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Erik B.
Erik B., Computer Support
Category: Computer
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Experience:  MCSE, MCP
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How do I enable the WiFi on an Acer Aspire-one laptop?

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How do I enable the WiFi on an Acer Aspire-one laptop?

Hi and thanks for choosing Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you.


On most Aspire Ones, there is a slider switch on the front of the laptop that turn the WiFi card on and off. Please look for that switch and make sure it is in the ON position. If you don't see the switch, please let me know the exact model of your One (which should be on a sticker on the bottom).


If that doesn't enable the card, please do the following for me:


  1. Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the R key to bring up the Run window.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and click OK.
  3. In the Device Manager, click the triangle next to network adapters.
  4. See if you wireless adapter is listed there. If it is please make sure it is enabled by right clicking it and choosing Enable. If all you see is Disabled then the card is already enabled.



Please let me know if neither action fixes the problem. thank you!




Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have previously searched for the switch and searched again and I cannot find one.

I went into Device Manager, Network adapters, and it states Disable so it must already be enabled. My techinical knowledge is minimal so I assume the "Atheros AR8132 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.20) is the wireless adapter.


Also, I believe the model# XXXXX XXXXX

OK great thanks for the information. On that model the wireless is actually turned on by the keyboard. Please hold down the Fn key on the keyboard and then press the F2 key. This should turn the adapter back on.


If that doesn't work then please go back into the Device Manager. The AR8132 is actually the wired network connection. Was anything listed there besides that? If not, do you see anything under Other Devices?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Still does'nt work. There's nothing else listed under network adapters and there isn't a category of Other Devices.

Unfortunately in that case it sounds likes your wireless adapter may have actually failed.


That netbook may still be under warranty if it was purchased in the last year. To open a case to have it repaired please go here:


If you purchased the laptop more than a year ago and did not get an extended service plan, then you will need to purchase an add-on WiFi card to replace the one that is now broken. I recommend a small one like this:



It is failly inexpensive and you will be up and running in no time. I hope that helps but please let me know if you require additional assistance. Thanks!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i already have a wireless usb adapter from netgear model N300. which is programmed so to speak. When I insert it into the Acer laptop nothing is happening

OK let's see if the drive is loaded (it probably isn't).


  1. Make sure the N300 is plugged into the Acer.
  2. Go back into the Device Manager.
  3. Is there an Other Devices or Unknown Devices heading now? If so, what is listed underneath?
  4. Also check under Network Adapters and see if the N300 is listed there.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The N300 is not listed under Network adapters, however, "Other devices" is now showing and under this is Remote Download Wireless Adapter.


OK we just need to load the driver for that adapter and then it should start working. Can you look on the back of the adapter and get me the exact model number please?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Does WNA3100 sound like the model#?

Yes absolutely. Please CLICK HERE to visit the download page for the adapter. Click on the big yellow Click Here to Download button to start the download. Choose to Save the file and save it to a USB flash drive so you can transfer it to the netbook.


Unplug the N300 adapter from the netbook and once you have the flash drive plugged into the netbook, double click the file you saved and the drivers will be installed.


Let me know if you get stuck during this process. Thanks!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'll have to go buy a flash drive. I'll get back to you shortly.
OK sorry for the trouble. Thanks for sticking with it!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
In your message "CLICK HEAR" to visit download page. Nothing is happening. It doesn't bring me to the page.

Hm it works for me sorry about that!


Here is the whole address just copy and paste it into a new internet window. that should get you there. Thanks!


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

After doubleclicking, message states.....Setup.exe is not a valid Win32 application.

OK it must not have downloaded correctly. Please try again, make sure it is completely downloaded and wait for it to be fully saved to the flash drive (wait about 30 seconds after the download completes, just to be sure).
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Thank you for your help. It worked, however, before we conclude, Do you have a possible answer as to why I didn't have to use a wireless adapter before, the computer had automaticall detected the wireless connection.

Absolutely. Your laptop has a built in wireless card. Unfortunately that card has malfunctioned and that is why it the laptop stopped detecting wireless networks. The reason we know it malfunctioned is that it no longer appears in the Device Manager in any capacity, even after turning it off and on.


The internal wireless card could be replaced, but it is much easier (and less expensive) to just use and add-on card like you are doing now.


I hope that clarifies things, but let me know if not. Thanks again!

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