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help needed configuring ancient computer for the internet

Discussion in 'Networking' started by tako1, Mar 5, 2019.

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  1. tako1

    tako1 Thread Starter

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    Hi,

    First let me say that I am a total illiterate when it comes to the technical side of computing so am going to have to have my hand held by anyone offering advice.

    My asus computer died a few days ago and I was given a 13 ( yes correct 13) year old Dell inspiron 1300 laptop to fill in the gap. I wasn't too worried by its age as I am not a user who requires massive storage, computing power or incredible speeds. I essentially use a laptop to do a little surfing, watch youtube videos and communicate by email. I don't use social media and am not a gamer. My needs are simple.

    I have a Huawei SIM card router which was perfectly fine for me when I had my Asus but now I have the Dell inspiron and am having a lot of problems i.e. I can't connect to the internet.

    When I switch on the PC i do not get an automatic scan of available networks from the internal wifi card. I tried using an external USB wifi adapter and it found quite a few surrounding networks including my Huawei router.

    Unfortunately despite putting in the pass key to try and access my own router this did not work. As an experiment I tried connecting to an open network in my bloc and although it said I was connected I still could not access the internet. It seems strange to me that i could at least connect to external network yet couldn't connect to my own.

    Could anyone provide me with advice as to how I would configure my ancient laptop to either find my wifi network via its internal card or at least connect to it via an external adapter if the former isn't possible.

    Many thanks for your time and any help rendered will be most gratefully received.

    Phil
     
  2. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Hello Phil!

    What is the serial number of this Dell machine? If you cannot locate it (usually underneath) then go to Command Prompt (you didn't specify what Windows version... I assume Windows 7?) by going to Start > Run > type cmd and press enter. When the Command Prompt shows, type wmic bios get serialnumber and press enter. It will provide you with the serial number of the dell machine.

    upload_2019-3-5_16-40-27.png

    As to the internal wireless not seeing any networks, it is possible that the wireless connection has been disabled. Right clicking on the icon on the bottom right and choosing Troubleshoot should tell you this. Worse case the card is not working.

    When you put in your own wireless password, did it accept it? If so, what error do you get when you go to say... http://www.bbc.co.uk ?

    What browser are you using to get online?
     
  3. Technoid1

    Technoid1

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    It may be that the computer/network card doesn't support WPA2, if that's what your router is set to. I have one device that will only connect to WPA networks, however I have the same laptop as you and it connects fine to WPA2. Maybe we have different network cards.

    What's the name of the USB adapter?

    Have you tried ethernet, if your router has it?
     
  4. tako1

    tako1 Thread Starter

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    Hi couriant

    i tried the command prompt and got the following message "wmi is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file"

    the label on the computer has the service tag reference number 4S3L62J which the internet tells me is the serial number. There are a whole host of numbers on this label underneath 2 barcodes but nothing marked specifically as a serial number.

    The laptop has windows xp home edition version 2002 service pack 2 as the operating system

    I toggled the Fn and f2 keys and the symbol of the radio tower is switched on. I also checked in device manager to see if the network card was functioning OK and everything serms fine.

    When i try and use the usb adapter I see my router listed. I click on connect and it then asks me for the pass key. I enter this and it appears to be trying to connect. This goes on for about 20 to 30 seconds and then simply goes back to showing available networks. As i mentioned before i was able to connect to an open network in the vicinity without actually gaining internet access probably a distance issue.

    I was trying to access the internet via internet explorer
     
  5. tako1

    tako1 Thread Starter

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    Hi Technoid 1

    I don't have an ethernet cable but may get one soon to try this as an option

    My network card is a Broadcom 440x10/100 integrated controller and i tried using a netgear WNA3100M usb adapter.
     
  6. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    the command is wmic not wmi. :) That does look like the service tag (serial number) of the machine. The long set of numbers underneath that is the express code, which is used for support from Dell.

    Dell's site doesn't seem to have this service tag listed, probably due the age.

    Just to confirm, when using the sim card it doesn't show any connection?
     
  7. tako1

    tako1 Thread Starter

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    I tried the wmic message again and it came up with the same message 'wmic' is not etc etc.

    There are no networks showing if I use the wifi card on the computer.

    If i use the external usb network adaptor then it shows multiple networks in my vicinity including my router. However when i try and connect totmy SIM card router it tries for about 30 seconds and then displays an error message saying it was unable to do so. I am beginning to suspect that there is some sort of software or protocol incompatibility going on here given the age of the laptop.
     
  8. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet Connections.

    Do you see your wireless connection here? If so does it show Enabled or Disabled?
     
  9. tako1

    tako1 Thread Starter

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    hi couriant

    when i switch on and whilst its close to finishing booting up i get a message on the toolbar saying network card is active.

    Goint into internet connections i'm presented with the following:

    LAN or high speed network, a picture of a computer with a link to a router with a big red cross through the connecting line and it says Local Area Connection Network Cable unplugged Broadcom 440x10/100 integrated controller.

    Is this basically saying the only way for me to connect is through a physical connection between PC and router?
     
  10. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    So as of right now, if that is the only one there, then the wireless card may be defective. The other place to confirm is Device Manager.

    Start > Control Panel > System > Hardware tab > Device Manager.

    Look for Network Adapters or Other Devices and see if is a Wireless Connection here or anything with a yellow mark.

    This link has some good information on what to look for:
    https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001212.htm
     
  11. tako1

    tako1 Thread Starter

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    Thanks will try that tomorrow. Got some business to attend to now but will let you know how i get on
     
  12. tako1

    tako1 Thread Starter

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    As far as I can see there is no problem with the intetnal network card and is supposedly functioning ok. This is all so frustrating. Thanks for all the tips and advice but my patience with this has expired. Think i am going to bite the bullet and buy another cheap laptop reconditioned probably. Again thank you for taking time out to help.
     
  13. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    anytime
     
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