Your computer is connected to the router on the wireless, but the computer doesn't have an IP that's being used on the router that's going to allow the computer to access the internet or the router's admin screens, since the computer is not using an IP on the router. The 169 IP is assigned by the O/S when the O/S cannot get or persist an IP from a DHCP Server on the network, which is in the router..
The 169 IP is a sign of trouble. It most likely is some kind of mis-configuration on the wireless card, router or both. It can also be defective equipment too.
Yes, that's an IP range the computer should have, but it's not getting one, because of the information above.
Thanks for that: a fault maybe; I also tried to set the IP address manually but that doesn't help either. It all worked until I upgraded to XP and then downloaded several patches; after that nothing. I thus don't think it is the card but some setting on the laptop. the card does find the router but cannot connect to it- due to the wrong IP
No that's not going to help either, because the computer has some kind of mis-configuration between the router aend the card.
A driver problem with the card possibly? Did you go to the laptop's Web site and download software specific to the make, model of the computer, and the O/S being used. You have to do that when you have upgraded like that.
I suggest that you take the laptop to a public spot like a wireless cafe to see if it will connect and use the Internet, if you can't get it to work with your router, just to see if it has a possibilty of working.
You're in a tough situation, because you upgraded to XP, which I'll assume it was over the O/S that was already on the laptop that was installed by the computer manufacturer. You do that, then the manufacture's tech support of the laptop will not support you, which I was going to suggest that.
Can the laptop even connect to the router using a wired connection?
Is the 169 IP there before you even try to make a connection wired or wireless? Sometimes the 169 IP will get locked and won't be released. Did you do an IPconfig /release and IPconfig /renew if the 169 IP is being held to see if the O/S will release it?
1 - XP boots and does "something" try to find the wireless SSID ?
2 - does the "status" of that wireless network connection show "connected" ?
This is a layer thing - you must first be connected to the wireless access point which has nothing to do with getting an IP address.... yet - wireless AP -> SSID, any encryption enabled ? WEP, WPA, or MAC filtering ?
After getting a wireless connection - next is the tcp/ip thing - Can you connect to the router with a wired connection - Ethernet ? How do you know how the router is setup - DHCP, IP range, etc
How is XP setup - firewall ?? turned on or anything else blocking IP connections ?