How do I get WiFi working on my IBM ThinkPad?

by on November 6, 2009

Q: I just bought an IBM ThinkPad on craigslist and it’s suppose to have WiFi but I think the guy deleted it. How do I recover it? I don’t have any restore discs or any discs for it.

3 Responses to “How do I get WiFi working on my IBM ThinkPad?”

    First off I’d strongly suggest doing system wipe and a fresh Windows load since there is no telling what exactly is on that computer. Here are a few options:

    Depending on how old the laptop is it might have all the restore disk data right on the PC (if you don’t see the ThinkVantage stuff mentioned below this isn’t an option):

    1. Create Rescue Media or Product Recovery CD

    Go to “All Programs > ThinkVantage > Create Rescue and Recovery Media. Then select your desirable type of rescue media. To create recovery CD, check the “Create a set of Product Recovery Discs now” and then click “OK” to start the creation process. (Have some CD-Rs or DVD-Rs handy)

    2: Fresh Windows Install
    If the Windows License Number is printed on a sticker at the bottom of the PC you should be able to install that version of windows stated there if you can borrow a Windows disk from someone. From there you can download all the appropriate drivers for all the hardware components from here:

    3. Contact IBM/Lenovo and buy some Recovery Disks.

    With that out of the way, let’s talk about your wifi problem. I’m going to assume you have a wireless router at your house, and other computers can connect to your home wifi network just fine.

    Most all laptops can turn on or off their wireless cards to save power. Look for either a switch or a button on the keyboard with an antenna or “WiFi”. There should be some kind of LED light somewhere that will indicate when the wireless card is powered up or not.

    Check device manager (Right Click My Computer, select Mange, click on device manager) this shows all the parts of the computer and if there are any problems with any of them. Under Network adapters you should see a Wireless Network Card mentioned. Make sure there aren’t any exclamation points or question marks anywhere these are indicative of missing drivers.


    i tried to do what you suggested but there isn’t anything under all programs stating thinkVantage also when i right click on that i don’t see anything showing where there is a problem but it doesn’t even show i have wifi but the wifi logo is on the strip that shows all of the function lights but it isnt lite up


    Look for an icon on the keyboard with the same symbol. It will probably be blue. You will need to hold down the blue Fn key and then press the button with this symbol once. This should make the wifi logo light up.

    If you’re still having trouble follow these instructions: