Author Topic: Any PC geeks - need a little help...  (Read 7103 times)

Offline aces-n-eights

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Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« on: October 22, 2009, 10:21:19 am »
I need a little help getting a laptop running.  I have inherited the Dell laptop our daughter used for 4 years in college.  Like many college students, she downloaded a bunch of stuff; music, videos, movies - whatever.  Several times she had to format the hard drive and reload because the computer just was not working properly - probably infected somehow.  I recently formatted the HD and started again. 

I've reloaded the OS, Windows XP, and the laptop seems to be working properly except it will not connect to the internet.  I have a wireless network and it will not recognize that net.  I have plugged the laptop directly into the wireless router and it does not see that either.

I found the network card and reloaded the driver (i have all the Dell disks that came with the laptop) and still no joy.

Any hints?  I'm kinda stuck...

Thanks for any help!

US Army, retired, x2
Soldotna Alaska
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
Psalm 109:8

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2009, 10:38:30 am »
Hi,
Are you able to see the home wireless connection on this laptop and just unable to connect to the internet? If not, I would also try installing any software/drivers that are included with your wireless router. If this works and you are able to connect to the internet I would update Windows XP with the new service packs and download the latest wireless router driver. If this doesn't work, you may be able to find (on a different computer) network/wireless drivers on the laptop manufacturers website that you could save on a usb drive, etc that you could install on the laptop.


Offline Caneyscud

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2009, 11:00:10 am »
Have you tried hooking up directly to the net connection and not the wireless router?  May be a bad router.  My BIL is a self-employed geek and most of his business lately is because of wireless routers. 
“A man that won't sleep with his meat don't care about his barbecue” Caneyscud



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Offline aces-n-eights

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 12:24:52 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions guys! 

CRG, the laptop does not "see" our home network.  I was unable it load the router software on the laptop because it couldn't connect to the internet - duh!  I usually allow another computer to join our home net with the software on the desktop - it does not show another pc trying to join.

Caney, i tried plugging the laptop directly into the cable modem - no joy.  FYI, i have a cable from the cable modem into the router and cables from the router to both the desktop and the laptop i'm trying to get going.  The desktop has connectivity and the laptop does not.  I'm sure the router is working properly because i have internet on the desktop via cable and wireless to another laptop thru the air.

The laptop recognizes neither the wireless net nor the cable connection to the router.

I think i need to be sure i have the right drivers installed.  I believe i did that using the original disks that came with the laptop. 

How can i be sure i have the right drivers installed?  Sorry, that is a bit of a dumb question, but is there a way to run a test on the laptop to check the proper drivers are installed?  I've run about every test i can find, but still no joy in connecting.  I think it may be a fairly simple thing, just need to find that simple thing!

Tks again!
US Army, retired, x2
Soldotna Alaska
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
Psalm 109:8

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 12:44:49 pm »
If you can take your computer that can connect and do a search at dell for the wireless drive at dell and load on a usb drive and then install on the laptop.

I'm with you, something simple like a missing driver.

Offline BigJohnT

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 12:55:06 pm »
On my wife's laptop I had to do something like tell it to search for the network or I went through the network setup wizard... And each time I want to use the wireless printer I have to tell the pc to "connect" to the printer. I hate Windoz...

John

Offline KyNola

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 01:17:37 pm »
A&E,
This may sound really silly and I am far from being a PC geek but I have 2 Dell laptops that run on my home wireless network.  Both of my Dell laptops require that their "radio" be turned on before they will connect to any wireless network.  They won't see a network because the radio is not on to receive the signal.  Is it possible the radio is not turned on in the Dell laptop?  Both of my laptops have a little blue radio tower looking thing that lights ups if the radio is on.  It is located at the very top of the keyboard.  One of the "function" keys at the top is to turn the radio on or off.  There is also a little thingy up there that says "wifi" that lights up if it connects to a wifi network.

Just a thought.

