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Need help with connecting old Dell Latitude C600

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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September 24, 2012 7:39:19 PM

I was just given an old Dell Latitude C600 with a fresh copy of XP installed. My friend said everything worked great, but when I hooked it up and tried accessing my wireless network, it won't connect. The Cisco wireless card "sees" my network and signal strength is excellent, but when I try connecting, it says the network is no longer in range. Is this an incompatibility betwen an older wireless card and newer router, or something else? I haven't had a chance to ask my friend if he tested the WiFi card, or only loaded/tested Windows. Device Manager shows no problems with the WiFi card, and I've tried unplugging it, re-installing the driver, rebooting the router.
September 24, 2012 7:45:21 PM

What level encryption is in use?

Older wireless adapters may only support WEP64/WEP128 and not the newer levels.
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September 24, 2012 9:43:44 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
What level encryption is in use?

Older wireless adapters may only support WEP64/WEP128 and not the newer levels.


Thanks ex_bubblehead,
I'm by no means an expert in wireless, but think it's higher since the router is only a year old. I just assumed all the newer gear would be backwards compatible...I'll do a little more research on the specs for the WiFi card and router when I get home.
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September 25, 2012 12:34:10 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
What level encryption is in use?

Older wireless adapters may only support WEP64/WEP128 and not the newer levels.


I looked up the WiFi card (a Cisco AIR-PCM352) and in the specs it looks like 40 and 128 bit WEP encryption. The router (a Netgear WNR1000v2) doesn't mention the encryption level in the specs, but WEP is mentioned. Both devices mention WEP in security, but does that necessarily mean they're compatible? My brain is just barely hanging on to all this :pt1cable: 
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September 25, 2012 1:28:07 PM

You need to know what is set on the router. If it's set for WPA then your laptop will not be able to connect.
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September 25, 2012 4:07:59 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
You need to know what is set on the router. If it's set for WPA then your laptop will not be able to connect.

But isn't WPA what the WiFi card "speaks"?
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September 25, 2012 4:12:07 PM

You still haven't said what level the router is currently using. If it's not one of the protocols the laptop adapter speaks than there will be no connection. Both must match. The router side is what counts here.
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September 25, 2012 4:19:57 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
You still haven't said what level the router is currently using. If it's not one of the protocols the laptop adapter speaks than there will be no connection. Both must match. The router side is what counts here.

Sorry to ask what's probably a stupid question, but how do I check? If I change the router to match the WiFi card (if that's possible), won't that throw off my "smart" TV, or would I have to change it back and forth?
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September 25, 2012 4:23:43 PM

Log onto the router and check the wireless setup. You will have to choose a protocol that all connected adapters support. You do not change back and forth.
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September 26, 2012 12:59:53 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
Log onto the router and check the wireless setup. You will have to choose a protocol that all connected adapters support. You do not change back and forth.

I spoke with a very nice guy from Comcast last night who said I could reconfigure the router to work with the WiFi card, but I couldn't configure the WiFi card to work with the router. If I were to change the router config, then my other devices would be locked out. He suggested ditching the old WiFi card and getting a USB WiFi dongle. Sounds reasonable, but then again, I'm pretty WiFi illiterate. I called Cisco yesterday and was passed around like a cheap hooker, so no help from them on the card :-(. What do you think?
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Best solution

September 26, 2012 1:58:23 PM

I'm assuming, since you mentioned Comcast, that they supplied the router and configured both it and your other equipment. If that's the case ditching the old card is a very good idea. A new adapter isn't that expensive. However, you have to make sure that whatever you get has XP drivers.
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September 26, 2012 3:18:03 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
I'm assuming, since you mentioned Comcast, that they supplied the router and configured both it and your other equipment. If that's the case ditching the old card is a very good idea. A new adapter isn't that expensive. However, you have to make sure that whatever you get has XP drivers.

Yes, Comcast supplied the router (for free, I might add. Something ATT wouldn't do for my mom), but I set it up per quickstart guide that came with it, and connected my TV and other laptop. Good tip on making sure the new card has XP drivers :D  . How does something like this? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . I think for giggles, I'll try the dongle that came with my Panasonic "smart" TV when I get home, just to see if all this is doable.
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September 26, 2012 4:13:54 PM

The adapter you linked to should work just fine. If the adapter for your TV is the one I'm thinking of don't bother, it only works with the TV (no drivers for anything else).
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September 26, 2012 5:04:13 PM

ex_bubblehead said:
If the adapter for your TV is the one I'm thinking of don't bother, it only works with the TV (no drivers for anything else).

Thanks...didn't think about that
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October 2, 2012 12:40:42 PM

Update...I talked to my neighbor who said to set my router to run on B/G/N mixed mode, since the old WiFi card was B (the router was set to G/N only). That allowed me to connect, but it was pretty unstable, and S L O W. (5-10 MBS) I just got the new TP-Link adapter yesterday and am now showing 150 MBS :bounce:  The only problem is the old laptop only has one USB port, on the back, and the TL-Link adapter sticks out pretty far (with an antenna). Luckily Newegg included a free remote stand, so everything's cool ;-).
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October 23, 2012 1:09:27 PM

Best answer selected by noonin.
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