NIC Driver Mystery

By | March 23, 2015

I setup an older Dell Latitude 6410 with Windows 8, checked the drivers, tested the Wi-Fi and sent it out the door. The only problem was the the laptop could only connect to some networks. The user was able to get a wired connection from the business center in the hotel and I connected via GTA. The 1st time I initiated a Wi-Fi connection it connected, got an IP, but was unable to access the internet. Looking at the drivers in the network center  I saw a Broadcom Wi-Fi & an Intel wired NIC. Next steps:

  1. Uninstall the Wi-Fi NIC from devices > rescan (noted Microsoft wrote the driver?).
  2. Check Dell for an upgrade > no Broadcom drivers?
  3. Checked original config on dell.com based on serial No. (cmd>wmic>Csproduct) and found it shipped with a wireless card only listing #1501 and no mfg.
  4. Back on drivers I found: Dell Wireless WLAN 1397/1501/1520 Half MiniCard Driver
  5. Tried to install from the Dell installer, but it failed.
  6. Extracted the files and updated the driver from device manager.

Now instead of a Broadcom I see a Dell 1501 and the Wi-Fi connection is working. This was similar to a computer with a VGA driver by Microsoft. It worked, but only partially until the full driver was installed.