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Can you turn down the transmit power, or lock a certain data rate, on the client card? Doing either of those things should initiate a roam more quickly. Do you have any control of the infrastructure configuration? You can lock the datarates on the AP's to achieve the same effet, though it may have adverse effects on other client devices.
Try the other way around,first install the card then boot the system up.
When Windows finds the card and asks for the driver, insert your driver cd and choose install driver manually and point windows to your cd drive to force the use of the correct driver.
It may be that windows is trying initially to install the generic driver.
It may be that the driver being used ia a generic one that Windows updated if it's on automatic, and not the driver you got with the adapter.
Start from beginning again, uninstal card and drivers if still there, but make sure Windows looks to your installation CD for the driver and not a Windows generic one.
You may have to re-start your system, and make sure your router sees the card in it's ip address allocation.