How To: Adding Internal Wireless LAN to a Notebook


Revised February 22 2005
Revised January 28 2005

I recently selected a Fujitsu Lifebook S2020 as my new travel companion. I got a great price because the one I purchased didn't come with the internal wireless LAN option, but I figured that I could always send the notebook to Fujitsu to be upgraded.

But it seems that I thought wrong, since the response from my query to Fujitsu Tech Support was that "the Lifebook S2020 does not have the option to install the wireless system after the original purchase". Some further Googling found a Fujitsu service center that came back with essentially the same response.

I found this odd, since any notebook manufacturer would be crazy to design a product that couldn't be equipped with internal wireless. And why would a company want to turn down the prospect of lucrative service revenue for performing so simple a task?

But I knew that somewhere in that packed little chassis lay integrated antennas and an empty mini-PCI slot just waiting for a WLAN card to fulfill its promise of untethered networking. And so I set out to do it myself, since I wanted the convenience (and robustness) of not having to insert and remove a PCMCIA WLAN card. Although the actual installation process that follows will be specific to the S2020, the other info I'll provide should help owners of other notebooks who find themselves in a similar pickle.

NOTE!Disclaimer: Since Fujitsu or any of their authorized service centers won't do what I'm about to tell you how to do, it's obvious that doing it will void your warranty.

TomsNetworking, Tom's Guides Publishing, LLC and I are not responsible for any damage or loss of warranty that the information in this article may cause to your notebook or anything else you may happen to open up!