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my Dell inspiron 1420 running Ubuntu 11.10 [as of today] cannot detect any wireless networks [and I know there are some in range]. Perhaps a problem with the proprietary driver? How should I go about fixing this? I really have no idea=am linux illiterate

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! We need more hardware information to help you, can you look at this question and then edit your question adding the information. – Jorge Castro Mar 24 '12 at 1:08
Can you try this and then edit your question with what happens?… – Jorge Castro Mar 24 '12 at 1:09

Ubuntu has a program called "Restircted Drivers". If you have a Broadcom Wireless card (many Dell notebooks have Broadcom), you can found the needed drivers there. You only have to activate it; Ubuntu will download it and install it.

Try this possible fix. Sorry for my poor english.

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Maybe this post would be helpful.

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Eliah Kagan Jul 20 '12 at 21:44

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