1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Help troubleshooting Internet connection

By dcolman ยท 12 replies
Aug 15, 2009
  1. good morning... new guy here. I'd like some help troubleshooting a home PC internet connection if someone has time to take pity on a novice:

    BACKGROUND: my PC is hooked up to the internet through a wireless router and cable modem. the PC also had an
    aftermarket network interface card that had previously been used to enable another pc to share the internet
    connection. the second pc is no longer in the house. i had the pc harddrive wiped clean and the operating system
    (windows xp) reloaded by an experienced IT professional. now pc will not connect to internet.

    WHAT I KNOW AND WHAT I'VE DONE: performed all re-starts and disconnect/connect of cables as recommended by NIC,
    router, modem manufacturers and cable company. Troubleshooting via telephone with cable company rep indicates that
    cable company can "see" my modem and router. further, the laptops in the house routinely connect to internet from
    their wireless connections through the wireless router just fine. "found new hardware wizard" pops up upon starting
    pc and prompts indicate that network interface card software needs to be reloaded. various methods of accessing cd to
    reload unsuccessful. dialogue box says "cannot find drivers/problem with istallation/device may not be working properly".
    went to device manager and found yellow question mark next to "ethernet controller" indicating pc does not recognize
    NIC. Router software also indicates "you must have a working NIC to connect to the internet". Removed aftermarket NIC
    and associated software thinking pc would connect through on-board NIC. still no connection and device manager indicates
    ethernet controller is still not recognized. unsuccessfully tried to load drivers with windows xp disc and dell os
    reinstallation disc inserted in cd drive. device manager indicates ethernet controller enabled but not working
    properly, ethernet controller location: PCI BUS 3, Device 8, Function 0

    QUESTIONS: how do i know whether or not i even have an onboard ethernet controller (on the motherboard)?
    what does location "PCI BUS 3" above indicate?
    Is it possible this is a simple matter of a bad aftermarket NIC that needs to be replaced?
    Or does it indicate that the ethernet controller portion of the motherboard is bad? (aftermarket NIC removed
    and ethernet controller was still not recognized).
    If so, then i have to buy a new pc...right? (vice repair or replace motherboard)
    Why do I even need a NIC installed since pc is connected to router by cable and laptops connect wirelessly.

    any information/guidance would be greatly appreciated. i think this is probably an easy fix and i'm just not know-
    ledgeable enough to recognize the obvious.
  2. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Open Device Manager -- Start/Control Panel/System/Hardware -- and scoll down to Network Adapters. Click on it to open the pull down menu. From what you said, the adapter will have a yellow exclamation mark beside it. Click on the adapter and then choose to uninstall the device. On the next bootup, Windows should find new hardware and load the Windows generic driver for it. You can then use the Network Wizard to create an internet connection
  3. dcolman

    dcolman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for reply... here's what happened...

    went to control panel and clicked on "network connections".

    "Broadband Connection (checked) " displayed with words "disconnected, firewalled, WAN MiniPort (PPPOE)" beneath in lighter colored font.

    I clicked on "connect" button and response was "error 769, specified destination not reachable"

    Duh... I wonder if windows is looking for the aftermarket NIC that was physically removed from PC or onboard NIC. Machine is a Dell that was bought new in '04Maybe I don't have an onboard NIC? Very confusing... as stated above, the wireless router is physically connected to the PC with a cable (looks like a phone jack but is bigger)... problem has to be internal to PC but I don't have a clue. Any further suggestions are welcome and will be appreciated.
  4. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21

    The connector that looks like a phone connector but has 8 pins is an RJ45 connector -- the usual for an ethernet connection. If you will tell me the model number for your Dell I will look it up to see what the normal onboard functions are. My wife has a Dell -- about the age you estimate for your machine -- and it does have an on board ethernet controller. The fact that you have an RJ45 connector on the backplate is almost a guarantee you have an ethernet controller built in.

