Signal strength is always non-existent - would this work?

Hi there!

Having a problem getting my laptop to connect to a home network. The network itself is fine - my flatmates tell me they have no problems connecting. But my laptop, which admittedly is showing its age, rarely sees the network and never successfully connects. It's as if the signal was very faint - even though the AP is only a couple metres away. The problem doesn't improve when I bring my laptop next to the router. If it does see the network, it'll never get as far as geting a DHCP address. I've tried updating my drivers, using a different router, all no effect.

What I was wondering is if I can bypass my laptop hardware altogether as this is where the problem lies. I have a perfectly good Linksys WAG ADSL router and wireless AP. What I was wondering is if these devices can be converted into wireless antennae. I'd have my broadband feed into my wireless router, whose signal is picked up by anther router which presents the connection via an ethernet connection to my laptop. Making a wireless router into a wireless card. Is that possible?

Further, my laptop hasn't always been like this. Only a month ago, while playing around with some network settings, did it start acting up. Any idea if there's a setting I may have touched which might cause a device to report receiving an abnormally low signal strength? I was pretty sure I set everything back like it was - and the flatmates say it's unchanged, but it seems strange that the connection to my machine would die just then.

The Wireless AP is an Orange Livebox. The laptop is a 4yo Compaq (remember them?) Presario 2570, running XP w/SP2 and seemingly the latest Compaq-Broadcom 802.11b drivers.



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If your laptop supports USB, try to borrow an external USB wireless device... That's always my first check, to avoid everything internal (hardware/software), then you know if it's your puter or the wireless.. Or just try and delete and reinstall the software/drivers....

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