Wireless card

Laptop wireless network cards

Laptop internal wireless network cards also know as WLAN card or Wi-Fi card come in different shapes ans sizes. On the picture above you see two most common internal wireless card types found in laptops.

Two wireless cards on the top have Mini PCI form factor connector and found mostly in older laptops.
Two wireless cards on the bottom have Mini PCI-E (Mini PCI Express) form factor connector and found mostly in newer laptops.

Mini PCI-E connector is not backward compatible with Mini PCI connector. In other words, you cannot install a Mini PCI-E wireless card into the Mini PCI slot.

The wireless card plugs into the Mini PCI or Mini PCI-E slot on the motherboard. Most internal cards have two small connectors for wireless antenna cables, some newer Mini PCI-E cards have three connectors and require three antenna cables.

On the picture below you see an internal Mini PCI wireless card connected to the laptop. As you see, there are two antenna cables connected to the card. One main antenna cable and one auxiliary antenna cables.

Mini-PCI-wireless-card-connected

In order to remove the wireless card, you’ll have to disconnect the antenna cables first. Grab firmly the antenna connector with your fingers and unsnap it from the card. Do the same with the second antenna cable. After that you remove the wireless card the same way as you remove the RAM module.
1. Spread latches on both sides of the card with your fingers and the card will pop up at a 20-30 degree angle.
2. Carefully pull the wireless card from the slot.

On the picture below you see a newer Mini PCI-E wireless card pluged into the slot on the motherboard. In my example the card has three antenna cables. Many Mini PCI-E cards have only two antenna cables.

This card connects to the motherboard differently than a Mini PCI card. Ther are no latches on the sides. The card is secured to the motherboard by two screws.

Mini PCI-E wireless card

In order to remove this card:
1. Disconnect all antenna cables from the card. Do not forget to make a note how cables are connected.
2. Remove two screws and the card will pop up at a 20-30 degree angle.
3. Carefully pull the wireless card from the slot.

On some laptops the internal wireless card could be accessed throught the hatch on the bottom, on other laptops it’s hidden under the keyboard or laptop cover.

Posted in Laptop parts
59 comments on “Wireless card
  1. Mike says:

    Need help here! I was working on my Toshiba laptop and everything was fine, the wireless connection was working, I was browsing the internet. I went to the kitchen and when I came back my four years old son was already there. I think he did something because my wireless connection disappeared. I cannot reconnect to the router! I tried rebooting a few times but no luck! Could he disable the wireless somehow? I just cannot figur it out. Please help if you can.
    Mike.

  2. Repair Man says:

    Mike,

    I think he did something because my wireless connection disappeared. I cannot reconnect to the router!

    Take a closer look at the side and front of your laptop. Toshiba laptops have a small switch for the wireless card and it’s possible that your son just turned it off. The switch could be very small ans some people don’t even know it exists. Usually you’ll find a small LED close to the switch. When it’s turned on the LED lights up. Maybe your some accidentally turned of the switch and disabled the wireless card?

  3. John says:

    I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop and I think my wireless card faild. The card is detected in the device manager and the light turn on but there is no connection. I teste my router with another laptop and it works fine. I tried reinstalling the driver without any luck.
    My question is. How can I find a compatible wireless card for my laptop?

  4. Repair Man says:

    John,

    How can I find a compatible wireless card for my laptop?

    To make sure that your new wireless card is compatible with the laptop, I would recommend searching for a new one using the part number. Remove the faild wireless card from the laptop and search for the Toshiba part number on the sticker. Now google the part number and find a replacement card.

  5. William says:

    I purchased a wireless card for my Satellite 1130-S155 and it didn’t work at first. The vendor told me about a Toshiba fix…cover slots 11 & 13 with thin tape (I used regular Scotch tape) and reinstall. Not easy for a 70-year old with fat fingers but I did it and it’s worked just fine for months save for the inconsequential fact that the on/off switch doesn’t work.

  6. Repair Man says:

    William,

    I purchased a wireless card for my Satellite 1130-S155 and it didn’t work at first. The vendor told me about a Toshiba fix…cover slots 11 & 13 with thin tape (I used regular Scotch tape) and reinstall. Not easy for a 70-year old with fat fingers but I did it and it’s worked just fine for months save for the inconsequential fact that the on/off switch doesn’t work.

    Thanks for the tip. I heard about this trick but wasn’t sure if it works or not. Just in case, here’s the part number for the internal wireless card in Satellite 1130/1135 laptops: K000002000. This wireless card should works fine with your laptop and the on/off switch should work too.

