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Help!!! My network left me!!

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  #1  
Old 04-19-2006, 05:02 PM
cardmnal's Avatar
cardmnal cardmnal is offline
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Exclamation Help!!! My network left me!!

Last evening my computer just seemed to lose track of my network. Worse than that it cannot even find it's network adapters.

This one is an HP Pavillion a250n (no snickering please). It came with an onboard LAN adapter. I have since installed a D-Link DWL-G510 PCI wireless adapter.

Everything has been working just fine...until last evening.

I have tried reinstalling the drivers for both adapters. I tried disabling the onboard LAN adapter and using only the wireless. I tried it the other way around completely removing the wireless adapter from the system (hardware and all) and still no luck.

I have tried system restore to a time when I know everything was working perfectly and I even completed a (gulp)full system recovery to no avail. My network adapters are still AWOL.

I spent the past 4 hours online with HP trying everything including resetting the BIOS. Regardless of what I do the computer doesn't see the network adapters-nothing shows up in the device manager and if I try to set up a network I am hit with error message that says I have no network hardware installed.


The HP techs say to take it to a service center as it may need a new motherboard (fat chance I'll do that). I am confused as to why these two adapters, similar in function yet connected differently and in entirely different locations on the motherboard, would go out at the same time while the rest of the system is functioning correctly.

Any clues? Any ideas other than taking it out to the back yard and shooting it?
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2006, 05:26 PM
whitelight whitelight is offline
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Smile Network Help

www.apple.com lol....

Just kidding- You must be frustrated. Hope you get it
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2006, 06:46 PM
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cardmnal cardmnal is offline
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yea, I know.

Seriously now, considering the information I already have provided, does anybody think a USB wireless network adapter would work.

If this didn't work would it mean something other than the motherboard is fouled up.

I ask because I don't want to drive for an hour and a half and spend $30 on fuel (let alone the price of the adapter) just to see if it might work.
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Old 04-19-2006, 08:29 PM
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byRo byRo is offline
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cardmnal, sorry to hear about your problems.

I did a bit of snooping and it seems that this adapter works great - when it works.

According to this page http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/.. it doesn't seem to always get on too well with the system around it.

Don't know what system you're running but these folks http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/........ say this is a no-go with Windows ME.

The guys http://shopping.yahoo.com/.... also did not give this "rave" reviews.

Seems that on the whole this is not a good piece of equipment, and those that are fully happy with it seem to be the exception.
So maybe a little shopping trip wouldn't be such a waste of money.

(my modem is D-Link, DSL-210 USB - you at the back there, stop snickering - and works perfectly )
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:04 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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This will probably offer no help at all, but the first thing I always do when having trouble getting a computer to recognize hardware is to open the device manager and delete the line entry for that hardware, then reboot.
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:11 AM
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cardmnal cardmnal is offline
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Unfortunately, the network adapters do not even show up in the device manager, not even a catagory for them.

I was able to get a hold of a friend of mine in Oregon last night. He is a network engineer. We tried a bunch more stuff and he came to the same conclusion....The motherboard has a bad attitude.

Everything other than the network seems to be operating fine so I will deal with it for the time being. The machine is 3 or 4 years old and was pretty cheap to begin with. This will give me an excuse to upgrade.

I wish I could go the Mac route, but the cost of replacing all my software makes that option un-doable at this time.

I am thinking that in the very near future, this machine will make fine video game station for the kids.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:25 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ok, where's gary when you need him

a couple questions here. did your system recently crash or crash more than once? are you running xp home or xp pro? have your tried looking in safe mode yet for the adapter? i'm guessing that the device doesnt use batteries since it's a pci card. did you recently have a thunderstorm in the area and particularly any near misses with lightning? when you try to call up 'system information' do you get any error messages? are all functions in windows still working normally? have you done a virus/malware scan, including ad-aware, anti-virus, spybot search and destroy, hijackthis and so on? has anything else 'odd' been going on with the computer functions? have you smelled any electrial type smoke recently, if only a small amount (trust me, i've had this happen). is your machine slower now than it was just before this happened? have you installed or uninstalled anything just prior to this happening? did you wind the clock on your pc recently? (ok, that last one is just for older models and HP machines )

we need some more info here. i highly recommend you find and get the software program 'Everest', the free version if you can still find it. this is one very good system information tool. run it and see what it says about your system. i'd also recommend getting a heat monitor, the software type that can read your internal heat sensors and seeing what that shows. i'd also boot up in safe mode and see what device manager says. sometimes normal windows mode lies. this is especially true if you're running anything other than an NT type system.

