DELL Inspiron 17 3737: install WLAN device on Windows 7 (64-bit)

Some weeks ago I installed Windows 7 on a DELL Inspiron 17 3737 notebook for a friend – yesterday, another Inspiron 17, the same procedure, the same problem! Most drivers for devices were loaded automatically by Windows Update, other drivers can be downloaded from dell.com. All worked fine, but not with the WLAN device… That’s the reason for this post!

Because I did not know how I have fixed the problem the first time it took me some time and nerves to install the WLAN device again. First, I tried the driver from dell.com. The setup asked me for enabling the Bluetooth device by Bluetooth switch on keyboard. I enabled Bluetooth via Fn + F2, disabled it, enabled it, disabled it… but nothing happend! The setup did not progress – I assume that after installation of the BT device the installation of the WLAN driver would follow, but I did not get to this point. Furthermore, it was interessting that Windows Update automaically loaded a driver for Bluetooth but not for WLAN, so I only search for the WLAN driver.

Next step was to detect the device itself. Via Knoppix I found out that it is a Qualcomm Atheros AR9565. I downloaded lots of different drivers, installed them, but no one worked directly. So I came to the solution of my problem:

  1. Download the most current version of the driver Qualcomm Atheros AR956x WiFi 10.0.0.279 (42.2 MiB, 24,508 hits); version: 10.0.0.279, date: 04/02/14
  2. Extract the RAR archive to e.g. C:\Drivers\wlan
  3. Open the device manager
  4. Right-click on the unknown network controller and select Update driver… – this will start the Update Driver Software wizard
  5. Select Browse my computer for driver software
  6. Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
  7. Select Networkadapter in list and click next
  8. Click Have Disk… and navigate to folder where you extracted the RAR archive, e.g. C:\Drivers\wlan\drivers_inf\Win7\
  9. Double-click on netathrx.inf and press Ok
  10. Select Qualcomm Atheros Communication in left list and then Qualcomm Atheros AR956x Wireless Network Adapter on the right; then press next
  11. Confirm following security question with Yes

Now the driver installs and the WLAN device can be used – let me know if it helped you saving time ;)

Driver Download

Device: Qualcomm Atheros AR9565
Version: 10.0.0.279
Date: 04/02/14
Download: Qualcomm Atheros AR956x WiFi 10.0.0.279 (42.2 MiB, 24,508 hits)

Bluetooth device not working, too!

Although Windows has a driver for the Bluetooth device, it does not work correctly under Windows 7. Have a look at this article, where you can find the solution for this problem!

33 thoughts on “DELL Inspiron 17 3737: install WLAN device on Windows 7 (64-bit)”

  1. This is actually the most helpful post on the internet right now. :) Dell seems to be putting hard work into alienating customers. I hope this works

  2. Thanks, saved me a lot of time.
    Did you actually managed to get also BT working? It installs with default windows driver but although it looks ok in device manager it does not work: nothing can discover (with bt visibility on) this inspiron, neither it can discover any bluetooth device like keyboard or phone?

    1. Oh… That’s something I did not test, because everything looked fine in the device manager and the tray bar :-/ … and I have no Inspirion here so I could test it. But if I have the possibility to get access to one of those machines I will post if there is the same problem as you described and if I can fix this!

  3. Thank you very much, this driver was the thought one, and you made it really simple, after hours of surfing the web, your post was the only one that helped me.
    Thank you once again.

    Regards
    MAteo

  4. MANY MANY thanks!!!
    That was absolutely helpful and worked on my ACER E1-572 perfectly!!!!

  5. Thank you very, very much for your post!
    It helped me getting my mother’s laptop back working again after kicking windows 8.1!
    Thank again.

  6. Absolute genius.. I’ve spent 4 hours today trying to resolve this problem and thankfully came across your post and it worked. (Why have Dell not posted any remedies for this!)

    Many thanks

  7. Hi ! Thank you very mutch for your article ! It helps a lot and my wifi is now working perfectly ! (windows 7)

  8. Hey guys! Thanks for your feedback :) It’s a pleasure that I could help you!

    For everyone who has a problem with the Bluetooth device too, have a look at this article!

  9. you are the best !!!!!

    Dell techincial support could not figure it out, for 2 hours, I hung up and googled your web page !!!

    keep up the good work !!!

  10. I have installed the driver, I´m using an Acer laptop, the driver seems to be installed correctly but I can´t make the Wifi work with the FN+F3 combination, any suggestions?

    1. Well, I cannot directly tell you, why this is not possible. My first suggestion would be that you try to find a Acer software that handles the special keys on your notebook. For my Thinkpad there is such a software. I suppose. that the provided driver is only the DRIVER for the WiFi-card and not a handler for Fn+F3.

      What Acer notebook do you have? Perhaps I can help you then!

      [EDIT]
      Perhaps you can try the LaunchManager software for your notebook. Select your notebook here, open the Application tab and then download LaunchManager.
      Did it help?

      1. As I see (but not sure about…), on my Acer Aspire E15, the Fn+F3 combination has three modes: wifi and bluetooth off, wifi on and bluetooth off, both on. Even when wifi is off, the wifi adapter appears in Network sharing center, but does not find any wifi networks. It has to be turned on with Fn+F3 combo, when apparently nothing happens, but the adapter starts to search for wifi networks and works fine.

  11. Wow thanks!
    It worked with a minor change: I had to pick the driver from a list (AR956x) because Windows didn’t find it in the Win7 directory for some reason.

    1. Minor change to my post? Have you read my description? ;) There I described that Windows was not able to find the driver automatically, so you have to force Windows to use a specific driver. Or do you mean something else?

  12. life saver. thanks! incredible how stupid those at dell to put bt and wireless together. maybe I don’t want bt.

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