Probably something blinding simply. Have spent weeks
Googling, Wardriving etc but can only so far see APs
not log on.
How can you "see" the AP? (ie, how are you trying to observe it)
Have you given it an IP address in the same subnet as your network cards?
I suspect it maybe DHCP, have been trying to get DHCPd
going but cannot yet! Tried info on Wiki and Google.
Forget dhcp for now, if you haven't gotten it working.
You've not really explained the setup of your network.
I assume you are doing something like this:
Windows Computer ---- ethernet --- switch ---- ethernet --- AP ---
wireless -- laptop.
With perhaps a crossover between your windows computer and the AP
instead of a switch. IS this correct?
Manually assign IP addresses to your windows computer and to the AP (it
should have software to let you do this). Do the same for your laptop,
making sure to assign it to the wireless interface.
I'd recommend something like:
laptop (wireless interface): 192.168.0.2
All will have a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0.
Seeing as you've talked about wireless channels and ESSIDs and being
able to "See" the AP, I assume the actual wireless side of things is ok.
To test connectivity, ping the AP and the windows box from your laptop.
At a command line on the laptop, type
ping -c 3 192.168.0.253
and press enter. This should either show a response (and give a
round-trip time in some fraction of seconds) or show some error message
such as 'Destination Host Unreachable'.
If you can ping the AP, try pinging the windows box (192.168.0.1).
If this all works ok, then you have a wireless network set up and working.
Using the internet from your laptop is another matter entirely, and I
suspect part of the problem you have been facing is that you have
attempted two tasks that are both fairly tricky for new users!
On an aside, Ad-hoc mode refers specifically to the situation where you
are not using an AP. If you have an AP in the equation, you're actually
setting up a 'managed' or 'infrastructure' mode wireless lan.