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no you cannot replace the built-in wi-fi card...
if you try to change the drivers for atheros wi-fi to Broadcam driver, your wi-fi card will not function anymore.... but you can always install another WI-FI card in your laptop... you can buy a USB Adapter or a Cardbus(PCMCIA) adapter for this purpose...if you want your wi-fi signal strenth and range to be higher, you can opt to buy an adapter which comes under N standard....N standard wi-fi adapters are capable of connecting at a speed of more than 300mbps(practically) to any N standard device like router....
You will need to check that the router is on first, then go to the internet settings on your computer, if the wi-fi doesnt show up try and SCAN so your computer will look for it. When it is found you will need to give it a password and then its ready to go
Check if the wi-fi card is properly installed under Device Manager. Go to Start then look for Control Panel on the right pane. Under Control Panel look for System and Maintenance and then click on Device Manager. Now under Device Manager look for Network Adapters and collapse or click the arrow next to it. Check if your wi-fi adapter is installed(10/100 or 10/1000 is your LAN adapter, wi-fi adapters usually indicates something like 802.11x(could be agn or g or b) or the word "wireless". If you don't see anything I mentioned above that means your computer is unable to detect any wi-fi adapters installed. Know if you found a wi-fi adapter but there is a yellow exclamation or question mark, all you have to do is re-install the drivers for your wi-fi adapter(you can download the drivers on the Compaq website for free.)
Check if the wi-fi is disabled or stopped, if you have a bulit in wi-fi adapter on your laptop they have a wi-fi switch on the side or near the function keys(F1, F2, F3 up to F12). Wi-fi button/switch will have a logo or marking of an antenna that has waves coming out of it and there is a LED light that will indicate if its on or off(for Comapaq laptops it's either a blue button at the front, near the function keys or at the front panel on the buttom edge.
If both fails then you may need to contact Compaq for further assistance.
Hope this will help you fixin the wi-fi problems on your laptop.
Not much offered at Compaq's driver site for XP. For the modem driver, try the link below, it says it's for Vista, but it should work. If it doesn't then you will need the make and model of the modem, then go to the manufacturer's site or driverguide.com for the drivers, and the same for the wireless, make and model, manufacturer's site or driver guide. To be honest with you, modems are just about obsolete, unless you have dial up at home, you'll probably never use it.