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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/4/2006 1:36:53 PM EDT
Can I retrofit Wi-Fi to an older laptop?

I'm working out of town during the week for a month or two.......and my lovely wife has an older laptop that I'd like to take to the Residence Inn that I'm staying at.....it has Wi-Fi available but no hardwire hookup.......

I'd like to be able to surf the web in the evenings but a new laptop is not in the financial picture at the present time.
The laptop has already been used on a hardwired internet setup.........is something like a plug-in Wi-Fi modem available?

It's an older Compaq laptop.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 1:39:37 PM EDT
Get a wireless ethernet card that fits in the PCMCIA (CardBus) slot.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 1:47:03 PM EDT
+1 on the pc Card.

Make sure that the card comes with the software for the operating system that is on the laptop. No need to spend big bucks on the fancy new MIMO etc. A good basic 54G ( 802.11B&G) is fine

Stay away from Airlink brand PC cards (gag) and go with the better names - Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Belkin, SMC etc.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 1:50:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:
Get a wireless ethernet card that fits in the PCMCIA (CardBus) slot.



If the laptop is realyl old, just make sure the card is not a cardbus card and the laptop slot is not older 16bit type pcmcia.

http://www.pcmcia.org/faq.htm

How can I tell if I have a CardBus slot?
The CardBus specification was released in 1995. Typically, any device manufactured before the second half of 1997 will almost certainly not have a CardBus capable slot.

On Windows Based Laptop PCs:

Access the 'Device Manager' by the means appropriate to the version of Windows installed. Typically right clicking on the computer icon 'My Computer', selecting the 'Hardware' tab, and clicking the 'Device Manager' button will present the device manager dialog. Scroll to locate an entry entitled 'PCMCIA socket' or 'PCMCIA adapter.' Expand the entry and read the device string that is displayed (two slot machines have two entries). If the string contains the term 'CardBus Controller', then it has a CardBus bridge and you can utilize CardBus PC Cards. Otherwise, the slot is a 16-bit slot and cannot use CardBus Cards. Many manufacturers make CardBus controllers, which would appear in the 'Device Manager.' Here are some PCMCIA adapter listings that are examples of CardBus controllers: Toshiba ToPIC97 CardBus Controller; Texas Instruments PCI-1420 CardBus Controller; Ricoh RL5C466 CardBus Controller; O2Micro OZ6832/6833 CardBus Controller.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 1:51:45 PM EDT
another option is a USB based wireless card, if your computer supports USB. That's the way i'm doing wireless on my desktop at the momment. The plus side of a USB based card is you can put it on any computer (desktop or laptop)
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 1:52:31 PM EDT
You can also get little USB-things that have 802.11g, for only like $25.

-Well--I should explain--they are that inexpensive online, that is. Local walk-in stores want like $65 for one.
~
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 1:53:16 PM EDT

I have a Netgear wireless card in a 350mhz AMD K6-2 Win98SE notebook that I bought in '99.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 4:57:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 4:59:29 PM EDT by TUMOR]
I just found that the laptop has a "REALPORT2" Cardbus Ethernet 10/100+ Modem 56 card that fit into a slot on the side of the case.

Tell me what that means...........yes, I'm computer challenged.

I also went to the PMCIA manager and found out that it has 4 slots........all were empty.....not used.

THANK YOU for your help!!!
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:27:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TUMOR:
I just found that the laptop has a "REALPORT2" Cardbus Ethernet 10/100+ Modem 56 card that fit into a slot on the side of the case.

Tell me what that means...........yes, I'm computer challenged.

I also went to the PMCIA manager and found out that it has 4 slots........all were empty.....not used.

THANK YOU for your help!!!



It sounds like it has a multi-use (ethernet and phone modem) communications card, but that won't help you much if you don't have an ethernet jack to plug into.

What processor and processor speed and how much memory does the computer have?
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 6:01:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:

What processor and processor speed and how much memory does the computer have?



Intel Pentium II processor

128MB RAM

5 gig hard drive

CORRECTION: there are 2ea PCMCIA slots with "TI PCI 1131" in them

and 2 ea PCMCIA slots with "TI PCI 1250" in them.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 7:01:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 7:06:12 PM EDT by pv74]
I think your laptop would support it...

If it is a PII, I would think it was manufactured sometime between '98 to 2000.

What opperating system are you running? '98 or ME?

Most of wireless cards should come with drivers for win'98 on up to the latest versions...

Go to your local Wally World or Best Buy, pick a card and give it a try...one of your neighbors probably has a wirless network to let you test it out on..

Just get a card that does at least 802.11 B, most cards these days do both B (11 meg) and G (54).

This is what it looks like...

www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Product_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1115416828350&packedargs=site%3DUS&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper


Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:02:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pv74:
What opperating system are you running? '98 or ME?



Windows 98
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 5:21:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TUMOR:

Originally Posted By pv74:
What opperating system are you running? '98 or ME?



Windows 98



That's the better of the two..

Get thee down to a computer store and buy a wireless card... just check on the box to be sure that it includes software for Win 98... Find a neighbor or a coffee shop with wireless and test it out on their network to be sure it works properly...

Link Posted: 3/5/2006 6:47:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pv74:
Get thee down to a computer store and buy a wireless card...



Thank You Guys!........your help is GREATLY appreciated!

............................
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 7:25:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 7:30:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Floppy_833:
You can also get little USB-things that have 802.11g, for only like $25.

-Well--I should explain--they are that inexpensive online, that is. Local walk-in stores want like $65 for one.
~



We have had good luck with these for wireless and wired ethernet. I think we are paying around $20 for either type of USB "card".

GunLvr
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