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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 3
Location: London, UK
Hi,

Just joined, because I have a very specific problem I need some experienced help with.

My elderly downstairs neighbour (Denise), would like to get on the internet. She has no connection into the flat, no ISP account etc., but I'm pretty confident she'll be well within range of my wireless network, and I thought it would be good to just let her piggyback off mine.

Denise is a complete novice, and she has an old IBM ThinkPad A22m 2628 XTG, running Windows 2000 Pro, that someone gave her. It's hardly ever been used, so it's in fine condition.
She has a Netgear WG511 wireless PC card inserted.
I'm fully aware that it's an old laptop, and an old OS, and the ideal solution would be to just buy a new laptop, BUT... I just thought it would be good if I could save her from spending a few hundred pounds, at least at the beginning, until she gets the hang of it all. Then maybe, if she likes it, and wants to spend all her time on eBay LOL, she can think about upgrading then. Conversely, if she decides the internet is not for her, then she hasn't wasted any money.

Now, here's the thing: I'm a Mac user, and have been for almost 20 years. I know next to nothing about Windows. I've had a good look around her laptop, and I can get the Wireless Assistant up and running, but a scan cannot see my network, despite the laptop being in the same room as the hub. Because of my lack of Windows experience, I haven't a clue where to go, what to look for etc, to try and fix this. The SSID is being broadcast OK, and everything that should be turned on is, and I can't see any reason from my end why the laptop can't pick up the network.

So, any advice here would be very much appreciated: despite my good intentions, it may be that the best advice is to get a new laptop after all. If that's so, please say so. But if there's any way we can get this working for Denise, just to give her a taste of what the internet's like, that would be brilliant.

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:41 pm
Posts: 2669
Location: Paragould AR USA
Have you installed the drivers for the wireless card? Is your network 802.11n only? Just guessing here, but it's a couple of things to consider.

When I'm having trouble with Windows, I like to boot up a Linux (usually Puppy) CD just to test things out, since it's a lot easier to get a wireless network working in Puppy than it is W2K. At least that's true for me, might not be for anyone else.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:07 pm 
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Other things to consider:

- If you do eventually get the A22m to see your access point, another problem could be with the encryption settings. From what I can see, the Netgear WG511 did/does not support WPA or WPA2. A firmware upgrade may be available but it's doubtful your neighbor has applied it.
- Even if your access point is still using WEP, you may want to temporarily disable it to make it as easy as possible to connect. Once you establish that her Netgear card can talk to your AP, then see if you can enable encryption. WEP can be broken with some minimal effort but it keeps the casual user off your system.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 3
Location: London, UK
I haven't installed anything on the laptop: as it was given to me exactly as Denise received it, complete with wireless adaptor, I'm assuming the drivers are already installed.

My network is through Virgin's fibre-optic cable, with their "Super Hub".


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 3
Location: London, UK
Just found this on Virgin's site, too:

Cannot see SSID broadcast / connect wirelessly

Some older Wireless adapters will be unable to see the SSID Broadcast when the customer attempts to connect to the Hub Wirelessly. This requires diagnostics before attributing this issue to the Hub.

Firstly ensure the Wireless LED on the side of the Hub is on and green (3rd Light).
Make sure your PC / Laptop has the wireless adapter enabled correctly (some laptops have a switch / function button to disable the Wifi Radio).
Connect a PC /Laptop by cable to the Hub and access the configuration pages on http://192.168.0.1
Enter the Advanced Settings and select Wireless Settings.
Lower the 802.11 Mode to 54g and set the Security mode as WPA-PSK[TKIP]
Reboot the Hub and see if the PC is able to see the Broadcast wirelessly.
If you still can't connect make sure you have the latest available drivers installed for your Wifi adapter.

Will give this a try tomorrow...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:41 pm
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Graphis wrote:
I'm assuming the drivers are already installed.
May well be, but it looks like neither you nor Denise know much about how the NetGear software works. Perhaps the manual will help. It also appears you might need to make some changes in the way your access point is set up, to make things easier..

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