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Laptop's wireless drops randomly and network connections freezes

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I'm running Windows Vista 32-bit with SP1 installed. For a couple of months now (before SP1 I think) I've been having trouble where my internet connection will randomly drop (only my wireless laptop, this does not affect the wireless desktop or the desktop that is plugged into the router). This usually happens when I'm watching a video online or doing some other intensive file downloading. When it does this if I try to click on my network connection icon in my tray it refuses to respond. I have also tried going in through the control panel but it won't open that way either. The only way to restore internet connection is to reboot and try whatever I was doing again (hoping to finish before the internet drops again). Tonight it finally occurred to me to check my wireless network adapter drivers to be sure they were up to date and I did update them. However only a half hour later while I am watching a movie online from Netflix the connection drops again. I am running Avast antivirus, Windows firewall and Spybot Search & Destroy. Is there a patch I missed somewhere for something that fixes this? My mom tells me it has to be my wireless network adapter is going out but my laptop is barely a year old so I very much hope that is not the case!!
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I think I have the same problem but I'm running Windows XP. I have a Dell Inspiron 640m laptop. When the wireless goes out the little wifi light will go off. Also, no other network connections will work, ie, if I plug in a wired connection windows doesn't recognize the cable. Also, when I restart the computer takes really long to restart to the point where I just hold down the power button to do a hard shut down. The problem doesn't seem to present itself in linux though I'm not sure. Was a solution to this problem found?
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