Local Area Connection Cable is Unplugged (when it isn't)

By pph4m
Mar 22, 2006
  1. Hi, this will be my first post on the TS forums (and I'm sure it won't be my last). Today, I present to you a recurring problem regarding my connectivity (or lack thereof). Before I begin to explain my situation, I will tell you the detail that I have found in each case. This problem seems to occur every single time there is a sudden power outage, even when there is power again, it fails to function properly.

    The problem that I have is somewhat stated in the thread topic, however I will explain it again anyways. When I turn on my computer (after an outage), everything loads properly as it should, however, the LAN display says "Local Area Connection Cable is Unplugged". Now, after trial and error, I have come to the conclusion it is NOT the ethernet cable, but it must be a problem within the computer itself. I know it is not a problem with the ethernet cable, router, or DSL box because I have plugged it into a laptop and it works fine. I checked all the connectivity from the computer, and it physically says that the cable is connected (the LED's light up in the back). I wouldn't be bothered if it was an incorrect diagnosis that allowed me to still use internet, but not only is it incorrect, but it discontinues my internet use. I have left it alone in the past, and it somehow comes back online, but I would really appreciate it if someone could help me solve this problem (or protect against future problems).

    I have tried the following remedies:
    -replacing the ethernet cable
    -uninstalling the intel 10/100 ethernet card (then reinstalling it)
    -unchecked the "allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option in the NIC props
    -Changed the Linkspeed and Duplex speed, I have tried 100/full, 10/full, 100/half,10/half, and autodetect.
    -tried system restore to an earlier time
    -unplugging everything, waiting a while, then rebooting all of it

    I have not tried:
    - restoring the computer to "Fail-Safe" option
    - reformatting computer

    [btw] I have windows XP SP2 installed.
  2. don hill

    don hill TS Rookie


    have you tryed updating the driver
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Pull out the NIC and put it back in.

    Reasoning behind suggesting that: If the power goes out for any period of time, the comp will cool down, if its been running a long time it warms up, things expand, and it might just expand enough to get the proper connection for Windows to like it.

    Chances of this being your problem: About 5-10%

    Intermittant problems like this I would relate to hardware rather than software. So reseating the card is the 2nd easiest thing you can do. The first would be to wiggle the wire, you may still have something wrong with your cable (likely right around the connections, but it could be in the cable itself) and when you try it with your laptop it shows up good. I'm not sure how this would cause the NIC to light up as normal and still not work in Windows though.

    In any case, a new PCI NIC should set you back less than $10 at your local computer store (not a nationwide chain).
  4. pph4m

    pph4m TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have a built in NIC card, but I'll buy a new NIC card just to make sure. I have a new problem now, my computer will not start, the CPU fans turn on and off, and the LED's for the power also flash on and off. The case fans remain constant and cool however. I think this may have happened when I unplugged everything to reset it all.
  5. pph4m

    pph4m TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your insight, I fixed the LAN error by buying a new NIC card for 15 bucks. Apparently something must have shorted out on the built in NIC. I now have a Linksys 10/100 PCI card.
  6. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner TS Rookie Posts: 106

    DOn't like the idea of that shorting, either you've done something you shouldnt have or you've killed something (also a no-no)
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Well, NICs just die from time to time. I've killed probably 5 or 6 NICs through 3 computers, those Realtek 8139s are notorious for dying.
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