on the toshiba gaming laptop there is a wireless switch both in hardware and software and there is a wireless function key, all of which must be turned on for it to work. then there are the wireless mini-PCI card drivers.
- make sure device is enabled:
- make sure hardware wireless switch is on
- make sure software wireless switch is on (3rd party vendor software)
- start, right-click on my computer, properties, hardware tab, device manager, and to look under network cards for your wireless network card. if the card is disabled there, it will be disabled in any configuration. right-click on the card and pick properties and make sure the "Device usage" dropdown list is set for "use this device(enable)".
- make sure the FN+F8 (or whatever key for wireless on your keyboard) function key is set for wireless[+bluetooth] or whatever combination you wish. by default it should be enabled for everything.
- If all else still fails or nothing is responding, [re]install drivers and re-check the above items.
- If above still fails, chances are you may have a dead wireless mini-PCI card. obtain a replacement.
please note that all of the above must be ON AND WORKING for the wireless to work. drivers may or may not be necessary, depending on whether windows recognizes the hardware - if it does, it will install official Windows drivers for you. This is why I put the drivers last. Intel seems to do a pretty good job at wireless card and network card drivers.
drivers can tend to get corrupted all by themselves sometimes - possibly due to power spikes(?), or may be due to alpha particles which can flip bits on computers, especially now that the chip's bit density is so high now. (this is what ECC memory is for if your motherboard can handle it)
comments (how long do they last, etc)
chances are the mini-PCI wireless card is still there in the laptop, but if the previous owner had it fail, they may have used a PCMCIA or ExpressCard instead as a workaround.
The wireless mini-PCI card on my mother's laptop just went out not long ago - it was a intel 2200bg and lasted 5 years. I was able to find a replacement for cheap. We had to reinstall the OS and all the drivers and software. But not everybody knows enough about computers or is resourceful enough to do that.
The card is probably a mini-PCI card that plugs into the bottom of your laptop (there is a cover over it in case it needs to be replaced). If it is there, and you did everything you could to make it work and it still won't work, you may have a dead card and need to replace it. When my mother's compaq presario laptop wireless card died, the computer would not boot xp with the drivers installed - it would just bluescreen... But that may be our specific circumstance, this is the first time I have seen one fail.