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I made the well-known mistake of agreeing to help a friend fix his virus- and spyware-infested laptop. After a few rounds of spybot and ad-aware, plus some extra time to nuke the nasty vx2 spyware, I started getting a message from Windows Update telling me to uninstall XP SP2 because it wasn't installed properly. I uninstalled it and reinstalled it, figuring that was a side effect of the cleanup efforts.

From that moment on, the internal WiFi won't work properly. It has a switch on the case that turns it on/off, but the indicator light won't come on. The icon in the systray says it's connected, but it doesn't get an IP address.

HP support says hardware problem, but I find that difficult to believe since it worked perfectly up until I removed/reinstalled SP2. I just can't believe it's a hardware problem, since when I reboot I still get a Windows message that it's connected to the wireless LAN (with the correct SSID) but there are problem with the connection. I removed and reconfigured the wireless connection parameters (SSID, WEP key, etc.) a few times without any change.

Any ideas other than completely wiping it out and starting from scratch? The owner can't find his recovery CD anyway and it's not under warranty any longer.

And thanks in advance.
 
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