This customer has many kids, & is decking out most of them with PC & wireless internet connections.
Currently, the house has 4 PCs, 3 have wireless. I had helped her get a 3rd one onto the internet (a belkin usb wireless thing), but at the time, I struggled with the wep encryption… but eventually got it all going.
I go back, because the belkin has stopped working. Try as I may, I couldn’t get it to work (it eventually transpires that the son & his friends were playing games & knocked it around a bit… so it might have gotten damaged).
Anyway, I’m about to leave (and not charge since i didn’t fix anything), but it turns out she also wants the 4th PC connected.
The main PC uses a netgear wg111 v2 (and I also use one of these things… they are difficult to get going, since the driver you download from netgear often ends up being the non-v2 driver (and some of the older v2 drivers also had problems).
Her son installed the driver for the older netgear wireless, and when he plugs in the older wg111v2, he gets “internet”… but there is no wireless connection if he plugs in the newer wg111v2 (there are no makings on either unit to make you think they are any different from each other).
I figure that the drivers between the two netgear CDs should be the same… and the units should be interchangeable… so whats going on?
I install the ‘newer’ netgear driver onto the 3rd PC (the one with the faulty belkin wireless usb), and it works!
I go back to the 4th PC, uninstall the ‘older’ netgear drivers, install the latest drivers from the ‘newer’ CD, and then the newer wireless usb works!
At this stage, I can guess at a few scenarios:
- The drivers (and hence the actual usb wireless devices), are different and unique, and cannot be interchanged (despite the devices appearing identical in most respects).
- A slightly different driver CD (and device) shipped in the few months between purchasing the 2 devices… such that the older driver cannot handle the newer device (despite the devices appearing identical in most respects).
- The drivers are uniquely tied to the serial / MAC address of the device they came with, so that they cannot be used interchangeable (I think this is very unlikely).
Anyway, this take much longer than I expect, but she would like me to come back and “sort out” the main PC, as it is horrendously slow, and need some tuning (and maybe some malware removal).