Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Install a Wireless NIC Card

If you're setting up a wireless local area network (WLAN), each of your workgroup computers will need a wireless network interface card (NIC). These cards typically install inside the computer in an expansion slot. Once all of your computers have the proper equipment installed, you'll be able to share files, printers and a broadband Internet connection without having to string Ethernet cables throughout your home or office. 

Most newer laptops come with a wireless NIC already installed, so you will probably only need to upgrade your desktop computers to complete your WLAN.

This article will help you to install a wireless NIC card on your desktop

  1. Determine whether you already have a wireless NIC card installed. In Windows, click "Start." Click "Control Panel," and then "Performance and Maintenance." Choose "System." Select the "Hardware" tab and click "Device Manager." Expand the "Network Adapters" list to look for a wireless adapter. Right click on each entry and click "Properties" to get information about the device.
  2. Turn off your computer. Remove all the cables from the back of the computer, including the power cable. Move the computer to a clean work surface over an uncarpeted floor. Remove the outer case according to the manufacturer's instructions. Ensure that you have an expansion slot inside your computer that has the same interface type as your NIC card.
  3. Touch an unpainted part of the computer case. Insert the wireless NIC card carefully into the correct slot. Attach the card to the chassis using an electronics screw. These screws are already inside your computer. A screw will probably also come with your wireless NIC card. If an antenna was included with your card, attach it to the card at the back of your computer.
  4. Close the computer case and reattach all the cables. Attach the power cable last. Turn the computer on.
  5. Run the Found New Hardware Wizard if it starts automatically. If the Wizard fails to start when you boot Windows, click "Start." Click "Control Panel," then "Printers and Other Hardware." Choose the "Add Hardware" link in the left pane. Insert the CD that came with your card when prompted to install the driver. Install any additional software that came with your NIC card when the Hardware Wizard is finished.
Tips & Warnings
  1. If your wireless NIC card came with special connection management software, you should use it instead of Windows to connect to your WLAN and the Internet. You will need a wireless router to create a home or small office WLAN. Make sure that the new wireless card is compatible with your router before you make your purchase. There are also plug-and-play USB wireless network adapters that are simpler to install and don't require you to open your computer.
  2. Always discharge the static electricity on your body by touching an unpainted part of the inner computer case before installing internal computer hardware.