i'm sure you've tried all the standard things like removing the cards and making sure they're fully plugged into the socket, but if device manager isnt showing them it never hurts to pull off the covers (with the power off) and get a flashlight and magnifying glass and check them again.

basically, the first step is information, the more, the better.

craig

Last edited by Craig Walters; 04-21-2006 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:00 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Craig,

On reading cardmnal's first post I saw he said he'd done a full restore from disk (or that's how I read it), so it's unlikely to be a software problem.

Looks like a hardware foul up (not really my area of expertise). I think you've pretty much covered most of the things to check. (connections, temperature, new hardware, dust) Just one extra question, have you handled any of your hardware recently without use of a proper grounding strap (static can do horrendous damage to delicate components) .
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:52 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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gary,

i know. i just like to gather all the info i can on something like this. i've seen some really odd things when working on computers.... power supplies outputting 190 volts, printed circuits that get eaten/burned up on the board, monitors that you had to bang rather sharply to get to work, and so on.

also, i never quite trust the 'client' to report everything correctly (sorry, cardmnal, i dont mean to be invalidative here, but data is the key here, especially when working remotely like this on someone else's system, and i've just had too many 'my pc isnt working, can you fix it, please?' type queries ). so, when someone says they did a full system restore, that can mean 20 different things to 20 different folks, being anything from a full re-format, to a restore point, to a backup of windows, to something like norton's 'go back' and so on. so, i just like to make things nice and clear.

most likely it's nothing more than a cmos battery that's going bad. it could be the network card that's bad (though if both the onboard and the nic card dont work, this probably isnt the case), or it could be the pci buss. and this latter brings up another question; do you have any other pci type cards installed and are they working also?

and yes, i'll grant you that this sounds more like a hardware thing than software, but like we discussed before, you cant always rely on microsoft and restore points and i question other backups at times too, especially if hardware was changed after the backup was made but before the backup was used.

he's got an onboard lan and a wireless lan. it sounds like at some point both were enabled. that's enough to confuse cmos right there. so, my first trick, based only on that datum, would be to do a full cmos reset with the pci card removed and the onboard enabled and then boot up to safe mode and check device manager. actually, the first trick would be to just replace the cmos battery, then do the other. hehe, ok, the FIRST trick would be to start backing up data on the system if not already done

i also know that windows/microsoft does some very odd things. one small for instance is that a re-format does not wipe everyhing out. we were all taught it does, but it doesnt unless you use the /u switch. the 'u' stands for 'unconditional' and will wipe EVERYTHING. so, on the surface, it might seem like the motherboard is partially fried, and it might be. i've seen similar things happen with modems. the rest of the motherboard is fine, but the modem i/o chip got fried.

oh, and that brings up another question, do you have any surge protection on your system? not likely a spike would kill just the nic's, but never hurts to ask....usually

sorry gary, i dont mean to be so whatever it is i'm being here, but i've just seen too many oddball things when it comes to computers not to try and gather all the data i can. pc's are STILL based on the old 8088 processors and the evolution of the beast has been a rather wild one. add in microsoft to the mix and if the bloody things got up and danced on the desk it wouldnt surprise me too much

craig
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2006, 07:37 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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No sweat Craig, you're covering things pretty well. I agree entirely, you can't have too much data when trying to assess a situation remotely, and like you I've seen some wierd causes for (and solutions to) problems with computers.

Need some feedback from cardmnal here as to whether he has actually done a full low level format and re-install or not, as this will confirm whether a software or hardware solution is needed.

I suspect we're looking at a minor component failure on the MoBo here, in which case it'll be a sod to find. (Not easy if you're hands on, v.v.difficult done remotely on a machine you don't know), but will await further info to clarify situation.
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