How Do I Install XP Wireless Drivers With No Internet?

By Robert Schrader

Whether they were never there in the first place or disappeared during a hard drive crash, installing wireless Internet drivers onto your computer without access to the Internet can seem a difficult task. It's not, however, an impossible one--you can work around this apparent paradox using either the Windows XP installation CD you received with your computer or a different computer with an Internet connection. Once you've completed several steps, you'll be able to connect your computer to wireless Internet access points.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 CD
  • Portable storage device (optional)

Step 1

Insert the Windows "Service Pack 2" CD that came with your computer into its optical drive. Follow the SP2 instructions and click through the wizard to the "Drivers" section. Select any options that contain the word "wireless" and complete the installation as instructed.

Step 2

Point a friend's Internet-ready computer to any of the websites listed in Resources, if you don't have access to the SP2 CD. Download the Windows SP2 file onto the computer you're using. It's important not to actually install the software on a computer that does not belong to you. In some cases, you may be able to use a public computer, although public computers can be equipped with firewalls to prevent you from downloading and installing programs.

Step 3

Insert a portable storage device, such as a USB memory stick, into the Internet-ready computer's USB drive. Open the "Start" menu and navigate to "My Computer," under which you should see your portable storage device listed. Locate your SP2 file in a separate Windows Explorer window and drag and drop it onto the icon that represents your device. Disconnect your device once your transfer has completed.

Step 4

Insert your portable storage device into your own computer's USB port and transfer your SP2 file onto your own hard drive. Double-click the file and follow the instructions. Click through the wizard to the "Drivers" section and select any options that contain the word "wireless." Complete the installation as instructed.

Step 5

Bring your computer within range of a wireless Internet access point to test your installation. Open your computer's wireless Internet connection manager and double-click the name of your desired connection. Enter a password if necessary. Point your web browser to any website.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you can't connect to the Internet even after installing the Windows XP drivers, chances are you have a problem with your wireless card itself. If you suspect this to be the case, you'll need to bring your machine to a computer repair specialist.