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glennzo
24th January 2008, 12:07 AM
Hey, I have a laptop here, HP/Compaq V4000 something or other. Doesn't really matter what brand. I think that the wireless adapter is dying. Doesn't work very reliably. What are the chances that if I but an off brand card, the $30.00 sort, that it will work? I'm thinking that laptops are a different game and one really needs to replace hardware with what came out, 1 for 1 or the lappy will burp. Any truth to that suspicion?

PilotJLR
24th January 2008, 04:20 AM
Yeah, this can be tricky; you are right.

Here is an example... both a friend and I were given identical HP tablets. These were 1st gen tablets, so they came with 802.11b ONLY cards. I bought an HP branded Intel 3945 upgrade card, so that I could use 802.11g connectivity speeds. All was well.
My friend, however, bought an Intel-branded 3945 card. IDENTICAL cards, in reality, except one card was an HP rebrand of Intel, and one was Intel-retail.

The Intel retail card did NOT work. Why? HP (who makes great products) chose to make their BIOS arbitrarily fail to boot when a non-HP branded card is inserted! The BIOS error message said as much too... interestingly, we found we could boot the machine with NO wireless card, then put it in hibernate, then insert the Intel card and resume... and it worked perfectly. That bypassed the bios check that causes the fault.

Long story short... stick with the vendor's parts list. :-)

glennzo
24th January 2008, 10:24 AM
Thanks for the reply PilotJLR. Hoping this is not the case with this laptop but not sure if I want to take the chance. The computer belongs to the Pastor of our church so it's her money I'd be spending and not mine. I'd also bet that there is no definitive answer, at least not from the general public and if I ask HP they will of course tell me that I need the real thing.

Edit: Now that I'm thinking about this wireless issue again I wonder if there could be broken or damaged leads between the card and the display, where I believe the antenna is.

bbfuller
24th January 2008, 11:17 AM
Hello glennzo

I changed a wireless card in a Toshiba laptop some years ago and there was no problem. The original was "b" only I remember and I got an Atheros b & g on ebay, mini pci size.

I think it was a case of fools rush in.

With my current laptop I thought I'd play the same game as its wireless was a bit tricky. Lucky I didn't pay much for the card because although it is mini-pci size the slot in the laptop isn't!

On other thing to remember, the connectors to the aerials in the laptop are likely to be some sort of press stud fixing. The studs on a replacement wireless card aren't necessarily going to be in the same place. Make sure there is enough slack in the cables to compensate.

glennzo
24th January 2008, 11:28 AM
Hello glennzo

I changed a wireless card in a Toshiba laptop some years ago and there was no problem. The original was "b" only I remember and I got an Atheros b & g on ebay, mini pci size.

I think it was a case of fools rush in.

With my current laptop I thought I'd play the same game as its wireless was a bit tricky. Lucky I didn't pay much for the card because although it is mini-pci size the slot in the laptop isn't!

On other thing to remember, the connectors to the aerials in the laptop are likely to be some sort of press stud fixing. The studs on a replacement wireless card aren't necessarily going to be in the same place. Make sure there is enough slack in the cables to compensate.
Thanks for the reply. I'm thinking of just ordering a $30 mini-pci card. What have I got to lose except the $30? I really have no idea why wireless is spotty, Windows XP of course, works and then doesn't, but since my wife said 'my husband can fix it', the pressure is on, so to speak. As far as the slack, looked as though there was enough. They were press fit.

johnnymack
26th January 2008, 04:44 AM
Hey Glenn,

here is a great buy:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000VMBRMW/ref=pd_bbs_olp_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1201318849&sr=1-2

a D-Link DWL-G650 cardbus adapter. $18.xx new and $12.xx used.
This is an Atheros chipset device which works with madwifi driver on FC, F7, and F8. Plus, it is a good brand, not an off one.

jm

scottro
26th January 2008, 06:11 AM
For what it's worth, after days of trying to get the new Atheros 5007EG to work, I gave up and bought a LInksys WUSB54GC adapter. Goes in a USB port and worked out of the bo

Always check madwifi's site for compatibility before buying. I can now safely say from experience, next time I see some people are having trouble with a particular card, I'm not going to put it down to them not being knowledgeable. :)

glennzo
26th January 2008, 10:48 AM
Hey Glenn,

here is a great buy:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000VMBRMW/ref=pd_bbs_olp_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1201318849&sr=1-2

a D-Link DWL-G650 cardbus adapter. $18.xx new and $12.xx used.
This is an Atheros chipset device which works with madwifi driver on FC, F7, and F8. Plus, it is a good brand, not an off one.

jm
Thanks for the link. An external adapter, eh? Good idea. Thought of it briefly as it would be an easier way to get wireless working and I wouldn't have to worry about compatibility as much as I imagine I would with replacing the internal card. And thanks for reminding me that I need to do something with this computer. I've ignored the issue for a couple weeks and need to call her with some sort of resolution. This is a Windows laptop so I won't have the driver issues that we do with Linux.

nyjetshead
26th January 2008, 01:34 PM
For linux be careful with even the branded adapters such as D-link etc...
Chipsets can vary, the card I use, Dlink DWL-G630 has Atheros and some other brand chipsets that isn't supported. I lucked out and received the Atheros chip set.
If you are only concerned with XP then of course the above doesn't matter.

As far as internal cards go you have to be sure its compatible with the BIOS, you may be able to physically install but it may not work.
There is an issue with HP and Intel based cards on units that use athelon CPU's. t
The broadcom cards are suppose to be compatible.
Don't know this first hand but that is what I heard.

The existing card may only be suffering from a poor antenna connection.
If its soldered on (antenna) try reheating the joint with a low wattage pencil iron.
Otherwise do the old pull the card out, use a pen eraser on the contacts and reseat it routine if you haven't already.