The gf’s Amilo laptop has a broken Wi-Fi adapter. It can see all the networks but everytime you try to connect, it gives an unknown error. I tried different drivers and different Windowses but the problem persists. So we’ve been using it with an external USB D-Link adapter for now. But that’s not every nice, having a thumbdrive-sized adapter sticking out the side of your laptop all the time. When you have the laptop in your lap while sittting on a sofa is a potential physical damage risk as well (as we’ve seen with the CS-17 fix). So, the solution is to install the USB adapter inside the chassis. Will it fit?
There’s some space where the original Mini-PCIe adapter used to be, but I don’t think the bulky D-Link will fit. Luckily since this is quite a big laptop (17″ display) there’s two HDD bays, one of which is empty. Stripping out the case for the Wi-Fi adapter makes it fit nicely with the USB extension inside the HDD2 bay. A dab of hot glue secures it in place and the chassis designer has kindly left open holes for the cover locator that I can use to pass the USB cable thru to the mainboard area. I just cut the location tab off the HDD bay cover and it’s good to go!
I soldered the USB leads directly on the back of side-USB connector, then plugged the hole from the outside with — you guessed it — hot glue to prevent bad things from happening. Now all is well, we get Wi-Fi and there’s no bulky things sticking out the side of the laptop.
I know the position for the adapter is sub-optimal on the bottom of the laptop underneath all the internals, but it works fine enough. Besides, the Wi-Fi router is in living room only a few meters away so the reception is excellent even this way.
I’m pretty happy with this one, actually.