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Wifi cards compatiblity


Guest Curious

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Guest Curious

I'm used to building PCs, so when I issues with the Atheros wifi card in my laptop I bought a similar looking wifi card with a broadcom chipset and swapped them over, but the laptop wouldn't post. The wlan cards look identical, the new one fits, so its exactly the same connector.

Curiuos I tried swapping a couple of other wlan cards around, and found that of the 3 laptops I've got in each case only the wlan card that was original would work, by that I mean post - with a non original none of the laptops would post, even though they looked the same, same edge connector, etc Not even get as far as looking into the BIOS to see what clues might be there.

So question is, are there different 'standards' of wlan card and how to check which are compatible with each other?

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Some (actually quite a few) Notebooks have locked the BIOS as to what WLAN adapter you can use.

HP is notorious for this and can only accept Atheros and Intel

So your notebook can take all cards that are either MiniPCI (pre Core2duo) or MiniPCIe (all modern Notebooks)

But the BIOS may not boot with a non approved WLAN card.

Normally if it's a non approved card it will say so at boot time.

Let google be your friend here, or tell me what Notebook and WLAN card you are trying to get to work

Now your card could still be broken, but this is unlikely

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Guest Curious

Thank you, that must be the answer. The HP does give a message about incompatible device, (not exact, but that was the gist of it from memory), both ASUS notebooks just sit at a blank screen. They are all MiniPCIe as only a few months old fitted with two core chips. I must be getting bad with google, I really tried to find an answer before posting, maybe just my bad. Your reply much appreciated.

That will be it then, locked out by the BIOS because not on approved list, I'm thinking they would be compatible and work fine, but the manufacturer has effectively crippled the use of another wlan card to make support easier.

Fortunately using your latest Atheros driver with the tweaked ini has resolved the problem I was having originally, (thank you for that), so all is working well now...and I have a spare wlan card that I can't use!

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Good to hear the INF is working well :)

Dell seems to be the only company with unlocked BIOS's, I was tempted to get an HP but decided not because of this limitation

NO use being a WLAN consultant with not being able to test cards

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