  7. Benny says:

    Im have a mt6451 Gateway…….wireless adapter is missing, im been try it to resolve problem ,nothing happen,i press function f2 nothing,can you tell me please an idea what happen, thank you.benny

  8. Repair Man says:

    Benny,

    Im have a mt6451 Gateway…….wireless adapter is missing, im been try it to resolve problem ,nothing happen,i press function f2 nothing,can you tell me please an idea what happen

    Did you check the device manager? Can you see the wireless card in the device manager? Is there a yellow exclamation sing by the wireless card?

  9. Art says:

    I have a Toshiba Portege 3500 and the wireless card does not support WAP security only WEP. I heard and tried about software upgrade (Atheros) and I install the most updated driver (as reported on the website CNET) to no avail. I cannot connect to a WAP wireless network. Can the wireless card of this computer be upgraded? If it is so, what card should I look for and how can I replace it?
    Thanks!

  10. John says:

    I have a Toshiba Satellite A10-S1001. Wireless is optional in this model and want to enable it. I’ve installed a Broadcom mini pci card and connected the antenna wires, installed the drivers etc. Windows sees the card and says it is working properly. My problem is that the wireless switch does not seem to work. It is very loose and won’t stay on one side or another. I’ve opened the case to take a look and it seems like there is nothing there to ‘switch on/off’. Any ideas on how I can make the internal wireless work? i.e. install a new switch, use an internal switch, or bypass the switch all together?

  11. Gerry says:

    I have a toshiba satellite psp10e. I would like to fit an internal wireless card,is this possible and if it is which would you recommend

  12. Repair Man says:

    John,

    I have a Toshiba Satellite A10-S1001. Wireless is optional in this model and want to enable it. I’ve installed a Broadcom mini pci card and connected the antenna wires, installed the drivers etc. Windows sees the card and says it is working properly. My problem is that the wireless switch does not seem to work

    Read comment #5 posted by William. It says:

    I purchased a wireless card for my Satellite 1130-S155 and it didn’t work at first. The vendor told me about a Toshiba fix…cover slots 11 & 13 with thin tape (I used regular Scotch tape) and reinstall. Not easy for a 70-year old with fat fingers but I did it and it’s worked just fine for months save for the inconsequential fact that the on/off switch doesn’t work.

  13. Repair Man says:

    Gerry,

    I have a toshiba satellite psp10e. I would like to fit an internal wireless card,is this possible

    You’ll have to find out if your laptop is “wireless ready”.
    1. Do you have a slot for the wireless card?
    2. Do you have wireless antenna cables installed?
    3. Do you have wireless switch on the side?

    If your answer is yes to all three questions, you can install the wireless card.

    Here are part numbers for the wireless card compatible with a Satellite P10 laptop: K000010210 and K000010220. Google the part number and you’ll find the card.

  14. CHARLES DABNEY says:

    mini pci-e connectors came apart from wire. can these wires just be re-soldered to connectors or are they like an RCA plug w/2 wires (per wire) + and – ?

  15. Repair Man says:

    Charled Dabney,

    mini pci-e connectors came apart from wire. can these wires just be re-soldered to connectors or are they like an RCA plug w/2 wires (per wire) + and – ?

    I believe they are 2 wires per wire. You’ll have to replace the antennas.
    Same happened to me last week. I was fixing a laptop and accidentally separated the connector from the wire. I replaced the antenna cables after that.

  16. gabba says:

    I have a Toshiba A215-7422 and would like to upgrade the wireless card to the Intel® Ultimate N WiFi Link 5300.Will this card work and would I be able to get wireless N performance or will I have to install another antenna? By the way can another antenna be installed?

  17. Repair Man says:

    gabba,

    I have a Toshiba A215-7422 and would like to upgrade the wireless card to the Intel® Ultimate N WiFi Link 5300.Will this card work and would I be able to get wireless N performance or will I have to install another antenna? By the way can another antenna be installed?

    I’m not sure if the Intel card will work in your laptop, but Toshiba has an Atheros a/b/g/n card listed for Satellite A215-7422.
    Here’s the part number for that card: V000090370. Google the part number and you’ll find it.
    You’ll have to replace existing antenna cables with a new set. Here’s the part number for Toshiba antenna cables (a/b/g/n): V000100060.
    The Wi-Fi antenna cables can be replaced. They are running inside the display panel and routed under the LCD screen. You’ll have to disassemble the display panel, remove the LCD and replace cables. The keyboard also has to be removed for that.

  18. MARK says:

    I have a Gateway MA2 laptop and my wireless connection in network connections disappeared. I have looked in the device manager under network adapters and it only shows the 1394 LAN adapter. I cannot figure out how to connect using wifi without this connection. Any suggestions?

