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How to Install a Network Adapter in Your Computer

If you own a deadbeat computer that lacks a network adapter, you can install an adapter yourself. The fastest and cheapest adapters — either wired or wireless — come on PCI cards that slide into a slot inside your desktop computer.

1

Turn off your PC, unplug it, and remove your computer’s case.

Look inside your computer and find an empty plastic slot on your computer’s flat, circuit-filled motherboard. Then find the row of metal slots toward the back of your computer’s case. Those metal slots are where you plug in many of your computer’s cables. Find an empty one for your new network card.

2

With a small screwdriver, remove the single screw that holds that card in place.

Save that screw because you need it to secure the new card in place.

3

Line up the tabs and notches on the new network adapter card’s bottom with the notches in the slot, then push the card slowly into the slot.

You may need to rock the card back and forth gently. When the card pops in, you can feel it come to rest. Don’t force it!

4

Secure the card in the slot with the screw you removed in Step 2.

Yep, those delicate electronics are held in place by one screw.

5

Replace the computer’s case, plug the computer back in, and turn it on.

Windows usually recognizes newly installed cards and automatically sets them up to work correctly.

6

If your network adapter came with a CD, insert it if Windows 7 begins clamoring for drivers.

Drivers are translation software that helps Windows 7 talk to new parts.

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