Cannot get ad-hoc wireless network working

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
I'm trying to set up a wireless network in my apartment for us to use. We have no wireless router, but we do have a mac with an airport card in it (running Tiger), which will be the access point. I have the mac set up to share its connection, and the airport card uses WEP for encryption.

Now, Mac laptops can connect to the access point just fine, but Windows laptops cant - if I decrypt the network, Windows laptops can connect (but I don't want to do that). I am using standard length WEP keys on the Mac access point - 5 or 13 ASCII characters long. I also tried entering hex keys (precluding the entry with $ or 0x).

On the Windows laptops I try, the Windows configuration program cannot detect the type of network, and fails (never even asks me to enter the WEP key). Thus I use the software specifically for the wireless card (Intel software), which will detect the type of network (Open, WEP). It never manages to connect with whatever WEP keys I use.

So, I'm wondering if anyone knows how to get encryption playing nicely between Windows laptops and the Mac desktop access point.
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