  19. Repair Man says:

    MARK,

    I have a Gateway MA2 laptop and my wireless connection in network connections disappeared. I have looked in the device manager under network adapters and it only shows the 1394 LAN adapter. I cannot figure out how to connect using wifi without this connection. Any suggestions?

    1. Try reconnecting the wireless card, maybe it’s not making good contact with the slot. Remove the wireless card from the slot and plug it back in. It’s possible that after reconnecting the card it will appear in the network connections.
    2. Try reinstalling the wireless card driver. Download it from the Gateway website and run.
    3. Finally, try reinstalling Windows. It’s possible you have corrupted software. Backup all personal files and run the recovery disc. Reimage the hard drive back to factory defaults.

    If the cannot get it work, it’s either bad Wi-Fi card or motherboard problem.

  20. james says:

    My two wire antenna (Main and Aux) was disconnected in my mother board.. can you tell me where part of motherboard should i connect the black and grey wire?

  21. Repair Man says:

    james,

    My two wire antenna (Main and Aux) was disconnected in my mother board.. can you tell me where part of motherboard should i connect the black and grey wire?

    These antenna cables should be connected to the wireless card. How to connect them? It depends on the model of your laptop, but I think it shouldn’t matter.
    You can try Main-gray, Aux-black.

  22. Reza says:

    1. Whats main and aux for, i mean what is the function both of them?

    2. How to modificate the built in laptop wireless card with external antenna booster

    thanks

  23. Repair Man says:

    Reza,

    Whats main and aux for, i mean what is the function both of them?

    One cable is the main one, and another one is auxiliary, just in case if the main one fails.

    How to modificate the built in laptop wireless card with external antenna booster

    Buy a PCMCIA wireless card with a jack for the external antenna.

  24. cess says:

    i have a Wlan card similar to that of intel (picture above) with 3 connectors but mine only have two cables connected at 1 and 2. I have the black connected at 1 and white connected at 2.

    1. how do i know whether it is main or aux, since i have 3 connections in my wlan.

    2. How do i know what color of the cable is the main and aux? i only have 2 cables in my laptop but my wlan has 3 connections on it.

    please help coz i want to make a wifi antenna, i don’t know where to connect it in y wlan card..thanks!

  25. Jabu says:

    Dear all

    I have got a problem here, the internal AUX is interfering withe the sound input from external speakers please assit. It only plays with internal speakers when I try to use external speakers no sound comes out. How to rectify this error?

  26. Repair Man says:

    Jaby,

    I have got a problem here, the internal AUX is interfering withe the sound input from external speakers please assit. It only plays with internal speakers when I try to use external speakers no sound comes out. How to rectify this error?

    There is a small switch inside the audio jack. It’s possible this switch got stuck in “headphones” mode. Usually it happens if there is dirt inside the jack.
    Here’s what you can try.
    Turn on the laptop, plug headphones and start playing an audio file.
    Now quickly unplug and plug back in headphones. This might help to release the switch inside the audio jack.

  27. Mohammed says:

    I have Acer 8100 travelmate. The connector of the antenna cable came off where we connect it to the wireless module and i want to replace the cable, could not find this cable in maplin. Don’t know what you call this connector and where to get if from for a cheaper price. Please advise?

  28. Repair Man says:

    Mohammed,

    I have Acer 8100 travelmate. The connector of the antenna cable came off where we connect it to the wireless module and i want to replace the cable, could not find this cable in maplin. Don’t know what you call this connector and where to get if from for a cheaper price. Please advise?

    I doubt you can find just the connector.
    I believe most laptops have similar wireless connectors because they have similar wireless card.
    You can buy a set of wireless antenna cables on ebay. Cut off one of the connectors and solder to your cable. I think this should work.

  29. Abhishek says:

    Hi, I have a question.
    I have a dell 1555 laptop with intel 5100 card. One of the connectors on the antenna cables is damaged somehow. And I’m unable to connect to wireless networks even though I can see them in range if I connect the cable with the damaged connector to the card. But I have three antenna cables with one of them not being used. Can I use the spare cable to connect the antenna instead of the one with the damaged connector?

  30. Alan H says:

    Hi, I have a toshiba equium l350d. I have upgraded to 50mb broadband and need a n type wireless pcie card. If I buy this can I simply swap it with the realtek wireless g card inside my machine?

  31. bruno says:

    I have a Toshiba Satellite P200(I understand very similar to P205).Do you know where the Wireless card is installed:under the keyboard or under the laptop cover?

