New laptops come with a standard Wi-Fi wireless card built-in, but some of the older laptops do not have this built-in hardware. An easy way to revamp an old Windows 2000 computer is to verify if it has internal wireless capability and if it does not, then add wireless connectivity with an external USB, Smart card, or PCMCIA wireless card. Configure Windows 2000 to pick up the Internet wireless signal and you are good to go.
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Things you need
- Wireless USB, SMartcard, or PCMCIA card
- Software drivers for card
Check to see if your computer has a wireless card by going to "Start" and clicking "Control Panel." Choose "Performance and Maintenance," and then "See basic information about your computer." Click the "Hardware" tab on the window that appears. Choose the "Device Manager" option and click on "Network Adapters" from the list that appears. Look for a wireless card. If there is nothing here, then the machine does not have a wireless card installed and you will need to use an external card.
Insert a USB, PCMCIA or Smartcard wireless network card in the appropriate port on the laptop. You can find these cards at any computer speciality shop, like BestBuy, Radio Shack or Circuit City. Purchase one that is 802.11b compatible. Ask the sales clerk to help you locate the correct card.
Insert the driver CD that came with the external card, as it is unlikely that Windows 2000 will recognise the card automatically. Wait for the program to start and click through the installation prompts. Click "Finish" when the driver program completes installation and then restart the computer. Locate the new wireless icon in the systems tray at the bottom right hand corner of your Windows desktop screen.
Set up the wireless network by double-clicking on "My Computer" and selecting the "Control Panel" folder. Click twice on "Network and Dial Up Connections" and again on "Local Area Connection." Select "Properties" from the window that appears. Verify that the network card being used is the brand and model of your wireless network card. Check mark the "Client for Microsoft Networks" and the "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" options.
Click twice on the "Internet Protocol" option and select "Properties." From the list of options, choose "Obtain IP address automatically." Choose the automatic option, or the DNS option, and click "OK." Click "OK" again and then "Close." Restart the computer if prompted to do so.
Open your web browser and start surfing the Web. If the wireless network is password protected, you will get a pop-up window requesting the user name and password. Enter these here and continue surfing the Internet.
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