Find Wireless Network Adapters in Windows XP Notebooks

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Newer notebook computers ship with a Wi-Fi wireless network adapter already installed inside. Verifying the existence of these built-in adapters can be difficult, as they are not generally visible from the computer's exterior. Follow these instructions to confirm or deny the existence of wireless notebook adapters in Windows XP.

How to Find a Wireless Notebook Adaptor in Windows XP

  1. Find the My Computer icon. My Computer is installed either on the Windows desktop or on the Windows Start Menu.
  2. Right-click My Computer and select the Properties option from the pop-up menu that appears. A new System Properties window will appear on the screen.
  3. Click the Hardware tab in the System Properties window.
  4. Click the Device Manager button located near the top of this window. A new Device Manager window will appear on the screen.
  5. In the Device Manager window, a list of hardware components installed on the computer is shown. Open the "Network adapters" item in the list by clicking the "+" sign located to the left of the icon. The Network adapters section of the window will expand to reveal a list of all network adapters installed on the computer.
    1. Wireless
    2. WLAN
    3. Wi-Fi
    4. 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
  6. In the list of installed network adapters, look for any item that contains any of the following words: If such an adapter exists in the list, the computer possesses a wireless network adapter.
  1. If such an adapter does not appear in the "Network adapters" list, repeat the previous two steps 5 and 6 using the "PCMCIA adapters" list item in Device Manager. Although generally not installed by the manufacturer, some PCMCIA adapters are also wireless network cards.

Installation Tips for Network Adaptors in Windows XP

  1. Right-clicking the icon of an installed network adapter causes a pop-up menu to appear. The Properties option on this menu reveals more detailed information about the adapter.
  2. The names of network adapters are chosen by their manufacturers. These names cannot be changed.
  3. If a network adapter is disabled or malfunctioning, it may be installed but not appear on the Windows list. Consult the computer manufacturer's documentation if you suspect this situation.

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