Ran laptop in safe mode with networking. Got 49mbps down / 16 up wirelessly and 60mbps down / 16 up wired and, more importantly, the other devices stayed connected wirelessly at about 66mbps down / 16 up.
Will try your edit suggestion re wireless adaptor next but seems there is definitely a problem given it runs ok in safe mode?
Heard that other people had problems with 8.1 and software compatibility but guess I need to go there sooner rather later.
Many thanks for advice / help to date - it is very much appreciated.
Was able to turn real time scanning off but unable to turn firewall off for some reason (BT NetProtect Plus). Therefore uninstalled BT NetProtect Plus as thought this was the best way to rule out the anti-virus software. Restarted laptop normally and had the same problem with the anti-virus uninstalled ie plug LAN cable in and wireless goes down across all devices.
Restarted in safe mode to get internet access again to reload BT anti-virus software and, as before, good internet connection on laptop and wireless stays up on all other devices.
Not sure what to try next?
Maybe uninstalling the anti-virus software wasn't such a good idea after all as I'm now unable to re-install it fully - can't install real time scanning (McAfee Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware) ... would this be because I'm in safe networking mode at all?
Did you uninstall it using the McAfee removal tool? A straight uninstall tends to leave droppings. You would be better off not re-installing it and install one of the free AV's as McAfee has a very bad reputation as a resource hog. I guess the next step in diagnosing the original problem is to selectively delete start up items using msconfig.
Personally I wouldn't install BTNetprotect. It is not highly rated, is a resource hog and can cause problems. There are far better free antivirus programs available such as Avast Free and AVG Free.
When you uninstalled BTNetprotect did you use the BTNetprotect/McAfee removal tool after you restarted your computer. If not you should uninstall it again and run the removal tool.
If you do want to re use BT Netprotect, uninstall it using this guide along with the BTNetprotect/McAfee removal tool after a restart and then reinstall. This might resolve your problem.
As regards your other problem it would appear that something is running at the start up and is causing the problem. Do you have BTDesktop Help installed. If you do I would uninstall that. You do not need it on your computer and it can cause problems on some computers.
You should also run msconfig to see what other things are running when you start your laptop.
To do that go to the search box and type msconfig.exe This will bring up a box. You need to go to the Start Up tab and see what programs are starting. There should be a few programs and they should all be easily identifiable as to what they are and do. If there are any you are not sure about post back with the name.
Managed to load the features in normal mode so that may have been the problem - am getting wireless connectivity on the offending laptop (albeit very slow 2-3mbps down) and it is'nt taking the other devices down that are connected wirelessly, but is reducing their speed from 50mbps to around 2-3.
Yes I did use the removal tool. Seems the problem was being in safe mode as now ok. Agree re McAfee which is why I went to another product on my old PC and will look around for another this time.
Went through and ended each task one at a time on task manager that was run from start up and tested the wireless speed each time on the troublesome laptop and I think I've found the problem.
It seems to be the WFT Pairing Programme which came with a Canon camera that has a facility to connect wirelessly to a PC to download pictures. With that programme ended with task manager, wireless speed went up to 46 down and 17 up straight away.
Disabled it at start-up and re-booted ... all working ok on wireless and LAN is OK on the troublesome pc too now (60mbps down and 16 up) although the laptop does still seem to be dragging the wireless speed down on the other devices when it's connected ... not sure why that would be but will try it again later and see how it goes and maybe disable a few other programmes that I'm not sure I really need on start up (such as desktop help).
Many thanks for all the help, it is very much appreciated as I was running out of hair to tear out!!
Glad to hear you are getting somewhere. You should really stop all programs except those that must run ie antivirus, wireless adaptor etc. Any of the other programs will start when you want them and won't eat up your system resources which will speed up your computer.
EDIT: If that is BTDesktop Help, get rid of it off your computer. Your computer will thank you for it.