Connect me please
January 1, 2009 1:59 PM   Subscribe

An old computer that can't seem to get onto the Internet, is there ANY way to make this work??

I have an old laptop that was well used from 2001-2004. It had a notebook card that I used to connect to the same wireless network I'm on right now. Then its screen died so it went into retirement in a closet and I forgot about it.

Today I hooked it up to an old monitor and it turned on just fine so I was optimistic. The computer is running Windows 2000 Pro and has about 20gb of free space..

It can't seem to connect to the internet though. 3 different brand new wireless adapters (usb and card-slot kind, linxys and belkin brands) can see the wireless network but not connect to it. I tried plugging right into the modem but it can't connect that way either. I also did alot of reboots and re-setting of the modem and wireless router. I'm not sure what else I can do. It's possible that I may have deleted something important when I was getting rid of alot of old junk that was on there.
Is this as hopeless as it seems? Is there something I'm missing? I don't know anyone who can come in and tell me what the problem is.

The CD ROM drive can't read cds any more. Any cd-rom that goes in there says "The disk in drive D is not formatted. Would you like to format now?" when you try to access it. It can play DVDs though, I don't know why. So I'm guessing I can't reinstall or update windows. But i don't have any of the discs i would need to do that anyway. I have a SanDisk USB mp3 player that i'm using as a flash drive to get stuff onto it for now.

I tried calling Linxys and Belkins' tech support but they told me it was a problem with the modem which makes 0 sense. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to post this question.
posted by amethysts to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a win2k box running a hawkings wireless usb wireless thingy that's only a year old right now. Have you tried updating the drivers for the wireless cards you're using or are you still using 4 year old drivers?
posted by 517 at 2:25 PM on January 1, 2009

Response by poster: No, I installed the software that came bundled with the new adapters. I did this by transferring the files on the CD to the mp3 player on my current computer and then plugging the mp3 player into the old computer.
posted by amethysts at 2:28 PM on January 1, 2009

Best answer: Do you have WPA security turned on your wireless network? Maybe your older laptop doesn't have the ability to use that security mode. WEP or no key should be fine to test.

Do you have MAC address filtering turned on on your wireless router (probably not)?

Can you try booting from a recent LIVE CD version of some Linux distro and see if it can get on (you can likely do this from USB key? There is a chance your CD hardware is still working but the software is broken)
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:30 PM on January 1, 2009

Response by poster: Oh wow. I forgot I had put MAC filtering on there awhile ago cause of some pesky neighbors. It didn't occur to me because it wouldn't connect directly to the modem either. But I took the filtering off and it works now so I'm happy. Thanks!
posted by amethysts at 2:44 PM on January 1, 2009

I would turn filtering back on and just add the laptop's MAC address. Pesky neighbors could come back, otherwise...
posted by papayaninja at 4:52 PM on January 1, 2009

Don't turn the MAC filtering back on. As you've already found out, MAC filtering is a pain in the arse. It's also a useless pain in the arse.
posted by flabdablet at 10:54 PM on January 1, 2009

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