After several hours of pain, I finally got my old Linksys WMP54G v2.0 PCI wireless card working perfectly on both Windows Vista and Windows 7. Here are the steps I took, in the hopes it helps you avoid having to buy a new wireless card.
Note: If you have one of the newer WMP54G wireless cards (v4.0 or greater), then you don’t have an issue: you can get the official Vista drivers from Linksys, and they should work fine.
It turns out that older versions of the WMP54G use the Broadcom 43xx chipset, which happens to be used in other wireless cards from Dell, HP and other manufacturers. With some trial and error, I found that the Dell TrueMobile 1300 WLAN Mini-PCI Card driver works perfectly with my card! (Many of the others, even though it uses the same chipset, did not and usually resulted either in a driver that would fail to start the card or a hang on reboot.)
Here’s what I did:
- Uninstall any previous WMP54g driver, if any.
- Download the Dell TrueMobile 1300 driver from Dell’s site, or from my archive here.
- Extract the driver into a directory on your hard drive.
- Go to Control Panel > Device Center, and under Network adapters find your network card. (It will probably be listed as Unknown network adapter, or something similar. If you don’t see it, try right-clicking on “Network adapters” and selecting “Scan for hardware changes”.
- Right click on the network card and select “Update driver software”. Then select “Browse my computer for driver software”, and select the directory that you extracted the driver contents to.
- With luck, Windows should accept map this driver to your old WMP54G and work for you!