unable to detect wireless networks

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following on from my last thread about the fake virus......
I got the computer running well and it would connect wirelessly to the internet at my house but when i took it back to its owner and searched for a wireless network it wouldnt show any up, i uninstalled/reinstalled the network adapter and the drivers but although it shows the adapter to be working correctly there were no wireless networks visible
i installed 2 wireless usb adapters(not together) that were used on other working machines but when searching for a wireless network nothing is found
2 laptops and another desktop will see and connect to the network in the house so i know the router is fine, i cant use a lead to connect to the router as i dont have one at the moment
any ideas on what could cause this?
 
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Is the wireless network configured to broadcast its SSID?

I had a similar problem with my wife's laptop, which started to return error messages about a wireless adapter not being installed, although there is one. Went for the £20 fix and bought a USB wireless adapter, having reconfigured the home router to broadcast its SSID. Otherwise it was showing as Unknown Network or not showing up at all.
 
it was yes, i removed the wireless card earlier and popped a wired one in that i got from a friend and it works fine so im going to leave it at that. The router is next to the computer so it makes sense to use a wired connection
 
Some laptops have a wireless switch that can be turned on and off. On my Dell it is on the left side, is the wireless switch turned on?
 
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