you are a very wise and careful user... so that makes it simpler

    You should have BIOS A17 installed, and it should show up on the screen briefly when you boot up.

    The wireless is a little more difficult, as Dell sold the Inspiron 6400 with 10 different wireless configurations, with the hardware sometimes quite different.
    I would download the current wireless driver from the Dell site, based on your laptop Service Tag... Then when you know where it is located on the drive, remove or disable the old wireless driver, then install the new one.
    Some folks say it is not necessary to remove or disable the old driver, but we have learned otherwise on this model.

    Beyond that, it may be time to replace the wireless card... It fits in one of those ports on the bottom of the computer, and the wireless cards for that series are available cheaply and NEW on eBay....
    As for the dust, dirt, fiber, and hair... they can plug up the 6400 and make it run much hotter than you may wish... a good cleaning with a can of Dust Off, and some denatured alcohol on Q-Tips will make a great difference in most parts of the country.
    Good luck. It may take a little time you do not have, but we seldom see permanent problems with that computer model... it is better than most of the new ones.
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