So now I'm thinking that what ever got the old router and modem also nailed the USB adapter and the NIC in laptop2. We had a lot of thunder storms and power outages last week.
I'm assuming that the NIC in laptop2 (an HP pavilion zt1145) is built in and expensive, so I'm looking to ebay another PCMCIA card to my mailbox. It looks to be cheap and fast. Any suggestion as to what to stay away from or what to try to get??
I'm sorry about leading everyone on a wild goose chase, but I'm a little slow in putting the whole picture together. Special thanks to Greazy Mcgeezy!