Installing internal wireless card

posted in: Upgrading Tips | 77

This tutorial explains how you can install internal wireless card into an older laptop. I assume that your laptop is “wireless ready” which means it has a slot for the wireless card and equipped with wireless antennas, but missing the wireless card. Why did I make this tutorial for an older laptop? Because all new laptops are sold with the wireless card.

Find wireless slot

I’ll take as an example my Dell Latitude C840 laptop. As you see on the picture, it has a slot for the wireless card and one antenna cable. That’s strange, most laptops have two antenna cables, white and black. One cable goes to the main connector on the wireless card, another cable goes to the auxiliary connector. Probably you’ll ask me which antenna cable connects to which connector? I think it doesn’t really matter because both antenna cable are identical.

Laptop wireless card

My main concern was finding the right device driver for the wireless card I plan to install into my laptop. As you know, without correct driver it will not be recognized by the operating system and will not work at all.
Likely, I have a spare wireless card from another not working Toshiba laptop and this card worked perfectly.
You can find this wireless card by the model number: WM3B2200BG.

Install wireless card

In order to install the wireless card into the slot, just push it into the slot at a 30 degree angle (step 1) and then press on the card (step 2) until it’s locked.

Connect wireless antenna

After the card is locked in the slot you can connect the antenna cable. In my case, I snapped the antenna cable on the main connector. If you have two antenna cables, snap one of them on the main connector on the wireless card and another one on the auxiliary connector. As I mentioned before, I don’t think it matters with cable goes to which connector. Both antenna cables are identical.

Finally, you’ll have to download and install the wireless card driver. If you use the same card as I did (WM3B2200BG), you can download driver from the Intel website here.
Select the operating system, download and install the driver.
You have a couple of different options:
1. Download and install the driver only. Use this option if you want to use Windows wireless connection utility. That’s what I did because I prefer using Windows tools.
2. Download and install both the wireless card drive and the connection software. Use this option if you want to use Intel’s software application. It’s totally up to you.

Wireless card connected

As you see on the picture above, the wireless card successfully connected to the wireless access point at 54Mbp/s.

77 Responses

  1. Pradeep Kumar


    It is very useful site.

    All problems are esily solved.


  2. Mc Bouman

    Re: Dell Lattitude C840 laptop wireless card insertion tutorial

    Will the card used in this example connect to the internet on a wifi basis, or does it require a router, which in turn connects to the internet? This tutorial is expertly written. Cordially, MCBouman

  3. Re: Intel WM3B2200BG driver

    Thank you very much for link to Intel page.

  4. @ Ailonas,

    My TOSHIBA hard drive crashes,I call TOSHIBA for support,they tell me to send in for repair it will take 10 working day or more or Pay $24.95 for a restore Disc.

    It’s hard to tell what’s going on without looking at the laptop.
    In cases like that, I usually boot laptop from Ubuntu CD (live linux CD) and test wireless in there.
    If wireless works in Ubuntu OS but not Windows, this is Windows OS related problem (corrupted software, wrong settings, etc…)
    If wireless doesn’t with with bout Ubuntu OS and Windows, most likely this is hardware related issue.

    It’s a good test when your wireless is supported by Ubuntu OS.

  5. I checked – there is no button to turn on the wireless. Only combination of keys FN+F8 wich doesn’t work.

  6. @ Ailonas,
    Take a closer look at the sides and front of your laptop. There could be a physical Wi-Fi switch you have to turn on.

  7. Hello. I have problem with wireless connection of Toshiba Satellite L450D laptop. Everything is ok, all drivers installed, internet works perfectly on the cable but not when you are trying to connect by wireless. It just shows “wireless is off – turn on wireless” what you could do by keys FN+F8 but it is not working at all. Like I said I installed drivers, tried to update by Windows Update (Windows 7 x64), updated bios and everything what I found on toshiba website. Could You help me by any ideas about that? Thank You.

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