  32. pomawawa says:

    I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop and i need someway to use the internet without using dial up. I have a cell phone and it works fine with a very strong signal. do they make cards for laptops like they do cell phones? We can’t get wireless or broadband where I live because windstream will not iinstall it even though they received grant money from the government for such a purpose. It took over 9 hours to install norton. It takes forever to look at anything online.

  33. Tibor says:

    I have a Toshibe A305D-S6848 and I would like to upgrade to a dual band wireless card? There is out there a card that will work with my pc? Not sure on how many wires I have for antenna, but if I don’t have enough, how should I install a third one, and how about the antenna? thanks

  34. Repair Man says:

    Tibor,

    I have a Toshibe A305D-S6848 and I would like to upgrade to a dual band wireless card?

    Not sure what you mean by dual band. Most likely your card is already a/b/g compatible.
    Do you want your card to be 802.11n compatible? First, I would check if your laptop has three antenna wires installed. I believe for 802.11n cards you need three antenna cables, not two.

  35. Repair Man says:

    pomawawa,

    I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop and i need someway to use the internet without using dial up. I have a cell phone and it works fine with a very strong signal. do they make cards for laptops like they do cell phones?

    Yes, they do have cards like that.
    You’ll have to buy a separate plan (or maybe you can combine it with your cell phone plan) and get a USB adapter from the wireless provider.

  36. Repair Man says:

    bruno,

    I have a Toshiba Satellite P200(I understand very similar to P205).Do you know where the Wireless card is installed:under the keyboard or under the laptop cover?

    Toshiba Satellite P200/P205 has wireless card under the keyboard.

  37. Tibor Makai says:

    Tibor,

    Quote
    “I have a Toshibe A305D-S6848 and I would like to upgrade to a dual band wireless card?

    Not sure what you mean by dual band. Most likely your card is already a/b/g compatible.
    Do you want your card to be 802.11n compatible? First, I would check if your laptop has three antenna wires installed. I believe for 802.11n cards you need three antenna cables, not two.” end quote
    I don’t have three antennas, but I could install one. they are pretty cheap on Ebay, though I’m not sure if any of those antennas would work with 5GHZ?
    By dual band I mean 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ. I have a Linksys WRT610n dual band wireless router and I would like to use the 5GHZ also for media sharing.
    I would go this way if I could find the right card for my pc which is an AMD motherboard(Turion 64×2 CPU).

  38. Repair Man says:

    Tibor Makai,

    By dual band I mean 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ. I have a Linksys WRT610n dual band wireless router and I would like to use the 5GHZ also for media sharing.

    I believe for this purpose you don’t need another antenna cables. Just two regular cables should be enough.
    What you need is the wireless card supporting A/B/G ranges.
    Range A works at 5 GHz.

  39. Jon k says:

    Hi i have a toshiba equium p200d and am wondering if its possible to upgrade the card to a wirless n card ?

  40. Tibor Makai says:

    Thank you for answering about the third antenna, but the main question is which card could I use with an AMD motherboard laptop?

  41. kamdoan says:

    Is there anyway to boost the reception for WiFi on my Toshiba Laptop – perhaps by replacing the antenna or card. At work my laptop does get WiFi, but the signal strength is always low and tends to kick in and out.

  42. David says:

    Hi,

    Im getting ready to do a antenna mod on my Dell e1705 laptop. Im ordering the connecter cables for the external antenna on ebay. My question is how would dual antennas work. I plan on mounting a antenna on each side of the top lid/screen. I dont know much about wave types etc and am wondering if the two antennas would some how hurt reception in tandom. Also would tying the antennas in and leaving the existing built in antennas hooked up be better or just disconnect the orginal when i install the new ones. Thanks!

  43. Repair Man says:

    @ David,

    Im getting ready to do a antenna mod on my Dell e1705 laptop. Im ordering the connecter cables for the external antenna on ebay. My question is how would dual antennas work. I plan on mounting a antenna on each side of the top lid/screen. I dont know much about wave types etc and am wondering if the two antennas would some how hurt reception in tandom. Also would tying the antennas in and leaving the existing built in antennas hooked up be better or just disconnect the orginal when i install the new ones.

    I’m not sure why you are replacing antennas if you have them installed already.
    By the way, one antenna is the main one and another one auxiliary.

  44. Lee says:

    Hey I’m hoping someone here can help me cause I’m kind of up a creek without a paddle.
    I was replacing the WLAN card on my Dell xps m1330 as I took the white antenna wire off, despite my most careful efforts, it broke off part of the receptacle on the existing WLAN card.
    This also damaged the end of the antenna wire.
    Can i use any of the other antenna wires on the new card instead?
    There are 2 groups of 3 wires.
    Black, white, black and white
    And
    Blue, white (broken), black and white

    Will any other combo work?

