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Wireless Signal - Good on laptop, bad on PC?

Wireless Signal - Good on laptop, bad on PC?

Wireless Signal - Good on laptop, bad on PC?

(OP)
I'm hoping someone can provide some insight here, I'm pulling my hair out with this wireless network!

The Hardware:
- Sympatico DSL Modem with wireless, WEP128 enabled, no MAC filters
- Linksys 54G PCI cards, one in each of two clone PC's
- Sony Vaio laptop
- Toshiba Qosmio laptop

The Layout:
- The modem is in the office, just off of the master bedroom at one end of the house.
- The two clone PC's are at the other end of the house, one in each bedroom.  Total distance is about 50' & 65'.

The Problem:
- Each laptop has an excellent signal (typically 4-5 bars) anywhere in the house, including when the laptop is placed right beside either of the clone PC's.  
- The laptops even get good signals outside of the house in the backyard or garage, typically 2-3 bars.
- The PC's on the other hand get crappy signals (1-2 bars), which result in very slow speeds.

Interesting Points:
- Each laptop & PC on any given day will find 3-4 other wireless networks from neighbouring homes (this is a big house, the neighbours homes are around 150'+ away).
- The neighbours networks have as good a signal rating on the PC's as the home network I am having trouble with...

Resolutions I've Tried:
- Move the wireless router to the floor, to the ceiling and tried several orientations of the antenna in each location.  No change in signal strength.
- Move each clone PC away from the exterior walls of the bedrooms.  No change in signal strength.
- Move each clone PC into the hallway, so now there is only 1 wall between the router & each PC.  No change in signal strength.
- Tried two different 54g (TrendNet PCI, DLink USB) wireless cards in the clone PC's.  No change in signal strength.
- Bought 5dBi omnidirectional external antenna's and put one on each clone PC.  No change in signal strength.
- Moved each 5dBi external antenna into the hallway.  No change in signal strength.
- Bought 11dBi directional antenna and attached to one of the clone PC's, placed it in the hallway and pointed it towards the router.  Signal gained 1 bar but speeds were still horrible.
- Tried the 11dBi directional antenna on the router and pointed it at the clone PC's.  No change in signal strength.
- Bought a Linksys 54g range extender and placed it mid-way between the router & PC's...  The PC's get a slightly better signal, but the speeds are still very slow (betting that the connection between the range extender & router is cruddy).


So, what it comes down to is that the laptops for whatever reason have no trouble getting a great signal from the router, but the PC's on the other hand just don't...  

Does anyone have any ideas why the laptops are fine but the PC's are not?  I'm just about ready to toss the wireless and try HomePlug adapters...

RE: Wireless Signal - Good on laptop, bad on PC?

Looks like you've tried everything I would have done.

Is the DSL modem 802.11b only?
If so, maybe try forcing the PCI wireless cards to 'b' mode only.

MCSE CCNA CCDA

RE: Wireless Signal - Good on laptop, bad on PC?

(OP)
The modem is 802.11b/g...  I did actually try forcing it to b mode only, along with forcing each device to different channels (1, 6, 11) and there were no substantial differences.

I'm waiting to see if he will let me buy some 802.11n gear from DLink and see if that helps, worst case I can return it for a refund...

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