    It would be helpful if you would click through

    Start/Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager/Network Adapters

    and post whether any adapter is shown or not. The machine I am typing this on has an onboard controller and shows

    Intel(R) Pro/1000 CT Network Connection

    at that point.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Tell us the specific Dell model number (look for the tag) or Start->Run, enter msinfo32. Look at System Summary

    Then check if Windows reports any problem devices
    • First make sure all your devices are connected and powered on
    • Click Start->Run, enter: msinfo32. Click the + sign next to Components to expand it
    • Click Problem Devices. Anything appear?
    • If yes, click on it, Ctrl-A to select all, Ctrl-C to copy it, Ctrl-V to paste into next post
  6. dcolman

    dcolman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again...info you requested...

    Dell Dimension 4700 Intel Pentium 4 CPU 2.8 GHz 504 RAM

    Clicked through path you outlined for me and found no network adapter folder. After "modems" there were no "N's" (as in Network Adapters). Next listing was "Other Devices", displayd with question mark and upon expanding that folder, there were four items displayed with question marks, one of which was "ethernet controller" (others were "multimedia Audio controller, Video controller and video controller vga compatible"). For the heck of it, I expanded "system devices" and didn't see anything listed that looked like a "network adapter"... but there were a bunch of things there, some were enabled and some not.

    Can I assume that there is no onboard NIC since "network adapters" was not listed?

    I was in device manager before starting this post and the "ethernet controller" has always been question marked (indicating PC does not recognize it? whether or not the aftermarket card was resident in machine or not)
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    The hardware is there.. sounds like you're missing the network (and other) drivers. e.g.
    => Your "ethernet controller" is your onboard NIC
    => and the audio/media says your onboard sound is missing too (maybe you use a separate, addon sound card

    Go to the Dell Support site, click Downloads and Drivers enter your computer model info and download the drivers from there
  8. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21

    The Dell specifications for your computer show

    "NIC integrated network interface capable of 10/100 communication"

    So you should have an adapter shown in Device Manager.

    I will check some more and post back again.
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    A "hint" about Windows... the network adapter device won't appear under Device Manager's Network Adapters until the driver is installed
    > Since the driver is missing, it's appearing under "Other Devices"
    > If the driver is installed but the device isn't working THEN it'll be under Network Adapters as the error (vs under Other devices)
  10. syzygy

    syzygy TS Rookie Posts: 21


    looks like you are in good hands with LookinAround. Good luck.
  11. dcolman

    dcolman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Overtaken by events...

    Hey guys, I appreciate the helpful posts but I had to drop the project for now. Life is interfering with my recreational endeavors... last thing I did was follow the path laid out by syzgy and result led me to believe that I am missing the drivers... Info provided by LookinAround seems to confirm and to fit with what I'm seeing here... which is funny because I have the drivers for both the aftermarket and onboard NICs on CD. Why the heck won't this thing just load the drivers from the disks?... My plan is to reinstall aftermarket NIC, download the drivers from the internet, copy to CD, and try again.... on second thought, perhaps I should try a different media like a thumb drive. I'll be back this weekend, thanks again
  12. dcolman

    dcolman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    One problem at a time...

    Hey guys I finally made time to get back to ethernet controller and it was as you said... driver was not installed. No idea why PC would not recognize factory installation CD in disc drive, but did recognize drivers I downloaded on thumbdrive. Anyway, problem solved and thanks for the help. Next (and I hope, only) issue remaining after reloading OS is that I have no audio... I opened device manager as described in previous post and "mutimedia audio controller" is question marked indicating that driver not installed and audio device not recognized. Here's where it gets tricky... I did not add any type of aftermarket audio or any other devices to this machine other than ethernet controller. The audio controller is whatever it was before reloaded OS and since purchase. How can I figure out what audio controller is installed, where it is (if nec. to know), what the problem is and how to fix?
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1) First make sure yoiu have all Windows updates installed including all Hardware opitonal upates and you are running XP SP3. (Click on Custom installs and keep re-running. Install all critical and hardware optional updates. Software optional updates are up to you

    2) If problem remains, you'll also find audio drivers on the Dell support site for your specific Dell computer model
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...