I have an Inspiron 8600 with the Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3A MiniPCI adapter. I cannot configure the adapter to see my network which does not broadcast it's SSID, but also right now is not using any encryption. If I click on the device's Properties, I only get 3 tabs - General, Authentication and Advanced. I thought I should get a fourth tab (actually right next to General) that would allow me to configure my connection. I have updated the device driver to one that was posted within the last few weeks on Dell's website. If I choose VIEW ALL WIRELESS NETWORKS, the box that comes up is completely greyed out except for the CANCEL button. I know the network is up and works to other machines with different wireless devices. It's broadcasting as 802.11g.
Thanks for any help.
I'm guessing your card's drivers aren't actually installed correctly. As you point out, with "any" wireless device correctly installed in the system you should be able to get to the advanced tab, and input a SSID and even WEP key, irregardless of the actual presence of any 802.11 network at the time. I'm guessing that if the system doesn't relaly see a wireless adapter (internal or add-in) then those options might be grayed out. I'd remove the applications and uninstlal the drivers. Then go through the add new hardware option and let your OS rediscover the device, and have the latest release from Dell already downloaded to install.
then your next problem will be two-fold as was stated...if your actually running a 802.11g "only" wireless network, you will still be unable to connect there if you indeed have only the 2100 base model. there are versions of the 2100 however with "g" support....second problem will be for your co-users of the network if your AP is b/g capable and setup for that.....if I understand the 802.11 corectly, I think if you do connect to it as a "b" device, it downgrades the entire network to "b" level while your using it. That won't make your neighbor users very happy