    Thanks for the help

  45. Repair Man says:

    @ Lee,

    I was replacing the WLAN card on my Dell xps m1330 as I took the white antenna wire off, despite my most careful efforts, it broke off part of the receptacle on the existing WLAN card.
    This also damaged the end of the antenna wire.
    Can i use any of the other antenna wires on the new card instead?

    Try connecting just two wires instead of three wires. It’s possible the wireless card will work properly with just two wires connected. If the main wire is damaged, it still should work fine with the auxiliary wire.
    You can try different wire configurations. Connecting a “wrong” wire shouldn’t damage anything.

  46. Patrick says:

    While I was in the process of taking apart my Toshiba Portege M400, I accidentally snapped the primary antenna cable. Is it safe to just plug in the aux cable to the primary connector on the card? If not, what are my options?

  47. Repair Man says:

    @ Patrick,

    While I was in the process of taking apart my Toshiba Portege M400, I accidentally snapped the primary antenna cable. Is it safe to just plug in the aux cable to the primary connector on the card?

    Yes, it’s safe.

  48. josh says:

    hey i have a realtek wireless lan card… i connect it to my laptop… my card only have 2 antenna slots and my laptop have 3 antenna wires whis is 1 red and 2 black wires… my card doesnt have label for main and aux… it only has numbers 1 and 2… which wire do i have to connect and in what port should i connect them…. thanks//..

  49. Bob says:

    Hi,
    I have a toshiba satellite P755-S5215 with a broken white antenna wire that terminates to a chip on the motherboard and into the monitor to a flexable circut board… does anyone know where I can order one of these? It broke when the laptop was dropped and also broke a hinge I found replacement hinges but cant find this cable to order or the part #…… any help I would appreciate. Thanks, Bob

  50. San says:

    Hi,
    I have only 2 wires for my WiFi card…When I was taking one of the wires out…its connecting end broke off..So,Can it run normally without the AUX part ??

  51. John Pitzer says:

    I want to replace a Realtek 8188CE PCI-e wireless adaptor with an Intel on a Toshiba L755 model. The realtek is junk, which Intel PCI-e card would be compatable? Thank you.

  52. nurudeen says:

    thank you so much for the pictures and explanation,

  53. Darrel says:

    Hey Repair man, I got a brand new (about 30 days) compaq presario cq57 with intermittend connectivity issues. I took the back off to check the wireless card after doing all the software troubleshooting and there is only 1 black wire ran to the wireless card. It is plugged into the main and it runs the normal route up and around the lcd to the top. Is this a new configuration or did they just not run both lines at the factory?

  54. Mostafa says:

    I want to replace a Realtek RTL8187B Wireless 802.11b/g 54Mbps USB 2.0 Network Adapter version=62.1182.331.2010 with an adapter of the series N networks, is it possible?

    which kind is the best if possible?

  55. COMMVIEW says:

    Hey…..
    Let’s use high power usb wifi or high power wifi repeater. rf output is about 500-1000mw.
    Laptop wifi card rf output power is 50mw only.
    Range solved!!!

  56. JASON LOKE says:

    Recently i just bought a new BigFoot Killer N1103 wireless card with 3 antenna pins required. But my old laptop wireless card only come with 2 antenna pins. Then the seller recommend me buy the tyco antenna so that can be used to Killer N1103. I am confusing here a bit . What is the 3 pins antenna labeled meant( CH0 CH1 CH2)in Killer N1103? I hope can a good answer for that. Thanks.

  57. vb says:

    hey there,
    I have pci-e slot in my new desktop..
    I was wondering if I put my old laptops pcie card in my desktop rather than going for a new one.
    I m sure that it will support my desktops processor.But i am just not sure about if it will work without the main and aux cable! please help.

  58. Amit says:

    Hi, I have a laptop with Windows 8 OS. Recently the wireless connection was dropping too often and was a bit slow so I want to replace the wireless card. It is currently Intel 4965AGN and has three cords (numbered 1, 3 2). I went ahead and bought Intel 7260 mini but it has only two cords. When I attached it my system refused to boot. As there were only two points of contacts I used 1 and 2 cords but just isolated the 3rd cord. Not sure if I am doing things all right… Please help.

  59. dozie says:

    i have a hp g series laptop using an AMD processor but i have this problem of connecting to the internet using a wireless connection.i don’t even see any wireless router with my computer.what could be the problem.

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