Lightning strike = no Internet connection on main desktop...?

By mjs125 ยท 28 replies
Sep 8, 2010
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  1. Hi guys, Found this site from a google search trying to solve my problem and you guys look like you know a lot so here's the problem:

    Last night a lightning strike killed my cordless phone system and power to half my house. The desktop (HP Pavillion, Windows 7) is connected to a power surge strip, and everything seems to be working fine... it's connected to the modem which then goes to a router and the laptops in the house have an internet connection. But NOT the desktop! We can't connect no matter what we do.

    We've gotten random error messages, but one keeps telling us that we do not have a valid IP address. But the other computers will connect, so is this even possible?

    We have tried turning off the modem and router and restarting them, rebooting the PC, system restore to pre-lightning strike. We don't know what else to try.

    Help! :confused:
  2. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Anyone? Pretty please?
  3. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    It is possible, I suppose, that the lightening strike affected your NIC, but did no other damage.
    You certainly can hope. Replacing a bad NIC is cheaper than replacing a system.

    First... on the affected system...
    Are you connecting wirelessly, or via a network cable?

    Are you certain that the modem is undamaged? (If so, how do you know?)

    I assume the laptops are connecting to the router wirelessly?
  4. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply!

    The affected system is a desktop, and is connected to the modem via a cable.

    The modem is undamaged, I'm guessing, because if it were not working then the other computers in the house could not connect to the internet (they connect wirelessly with no problem.)
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    It sounds to me very much like the network interface has sustained damage from the lightning strike. You had all the electrical outlets covered with anti-surge, but was the ethernet cable protected as well?
  6. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    I concur with Leeky.
    The second and third possibilities, though less likely are still worth checking.

    I have seen some modems that were only partly damaged.
    Some ports would still work while others did not.
    You might try three things here before replacing your network card.
    First, try connecting your network cable to a different port on the modem. Do you get a connection now? This would point to a partly damaged modem.
    Second, try connecting another system to the modem through a cable. If successful this would point at the NIC card.
    Third, try a new cable. Sometimes cables develop breaks. They worked once, and suddenly no longer work. It is worth a try.
  7. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again for the replies!

    Leeky - The ethernet cable was not on the surge protector... :( ... Clearly a bad choice.

    B00kWyrm - 1. There is only one ethernet port on our modem.

    2. We connected our laptop PC to the cable and the internet worked fine on that PC and the others in the house connected wirelessly just fine.

    So I'm guessing it's the NIC, then... But it looks like its connected to the entire motherboard. (This is an HP 'Slimline' desktop with a Foxconn-labeled metal box where the ethernet cable plugs in.)

    Is this difficult to replace myself? I'm no computer expert, but I'm not totally stupid, either... Just don't want to mess anything else up!

    Thanks again!
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Its possible, assuming the rest of the PC is working, that you can fit a replacement Network PCI card into one of your spare PCI ports, and then use that. Another option is a PCI Wireless card as well if you'd prefer to use a cable.

    If its the connector on the motherboard, its possible that has sustained damage as well. Remove your cases cover and inspect the motherboard closely for any component damage; paying attention especially to the capacitors on it. If it has any burn damage, or leakage etc then you'll be wise to replace the motherboard.
  9. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    Okay... you have isolated the problem.
    It is the NIC on your desktop.

    The problem now is that your NIC is part of the mainboard.
    You may be able to add an NIC to your system ... if you have open slots.
    You may be able to do so without conflicts.
    On the other hand it may require some tweaking.
    If so, we can ask jobeard or maybe lookingaround for help if we need it.

    Another thought...
    Have you opened the case?
    Do you have information about your mainboard (make and model).

    There are many makers, and it may well be possible to replace your mainboard for about the price of adding only an NIC card. This would avoid conflicts between NIC and NIC, but... then you have your system drivers that are installed with your OS.
    So a reinstallation of your OS would be required if you replaced the mainboard with anything other than a direct / exact replacement.

