Many laptops have an actual physical switch on the side that turns the wireless hardware on or off to save battery life. On some models it's a touch-sensitive button near the keyboard that resembles an activity light but is also the control for powering up the various radios in your laptop. The least-obvious kind are "soft" switches--applications that you need to run to enable or disable the wireless radios.
How to Troubleshoot Your Wireless Connection | eHow.com
Follow the router's manual to set up the router and its Internet connection, which will probably require connecting a wired client to the router. Once the wireless router is set up, the wired connection is no longer necessary. However, it's best to leave the wired client connected if it's a separate computer from that on which you're going to set up WiFi. If something goes wrong, you can access the administration interface again.
Gather information from the setup process. In order to set up the wireless client, you will need to know the service set identifier (SSID), the Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) key and the channel and mode.
Boot up the laptop and plug in the WiFi card. This will not be necessary if your laptop has an integrated WiFi card.
Install any drivers needed to use the WiFi card. Insert the disc that came with the WiFi card and follow the on-screen installation process. Most discs will trigger a new hardware wizard that makes installation extremely simple
Double-click on the "WiFi Connection" icon. It can be found in the system tray at the bottom of the laptop screen.
Click on "Properties."
Select the "Wireless Networks" tab.
Use the "Add" button at the bottom of the dialog if your WiFi network isn't in the "Available Networks" section.
Click on "Configure" when you see your network's SSID in the "Available Networks."
Enter your network's SSID and WEP key.
Click on "Start," then choose "Connect To" and "Wireless Network Connection." Your computer should now be able to access the WiFi network. If the WiFi network is connected to the Internet, it should also be able to connect to the Internet. I hope this helps and good luck.
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