> On Thu, 11 Aug 2011 17:28:14 -0400, Paul <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Have you verified you can see the hardware ?
> Oh yes.
> I have exposed the card, and it indeed is there. with the two wires
> seemingly properly connected.
>> Does "lspci" show the thing ? What bus is it connected to ?
>> Is it USB based or PCI based ? There is also a "lsusb"
>> command, for listing USB bus devices.
>> Someone here with an 8500, had no Wifi card present. The
>> owner could find the two antenna leads, but no mini-card
>> to connect them to.
>> The hatch to open, is shown here.
>> This shows the mini-PCI card, and the two antenna leads.
>> Be careful with the connectors on the antenna leads, not
>> to damage them. If they're connected to the card, leave
>> them in place.
>> I would start with verification that there is hardware present.
>> Remove the battery, to make it safe to work on the hardware in
>> there. (I.e. If adding or removing the mini-PCI card, you do
>> that with the main battery removed.)
>> Dell frequently has some kind of diagnostic software,
>> and perhaps that can verify there is Wifi present and
>> switched on.
> 'Switched on' may be the most important consideration.
> I need to determine that.
Even if the radio portion of the module is switched off,
the MAC chip (the exposed one) should still appear on the
bus. And things like Ubuntu drivers and "nm-tool" should
still be able to see it.
It's possible to cut any chip off the bus (just disconnect
chip select), but they don't generally do it that way. It's
easier to leave the MAC running, and just disable the radio
If you lack entertainment, there are also options to run
the laptop Wifi in "sniffing" mode. In Windows, that would be
"netstumbler". See if your Ubuntu (Synaptic Package Manager)
has one of these. It's suggested this is a rough Linux
equivalent. Naturally, it still needs to access the hardware,
so some parts of the solution are unavoidable. But if you
can't get regular wireless running, this would be a starting
point in testing. http://www.kismetwireless.net/documentation.shtml