KyNola

Offline mybad

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 01:18:13 pm »
Try to see in network connections what adapter windows shows Start>Control Panel>Network connections. Try looking in device manager and see what adapters you have installed. Right click on my computer>properties>hardware tab then device manger>network adapters. Double click on each to see if it is installed or not.  Sometimes your "Chipset" drivers have the network stuff along with them.

You most likely have not installed your network card drivers. You should, as suggested, go to dell with your model number. Download the drivers you haven't installed, burn it to a cd and then pop it in and install. Try to connect it again with the cable.

Then try to work out the wireless issues.


Offline aces-n-eights

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 03:12:24 pm »
More good suggestions - thanks!

Ky - great idea!  Our newer dell laptop has that wifi light and this older one i'm trying to resurrect has a switch (Fn F2).  Unfortunately that has no effect on making it see the router.

I went to the Dell site and downloaded drivers that appeared to be more recent than the ones on the disk.  Installed them, no change.

It appears the network cards are installed properly with the appropriate drivers.

At one point it actually found a wireless net - not ours 2 feet away, the neighbors.  I logged into it and it worked.  I logged out and was unable to replicate whatever i did to find it before.  But at least some indication the wireless card works.

I'm now considering whether i should shoot it with my shotgun or pistol.  I'm leaning toward the shotgun as being more satisfying. ;D

I've spent several hours yesterday and several more today trying to get this to go.  My time is valuable and i think it may be time for a new computer.  This laptop is over 5 years old and that is pushing it for any portable - especially one in the college environment.

Maybe this is the excuse i need to get one of those netbooks... hmmmmmmmm

Thanks again for the advice and please share anymore ideas - i haven't given up on this thing yet!
US Army, retired, x2
Soldotna Alaska
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
Psalm 109:8

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 03:18:58 pm »
If you do decide to "Ace" the computer, choose the shotgun. Record it, transcribe in slo-mo, and post it so we all can share. ROFL

Offline BigJohnT

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 03:23:49 pm »
Bring it over here and we will break out the .223's or the .308's and some Tannerite... now that is good healthy fun.

JT

Offline mybad

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 03:51:34 pm »
Just a thought, is what is your wireless protocol? 802.11b 802.11a 802.11g or 802.11n. Could be your laptop doesn't work with your router, because of incompatible protocols.

Offline ArnieM

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2009, 04:12:48 pm »
A&E,

These things are hard enough to diagnose in person, let alone on a forum.

Edit:  Has this computer EVER worked on your home network?

Let's start here.  Go to Start->Run and type in CMD.  That will bring up a command window.  At the prompt, type in ipconfig <Enter>

What do you get?
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 04:41:31 pm by ArnieM »
-- Arnie

Where there's smoke, there's food.

Offline aces-n-eights

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2009, 05:04:44 pm »
SUCCESS!  OK i don't know what happened, perhaps it just needed to rest for a while, or be threatened with a shotgun, or "video'ed destruction", but it seems to be working.

At first it picked up the neighbor's wireless, then found ours and is now running on the cable from the router. 

Mybad, that is a great suggestion - i think the router is a more recent protocol than this older laptop - 11g or 11n.  I thought the router would still work with all previous protocols - 11a or b - and maybe does.

Arnie, you are exactly right, it is really hard to do sitting at the keyboard, much less over a forum.  But thanks.  I did the CMD, ipconfig and can see when it is working on the wireless or the cable.  That is a good little command to know.

Anyway i guess i can put away the shotgun - DARN IT! 

 
Thanks for all your help!

wayne
US Army, retired, x2
Soldotna Alaska
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
Psalm 109:8

Offline ArnieM

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Re: Any PC geeks - need a little help...
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2009, 05:24:03 pm »
A&E, I'm glad you got it going.  Sometimes things work in mysterious ways  ;D

You can usually set the router/computer up to work ONLY together - no neighbor.  It's in the instructions.

We had an Electrolux vac that pretty much died.  My wife hated it.  I dragged it out to take it to the dump.  My wife said "Hold on."  She got her .357 Magnum and put it out of its misery.  She was happy!
-- Arnie

Where there's smoke, there's food.