Well, your suggestion seems to work. I found the auto detection setting off on the Belkin 54G adapter, so I turned it on, recorded my IP by going to DSLReports whois, then letting the laptop hibernate. This morning I was able to connect to the internet without going through the hassle of turning off and on, and although I don't have a static IP when I checked whois the same IP number was retained.
I have one more concern. It seems there's a contention between Win XP SR2 connection manager and the Belkin 54G utility. I see two wireless connections in the network status:
1. Belkin 54G, excellent signal (5 bars) but the status says "disconnected.
2. Linksys, weak signal (2 bars) but the connection states "automatic."
I do have the box checked to allow windows to configure the Belkin 54, and recall Belkin tech support instructed me to check it a year ago when I first set up the wireless network.
So, in the system tray I also have 2 icons, one for the Belkin and one for Windows. Clicking the Belkin icon sends me to "Wireless Network Connection Properties" while pressing the Windows Icon sends me to "Wireless Network status" which is a part of the network properties. In other words they both lead to the same menu.
A. Should I let Belkin manage its own adapter by unchecking "Let Windows manage this connection"?
B. Is Linksys, with its weak signal, a real wireless connection? Is it needed?
Please note that I'm running 2 laptops and I have the Belkin 54G setup as an access point (no desicated host computer, both access as clients).