Try these 2 things:
1. Try to connect having the laptop close to the router. After the initial connection you won't have to be close to it anymore.
2. If No.1 doesn't work, go to the 'Manage wireless networks that use (Wireless Network Connection)' box and remove your existing SSID network. Then click the add button and REDO your SSID information. Make sure you use 'WPA- Personal' and NOT 'WPA2-Personal' when choosing your security type. Also have your firewall off. If you have Norton anti-virus, you may have to uninstall it to connect and then re-install it after you have a connection.
thanks for the tip. it worked!