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I have an HP Pavilion dv6400 series laptop with an NVidea chipset which is the subject of a class action lawsuit. The symptom (PDF) that I'm experiencing is that the system fails to recognize that there is a wireless adapter installed. It doesn't appear in Device Manager. In this question, I ask if there's a way to work around this problem.

As an alternative, I'd like to see if there's a way to use an old Windows Mobile 5 phone that does not have cellular service (voice or data) as a Wi-Fi adapter. How can this be accomplished?

The system is running Windows Vista Home and has the latest BIOS (F42) and Windows updates and drivers.

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There is no way to "tether" to that older phone. Your best bet is a usb wifi dongle - you can find them for < $10.

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I could tether it with cellular data when that phone was in active use. I don't understand why it shouldn't be possible to do it with Wi-Fi. – Dennis Williamson Oct 14 '10 at 15:31
Sure, it's possible from a technical standpoint, but if the firmware and software on the phone aren't written to ALLOW it... – Shinrai Oct 14 '10 at 18:39
@Dennis: The phone must be able to share the wifi connection, and that's a question of software, like Shinrai points out. It can be easily enabled if the phone vendor releases an updated firmware, otherwise not. (For iOS, but explains my point:…). – TFM Jun 6 '11 at 17:03

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