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I just received a new desktop with a built-in WiFi card (Windows 7 Home Premium x64). However, I am only able to receive any WiFi signal when the computer is within 1-2 meters of a router. Even then, the signal is very weak (Windows 7 says it is "poor").

I have tried this with 2 different routers and see similar results.

I have somewhere around a dozen other devices that can connect to both routers with greater signal strength (usually full strength) from much, much further away.

When I tried calling support I was instructed to reinstall my drivers and attempt to change the WiFi channel of the router. Neither worked. I was then told that the problem was with my routers and that the computer was functioning normally and that it was certainly not a hardware problem.

What would be the cause of this and is there anything I can do to fix it?

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You may consider to install wireless repeater, see: Are there any devices to increase the range of a WiFi network?. –  kenorb Aug 21 at 8:56

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Basic troubleshooting leads me to believe that there's something wrong with either the antenna on your computer's wireless card, or the wireless card itself.

  1. If the wireless card has an external antenna, check that it's affixed properly and screwed in tight.
  2. Try using another wireless device. USB WiFi adapters are about $40 and hooking one of those up to see if the signal is better will definitely tell you if your built-in card is the issue
  3. If all else fails, try moving your wireless router closer to the computer, if that's possible. I've found that WiFi hotspots work best when they're away from other walls and wiring, especially if there's domestic power (AC) wiring nearby.
  4. Regarding the other devices that you say connect without issue, does their signal degrade if they're placed in the same spot as your computer?

From what you describe, however, it sounds like the built-in card is the problem, especially if you have other devices that can connect without problems.

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