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Question mark over Ethernet Controller

By gbnine ยท 8 replies
Aug 31, 2007
  1. I had a major problem with my computer and couldn't use Restore or do a Recovery. I formatted and re-installed Windows XP using my Windows XP disk. The problem is I cant get on the Internet. There are four other computers in the house, all of which can connect ok. After hours of trying to figure out the problem, and fiddling with the wires on the modem and router, I've discovered that when I look in Device Manager there is a yellow question mark with an exclamation mark against Ethernet Controller in Other Devices. When I right-click and select properties it says that the drivers are not
    installed. Obviously I can't connect to Windows Update so my only option
    is to install from a specific location. I've put my Windows disk in and
    used the location D:\i386 and also D:\i386\system32 but it can't seem to
    find the drivers. Another query is, should there be more than one entry
    in Network adapters? I only have one, that being the 1394 Net Adapter. I
    seem to remember another adapter being there in the past. So, if I'm on
    the right path, can I download the required driver from the Internet and
    copy it over, if so, can you tell me the driver file and the folder it
    needs to be in. I hope that's enough information for you and look
    forward to your reply. Thank you, Gary

    EMACHINES 5250
    Intel Pentium 4 2933 MHz
    512MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM
    160gb Hard Drive
    Windows XP Home SP2
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Do you have an onboard internet connection. If so, you probably use the Realtek driver. It is found at eMachines product support. It is also found at
    or www.RealTek.com or www.eMachines.com

    Look for the RealTek RTL8139/810X Network Driver, version or higher. It will be about 3.78 MB or a bit more.

    It will come with installation instructions.

    It is usually a very easy, and very good network connection.

    With the eMachine computer shut down and unplugged, remove the side of the case, and take out the
  3. gbnine

    gbnine TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Thanks for your help, raybay. I'll try what you suggested and let you know. Thanks again.
  4. gbnine

    gbnine TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Hello Raybay. I've downloaded the Realtek RTL8139/810x Network Driver but things are still the same.
    In NETWORK CONNECTIONS under LAN or HIGH-SPEED INTERNET, I only have a 1394 Net Adapter listed. Shouldn't I also have a Realtek Network Card too? There is still a question mark against the Etherenet controller. I've restarted the computer. Thanks for your help.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Can't help you. You didn't answer the question I originally asked.
    I gave you the driver for the Network component that came with the computer.
    Suggest you download the free Belarc Advisor, and the free Everest auditor. Each of these will audit your entire system and help you decide the drivers for which you should search.
    Or you can install a new network card for about $14.
    Did you go to the eMachines site, to see the driver they list for the machine?
    Does this eMachine have onboard ethernet or does it have an ethernet card.
  6. gbnine

    gbnine TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    The Ethernet is on-board. I've downloaded Belarc and Everest but I cant see any reference to drivers and there's so much information! Can you advise me the information you need and from which sections and will it be OK to post you that information for you to analyze. As I said in my last post, I downloaded the Realtek Network Driver from Realtek and followed the instructions but the question mark is still there against Ethernet controller in Device Manager. I did go to the eMachines website but I had the impression that they do a scan of your computer and then suggest drivers. So because I was using a different computer, I didn't proceed. If you think it's best for me to buy an Ethernet card and go from there then thats what I'll do. Presumably it wont conflict with the on-board one even though it doesn't appear to be working. Thanks again for all your help so far.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    There would be NO reference to drivers in Bekarc or Everest. You use those programs to inventory the system. Once you know the compoents by their description and manufacturer, you go to Driver Guide.com or to the web site of the manufacturer, and download the drivers. You follow the accompanying instructions to install them.
    The most helpful part for me would be to have you remove the ethernet card, then send the first two or three rows of chip digits on the two largest chips.... which will tell the manufacturer . Also, you can note the top row of digits of description on the board, and look at the back of the card for a label or embossed printing... or photograph them.
    Since yours does not work with the RealTek which is the standard, normal ethernet card for Emachines, we need to find which one is being used?
    But Everest should tell you this... and Belarc usually will, as will CPU-Z or CPUID.
  8. gbnine

    gbnine TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    I took your earlier advice and bought a new network card suspecting that the on-board one was faulty. I'm pleased to say that everything is running fine now and I'm back on the Internet. I'd like to thank you for the trouble and time that you took to help me these last couple of days.
    All the best, Gary
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Thanks for the update. It is always satisifying to find out what really did work.
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