How To Install a Wireless Card in an ASRock Motherboard
Backstory and Stuffs
I had a Linksys wireless USB. I decided it was the problem. I bought an Asus USB. It was also a problem. I exchanged it for a new Linksys USB. It was a worse problem.
So I finally went back and asked the guys if there truly are any benefits to using a wireless card that goes inside the computer tower itself. What a revelation, they finally told me YES, it’s much better! God forbid they tell me this tasty piece of advice when I’m buying and having them build my computer, oh no… But hey, better three months later than three years of shoddy internet later, right?
Point being…I came home with a shiny new Asus wireless card. Now, I’ve never cracked open a computer tower in my life before, so what ensued was equal parts comical, confusing, and frustrating as hell. But in the end, I turned my computer back on and I had five gorgeous signal bars. (Mind you, my brand new Linksys USB was only giving me two.) I was stoked! And then zonked to sleep soon after. So, for any of you wanting to know precisely how to install a wireless card in an ASRock Motherboard, here you be…
For the Record
This is actually MUCH easier than it looks and sounds…the only reason this isn’t a three-sentence tutorial is for other girls out there like me who might want more details than, “Install it in a slot inside your tower, run drivers and connect to a network.”
The wireless card
A small screwdriver
Choose a Wireless Card
I went with an Asus PCE-N15 PCI-E Adapter Wireless-N 300Mbps for $34.99, though they had slower ones for less. However, this puppy was five bucks cheaper than the piece of crap USB I had previously, and it has a $10 mail-in rebate. Suck that, Linksys!
Open Your Computer Tower
Shut down your computer, turn off the power button on the back panel, and unplug that sucker from the wall. If you don’t have lots of cords, I’d just yank out what’s plugged in there, too, and move the tower out from your deep, dark computer hole, into some light where you can see what you’re doing. Some cases just pull apart, but if you’re not that lucky, use your screwdriver to take off the two screws on the back right side of the case, and that panel should just fall right off, exposing your motherboard in all its intricacy. If you open your tower and see a solid wall of smooth boxes and matted wires, you’re on the wrong side. I would know, I did this, first. Don’t lose the screws.
Locate the Wireless Slot
Take your wireless card out of the box, and kindly don’t leave your fingerprints all over the green part. There should be a bracket side, two smooth sides, and a side that has two little gold tabs on it. Look at your motherboard and find the slots that fit those two tabs…there should only be one slot that size – most the others are really long, or are actual ports meant for plugging things in. Hold up the card to the slot and have a look-see. Is there anything blocking it going in? Is there an opening that leads to the back of your tower, or is there a cover or bracket blocking it?
Covers and Brackets
If there is a blockage, grab that screwdriver again and find the screws on the back panel that hold the offending cover/bracket in place. Unscrew them and don’t lose them, and pop out the bracket so you’ve got a space for your wireless antenna to poke through and say hi. Now go ahead and gently fit the card into the slots and make sure the card’s bracket is flush against the back panel. There should be a hole that lines up with the back panel where you removed the screw before, and you should be able to see the indicator lights from the card poking through the back of your tower. Replace your screws.
Fit your tower back together, replacing any screws from the side panel. If your wireless card came with antennas, carefully screw those in from the back panel, then fold them upwards.
Plug your computer back in, flip the power switch on the back panel, and then turn your computer back on. Your wireless card should have come with a CD in the box, so go ahead and pop it in and click Run if your computer asks you, then click the Install Drivers button and follow the onscreen instructions. At the end it will ask you to re-start your computer.
Connecting to a Network
After you re-start, there should be a new icon on your desktop, named for the brand of the wireless card. Double click it to bring up a list of available internet networks. Find yours, click it, and hit Connect. It will pull up some info about your network, just hit Next, then on the following page, under Wireless Network Key, type your password. (Woe be unto you if you don’t know what password you chose when you installed the original router.) Then click Save, and if that doesn’t automatically give you lovely consistent internet, scamper back to the list of networks, choose yours again, and click Connect. Voila!