How to Install a Wireless PCI Card

Written by gregory hamel
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How to Install a Wireless PCI Card
Wireless network cards are installed in a PCI slot on your computer's motherboard. (port pci image by Neolabs from

A wireless adaptor or wireless network card is a device that allows a computer to connect to wireless Internet signals. Many desktop PCs do not come installed with wireless network cards, but you can install a wireless PCI card to add wireless functionality to a desktop computer. Some people are afraid to open and install devices inside desktop PCs, but installing a PCI card is a relatively simple process that can be done by almost anyone.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wireless PCI card
  • Screwdriver
  • Driver CD

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  1. 1

    Turn off your PC and unplug all the cords.

  2. 2

    Open the PC's case using a screwdriver. Standard cases can be opened by taking out two or three screws along the right side of the back of the case.

  3. 3

    Locate a free PCI slot on your motherboard. The PCI slots are expansion slots along the back of the case that are often coloured white or brown.

  4. 4

    Remove the slot cover. The slot covers are thin pieces of metal that cover the openings that allow access to expansion card ports on the back of a computer's case. Remove a single screw located just inside the case and then set the slot cover aside.

  5. 5

    Align the PCI wireless card in the PCI slot and push it down firmly into the slot with even pressure. The gold connectors should sink down into the slot and the metal part of the PCI card should fill the space that the slot cover used to occupy. Screw the slot cover screw back in to secure the card in place.

  6. 6

    Close the computer's case and plug all cords back in.

  7. 7

    Insert the driver CD that came with your wireless card and run the driver install or set-up file on the CD. Follow the driver set-up wizard's instructions and restart your PC when prompted.

Tips and warnings

  • Hardware manufacturers occasionally release updated driver software that may improve the performance of hardware devices. Consider checking the official website of your wireless card manufacturer from time to time for driver updates.

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