laptop internal wireless card connection speed very low

I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop, running XP SP3. The laptop has an internal wireless card, a Dell 1390 WLAN mini-card, which I use to connect to both my home and office networks.

Until recently the connection worked fine, generally showing a connection speed of 54 Mbps. However recently this has slowed to a crawl; at home generally to no more than 1 Mbps (which won't even allow me to connect to the internet), and at work to a maximum of 5.5 Mbps. This is the case even if I'm close to the router and the signal strength is reported as 'excellent'. Other machines connect wirelessly to both networks without a problem.

I've tried downloading the latest driver for the card from the Dell site, uninstalling it, and reinstalling it with the new driver, but this hasn't helped.

Is there anything else I could try which might help, or should I just assume it's a hardware failure and get a new wireless card? And, if the latter, is it feasible to replace an internal wireless card on a laptop, or should I go for a USB or PCMCIA one?
rodomahonyAsked:
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smittyboomConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I would not attempt to replace the internal card. I would just buy a USB wifi card. If it fixes the problem then it is worth buying and if it doesnt you may need it at some point for any PC. They are not that expensive and you can hopefully fix it and get it back up and running.
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smittyboomCommented:
Can you try running a CAT5 hardwire and seeing if you still have the same issues?
Have you ran any spyware removers?
Have you uninstalled it inside device manager and let it reinstall itself?
If it is a card failure you should move on to a usb adapter.
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rodomahonyAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Yes, I tried it with a cable connection and it was fine.
I uninstalled using device manager and let it reinstall on reboot.
The laptop is clean of spyware etc - I run Adaware, Spybot and Malware Bytes regularly.
I guess your last line indicates you don't think it's worth trying to replace an internal laptop card?
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rodomahonyAuthor Commented:
Hi,

I just picked up a USB wireless card, which works fine. Thanks for the advice.
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