r/techsupport Aug 13 '22

My WiFi Option Is Gone After Cleaning my Laptop. Help? Open | Networking

My alienware m15 r3 recently had a loud fan issue so I opened up the laptop to clean it in hopes of not needing a replacement, i do. But i was unplugging everything and i have a feeling i may have been the reason, the wifi card is connected via screws and plastic instead of solders so maybe i did displace it. i have no idea and any helpful information will be appreciated. Thanks!



u/Ground-Rat Aug 13 '22

Sounds like you probably should remove and then reinstall the WiFi module to see if that helps.

In most cases the WiFi module should be inserted at an angle (around 45 degrees), you will know you have the right angle when the module simply slips or goes into the slot with little to no resistance.

It then should be pushed/pressed full into the slot, then once that's done it should be moved/pushed down to till it's "flat" and if there are "clips" to hold the card down, they should "engage", usually with a "click" otherwise, you would just need to install the hold-down screw.

Finally, you would need to reconnect the antenna cables, if they had been removed earlier.

Hopefully, this will work for you, if the module or the connector the module plugs into is damaged, then that's a huge/real problem, and the module and/or the connector would need to be replaced, because there's usually no "fixing" that can be done.

I hope this made sense and was helpful.

Best wishes and good luck!


u/AbrocomaFlat2571 Aug 13 '22

sorry is the module different than the wlan card itself? thank you! you aswell!


u/Ground-Rat Aug 14 '22

Thanks for the reply and kind words.

The WiFi module and the WiFi (wlan) card are the same thing, it would be the card you removed that should have had two of more "wires", that are actually coax cables that go to the antennas that are built into the laptop.

Hopefully reseating it will get things working again.



u/GeekgirlOtt Aug 13 '22

Retrace your steps and resecure the card. There's not much else we can do to help you with a physical problem.


u/AbrocomaFlat2571 Aug 13 '22

i did that and am pretty sure that its not physical but i can always triple check thank u


u/GeekgirlOtt Aug 13 '22

Try a full shift+shutdown then start up manually. If there is a physical radio switch on the laptop OR an Fn key that controls it - try toggling that. Does the adapter show in Device Manager (do View > Show hidden devices ) ?


u/AbrocomaFlat2571 Aug 13 '22

yes I have about 7 to 8 hidden adapters bluetooth/wifi that are hidden. I plugged it in correctly just not sure if I have a switch or if I have to click it in but I plugged it in and screwed it in hoping itd solve it. i will check tonight


u/MotivationalMike Aug 14 '22

You might of turned it off with the function key and one of the f keys.


u/dudleyjohn Aug 14 '22

Did you disconnect the antenna(s) and forget to re-connect them?


u/CrewmemberV2 Aug 14 '22

Before you open it up again:There also might be a hardware switch on the outside of the laptop that enables and disables wifi. Also look for fun key switches and airplane mode switches/fun keys.