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Dell Inspiron 1420 14.1" laptop, released in June 2008. Identified as the 1420 on the bezel above the keyboard, available in 8 different colors.

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Wireless Capability Key Broken?

The "wireless capability"key switch at the front of the computer broke off while in the "off" position. Is there a way to open up the computer and re-establish the ability to use wireless internet?

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Before you dive into the laptop, make sure that the wireless is not disabled in windows or the BIOS, or at least check the color of the wireless indication light. Green means that the wireless is enabled.

Well, that depends on the severity of the damage. If the switch itself has been broken off of the motherboard, then you better have some soldering skills. Generally the weakest point is the small plastic piece protruding from the switch on the motherboard where the Wi-Fi catcher meets it. Opening the laptop to reveal that switch means you have to take of the top cover to get to it, so it will take a little time to get to it, and you will have to turn on the computer with the cover off to initialize the wireless due to the digital momentary switch. Once the system is on you can use a pin or precision flathead to turn on the wireless and then simply close up the laptop again.

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Wireless is not disabled. There is no green light ever, there is a blue light that is not on right now.

The plastic piece is broken, both on the outside and floating loose inside (it had been loose for a very long time b ut somehow got stuck on "off" and broke there).

I will be trying a pin.

Thanks for your time,


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