How to Install a PCI Wireless LAN Card for a Dell Optiplex GX270

Written by larry simmons
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The Dell Optiplex GX270 is a general use computer designed with an integrated gigabit ethernet network connector. While this connector is suitable for most uses, it’s wired in nature. You need to install a wireless LAN card into the system to gain access to a wireless network. Fortunately the Optiplex is equipped with dual PCI slots, so installing a new wireless capable network card is simply a matter of opening the case and inserting the wireless card of your choice.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • PCI wireless LAN card
  • Driver disc

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  1. 1

    Ground yourself to discharge any static electricity present in your body by touching a nearby unpainted metal surface.

  2. 2

    Shut down the computer and remove the power cord from the case. Open the Optiplex case by pressing the two large case release buttons locates on the sides of the case. Flip the cover up and back to expose the interior of the case.

  3. 3

    Locate the PCI slot at the rear of the case. The slot is a long white notched slot facing a small opening at the rear of the case which is blocked by a metal filler bracket extending the length of the case opening.

  4. 4

    Raise the retention arm laying across the top of the case opening at the rear of the slot. Grab the small lever on the end of the arm and tilt the arm upward, revealing the top of the filler bracket. Remove the bracket from the case, creating an opening in the rear of the case directly facing the slot.

  5. 5

    Align the notches on the bottom of the wireless LAN PCI card with the notches in the PCI slot and slip the card into the slot. The notched metal bar along the end of the card will slide into the opening in the rear of the case, flush with the rear of the case and take the place of the filler bracket. Check that the notch in the flat top of the metal bar on the end of the card fits around the small alignment guide in the top of the case's rear panel opening.

  6. 6

    Lower the retention bar back into place, securing the card.

  7. 7

    Close the case cover by pivoting the cover back down over the top of the case. Press down the right and then the left sides of the cover, listening for a slight clicking sound as the case closes.

  8. 8

    Start the computer. An alert message may appear during start-up warning of the case cover’s removal. This is part of the chassis intrusion detector. Press the “F2” key to enter the system set-up menu. Use the arrow keys to navigate the set-up menu to the system security option and press “Enter” to bring up the security pop-up window. Navigate to the chassis intrusion setting and press “Spacebar” to select an intrusion option. Your choices are enables, enabled-silent (which disables the Alert) and disabled. Exit the system set-up to continue to your operating system.

  9. 9

    Wait for the operating system to load and for the system to detect the new card. If detected, allow the system to auto install the system drivers for the new wireless card. If not, place the wireless card set-up disc into the disc drive and run the set-up program directly from the disc. Install the drivers and then reboot your computer in order to make the new card available for use.

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