Why does my wireless keep authenticating for hours

I am thinking the laptop is failing and needs to be replaced. 2 reasons, first another laptop in the house works fine, others that come and go do too.

The 2nd reason this has worked for several years before this problem started. When the problems started it would drop and reconnect a lot, thinking the wireless router was failing I set it up again as if it were new.

The other wireless computers still work after getting the new info but this problem one says authenticating for hours with the address showing

This is an inexpensive ($800.) 5 year old Dell Inspiron - is there a practical fix or is it worth salvage?
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More about wireless authenticating hours
  1. If you are fairly sure that the laptop's internal wireless adapter has failed you could buy a USB wireless adapter for (say) $30.

    As far as salvaging is concerned -- does the computer work well for you otherwise ?

    Generally, reinstalling the Operating System (thus clearing out years of skanky stuff) puts a spring in the step of older machines.
  2. If you think the laptop if failing, back up your files and try reinstalling the Operating System like mentioned above, can truly do wonders for an old PC. just remember to update the system and drivers.
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