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The OS itself does not contain wifi. Wifi is hardware that is installed in the device. AS far as the OS is concerned, yes the OS does support the wifi networking protocols. You MAY have to load the wifi adapter driver(s) for you device if Windows does not have a native one that is compatible, however. You can determine whether or not the driver is installed by going to the DEVICE MANAGER and looking at NETWORK ADAPTERS. If there is no wireless adapter present or there is an exclamation mark alongside the adapter, then you need to load the driver to get wifi functionality within the OS.
A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT YOU CAN TRY. MAKE SURE THAT YOU GOT THE LATEST DRIVER FOR THE WIFI CARD. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A CLEAR LINE OF SITE TO THE WIFI ROUTER. YOU MIGHT TRY A USB TO WIFI ADAPTER INSTEAD. YOU CAN PICK ONE UP AT MOST MAJOR STORES LIKE WAL-MART, OFFICE MAX, BEST BUY, ETC.
IF YOU FEEL LIKE THE PCI CARD IS WORKING OR THAT YOU TRIED A USB TO WIFI ADAPTER CONSIDER GETTING A RANGE EXTENDER TO GO BETWEEN THE COMPUTER AND THE ROUTER IF AND ONLY IF YOUR ROUTER IS IN A DIFFERENT BUILDING.
SOMETIMES THE SOFTWARE CAN PREVENT YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION LIKE FOR EXAMPLE A VIRUS. OR EVEN THE NETWORK IS CONFIGURED INCORRECTLY.
You can test it with an external wifi adapter. I use Edimax nano USB WiFi adapter (it cost around $15) and it has its own drivers and applications. Please don't forget to disable your internal wifi adapter after installing the external wifi adapter.
Attach a Ethernet cable to the laptop, Open Device Manager, Network Adapters, Uninstall the Wireless adapter, reboot, Allow the software to apply the generic driver, try to connect to wireless network. Post results.
I'm seeing many reviews for this device that imply they are not very reliable and may not work even out-of-box. My first question is why can't you simply get a USB 802.11 device to use with your WiFi? XP can connect to any WiFi as long as it has a wireless network adapter installed. It only has native support for WEP encryption, but with SP3 installed you have support for all wireless encryption standards.
That message means that the user account that you're logged in as doesn't have Administrator level privledges, and therefore cannot install new drivers and software. If you right-click on the program or disk, it may give you an option to Run As Administrator. This will elevate your installation to an Administrator level.
The T42 has a bulit-in wireless network adapter and a LAN network card. T42s most likely have an Intel wireless card or less likely a Cisco wireless card.
Your wireless network adapter may have been disabled in the BIOS and/or The drivers for the wireless network controller has not been installed.
To check the network adapter go to the Control Panel, Click on System, click on Hardware Tab then Device Manager. Then scroll down and click on Network adapters. If you don't see your network controller or you see a yellow ? against Other devices for the Network controller. Then either it has been disabled and/or the driver was not installed.
To get the driver for the network controller you need to dowload it from the IBM/Lenovo WEB site their support/download page from a computer that has Internet access. Make sure you select your laptop model and the driver for your Windows version. Install the driver and you then need to configure the wireless adapter to suit your wireless router settings before you can access the Internet.
I think you may that the "Drivers" & OR settings for this WiFi adapter are not working correctly.
What ya need to do is Install the "Drivers" & "Software" from the Netgear CD that came with ya device and set it all up per your manual.
Here are a couple of links to help below..
Basically, ya install the drivers & software reboot, insert ya USB WiFi into ya USB port, if it then asks for "Drives" point it to ya CD... when finished then you should be able to "See" ya Access point etc.. and connect.. setting any protocols you wish..