I have a laptop with built in Broadcom 802.1g wlan which works absolutely fine. Due to my distance from the wireless router, I purchased a USB Wireless adapter with 9db antenna in hope that I will get good signals. It has rtl8187l chipset.
I have windows 7 x64. When I plugged the adapter, windows searched online and installed the drivers
automatically. The adapter is enabled and the properties shows that the device is working fine. But I cannot connect it to available networks. Infact, when I disable my built in wifi adapter, I cannot see any connections to connect with.
So I installed Realtek driver
and utility pack for Windows 7. It installs but when I point the cursor to the realtek red bars icon in system tray, it shows the message 'rtl8187 is disconnected'.
I tried everything, even uninstalled the builtin adapter drivers. Then windows installed my Broadcom drivers but it had exact problem, i.e. it was enabled, but I cannot see any available network connections. I was in total loss with no internet so I had to perform system restore and atleast I have internet access and I am back where I started.
I wish if somehow, windows manages to control the connections for my USB wireless adaptor. Or ANY 3rd party utility / software that make my new adapter work!!