Computer Help forum


Old computer - can I give it wifi?

by Tylula / September 14, 2011 10:09 AM PDT

This is probably a weir question but.....
We bought an OLD computer from someone (so my kids could play games on it). it's from 2001 (even has a floppy disk drive!)
I asked if it had internet - she said yes.
mmm - it has dial up - but since this is no longer 2001 I do not have dial up - I have wi fi.
Is there any way to make this old thing wi-fi accessible? I have a wi-fi stick from my old computer .... and I have a new laptop that has wifi built in.
Thanks =) Tylula

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All Answers

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by Jimmy Greystone / September 14, 2011 11:08 AM PDT

Probably, using some kind of USB wifi adapter. It will be finicky on the best of days, and performance will probably suck when it is working, but it might be passable for basic web browsing and email. If it were me, I'd just buy the cheapest thing I could find, because it's not worth sinking a lot of time and/or money into this.

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Yes, very likely
by Willy / September 14, 2011 12:04 PM PDT

If old PC has an open PCI slot you can mount a wifi PCI card. You will then need to connect to some wifi connection and get on the WWW if that was the plan. If your other old PC has that stick available and the s/w plus drivers to mount it in your new old PC, then do that. You gave few clues and/or details of what actually you have. if you understand my reply, then act on it. good luck

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(NT) more info
by Tylula / September 15, 2011 11:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes, very likely
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Re: more info
by Kees_B Forum moderator / September 15, 2011 5:42 PM PDT
In reply to: more info

What you forgot to tell: the OS. If that isn't Windows XP, I'd forget all. I don't think you can buy any WiFi equipment that still comes with drivers for Windows ME.

Even an Ethernet card for wired access might be a problem on Windows ME.


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Some checks
by Willy / September 15, 2011 8:07 PM PDT
In reply to: more info

I know very little about your actual PC and all the details, OS, current ram, installed s/w and/or if any past wifi. You are there and thus need to provide what's what as best as possible. A "stick" tells nothing. I don't even know if you have USB ports. Your last reply for "more info" thus relies on your input to continue. Check the decals, labels, etc. and report back what you have and open case to tell what that stick is. If at all possible provide some pix and open link to them to share with us what pix vs. words may explain better.

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more info - hope it works this time...
by Tylula / September 16, 2011 2:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Some checks

LOL - sorry, I didn't just write 'more info' - I wrote a whole paragraph after that - don't know why it didn't show up....
It has Windows ME >O And yes it has a usb port
he 'stick' I have is a netgear 54 mbps wireless usb -- and then I have the router etc as I had wifi on my omputer before it broke and the laptop I am typing on right now has wifi --- we have satelite out here in he country.
I'm not feeling very hopeful about this though because when I try do do the internet wizard it only gives me an option for a phone line.....
Thank you for continueing to deal with my 'noob-ness'

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I see...
by Willy / September 17, 2011 3:24 AM PDT

Since, you're running ME, that alone make things difficult. Any newer wifi card or USB based one may not allow an easy install as it were. Of course, an older wifi setup should be capable or allow itself to install. All this because ME is no longer supported by newer wifi setups. The wifi install s/w would do all the work for ya as it gets installed, etc. under ME if applicable. So, you maybe beating a dead horse here.

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SHould be OK
by Zouch / September 16, 2011 11:37 PM PDT

Depending what Netgear G USB adapter you have, it should work. The WG111, for example supports Win 98SE and ME. You might need to download a driver and or support utility for WinME from the Netgear site or the installer but when I had WinME, it was closer to XP at finding drivers than to Win98SE (Disclaimer - I had the UK version of Windows ME, which did not seem to have the problems that the US one had - ask most people what they thought of ME and they'll likely say worst ever operating system bar none. Not my experience). It certainly won't do any harm to plug the stick into the USB port and see what it says.

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by Tylula / September 18, 2011 7:37 AM PDT
In reply to: SHould be OK

Thanks so much everyone - especially for putting up with my green questions. Off to try a few different things =)

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