    How would you like to try to proceed?
    Your mainboard is damaged.
    Even if you successfully install an nic card, your mainboard is weakened by the damage.
    That weakness / damage is likely to result in failure sooner rather than later.

    You could get a barebones system for minimal price and transfer your drives.

    So, (in my best Bob Saget (1vs100) impersonation)
    Do you want to try to repair, or to replace?
  10. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok I've opened the case.

    There are no open slots. So I guess the whole board would have to be replaced.

    Where do I find the make and model of the mainboard? There are 4 stickers on the board with various letters/numbers.... could it be PhoenixBios?
  11. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    No... that is your bios chip.
    Somewhere, printed directly on the board, you will find a maker (gigabyte and asus are two of the biggies), but yours could be from any of a number of others. Near that label you will also find a model number.

    Here is a shortcut...
    Use HWINFO32. Download here...
    It will tell you many things about your system, including the mainboard.
  12. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok printed directly on the board is "RoHS Compliant", w/ 2 stickers nearby.... "Irvine" w/the same 2 stickers nearby... and a large "N15235" with no stickers nearby....

    Thanks for the link, but I can't download it to my computer because it won't connect to the internet...
  13. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    Can you download to another computer, like the one you are using now, then load it to the other, using usb thumb drive?
  14. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah... duh... feeling really bright after that post... I'm just putting the computer back together and connecting it now... brb...
  15. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    Okay when you run it...
    First, close the summary.
    Then Click on the "+" by "central processor" in the left window.
    Write down what kind of processor is listed.
    Then click to highlight the line that says Motherboard in that same window.
    In the right window you will see information (make and model) on the mb.
    Write those down.
    Googling should tell you in short order whether anyone has one of those boards for sale.
  16. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok finally....

    Central Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200

    Motherboard (under SMBios DMI, then Mainboard): Manufacturer: Foxconn (1 point to B00kWyrm!)
    Name: Irvine
    Version: HP P/N

    Googling now...
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    The proprietry motherboard is going to be seriously expensive. Your going to be best replacing it with an aftermarket motherboard.

    Dependant on your motherboard size, your going to possibly need a mATX one in order to fit it in your case.
  18. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    @ Leeky - yep... could be difficult... should have asked the make of the computer! doh!

    (I think I just lost my one point on it being a foxconn!)
    May have a challenge trying to get an alternate board to run, because the restore disks for HP will have proprietary drivers for the board. So it pro'ly won't be "plug n play".

    --- edit / add ---
    On the other hand I have found sources for my proprietary Gateway motherboard... so maybe he will luck out.
  19. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117


    Maybe, but a replacement motherboard will be a much better bet, and cheaper, and most likely much better overall, but that is dependant on the case used, as some manufacturers make it really difficult to just replace your motherboard with something else.
  20. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The case is what they call a "Slimline"... meaning - you guessed it - it's really small. The motherboard takes up pretty much the entire space that's available for it.

    Any suggestions as to a good replacement board?
  21. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    Is this your board?

    I think i found some sources for you, These may be options for direct replacement."foxconn+irvine"&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wf
    Here is another
    And another
    and a couple more here
    and here

    More information about your system could be helpful.
    (Which model of slimline.)

    My thinking is, if you want ease of replacement, these for ~$100 or less should be "plug and play."
    If you don't care about the ease, and just want to upgrade... buying a new case, powersupply, processor, motherboard, memory,
    this would give you expandability you do not currently have, and would result in a system not immediately obsolete (just wait 6 mos).
  22. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yup.... that sure looks like my board!!

    The slimline model is HP Pavillion Slimline S3600T PC.

    I'll check out those links now!! You guys are amazing! :)
  23. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    This is the crucial information for direct replacement.
    Find a board with this information, and it should be plug and play.

    Note... sometimes a board may have several runs of the same model with small variations between runs.
    The different runs may or may not be 100% compatible with all drivers.
    But, this is the way to minimize your driver conflicts, and once you are up, you can do driver updates on-line.
    Post again if you have more questions.
    Glad to help.

    ===added note re PS.===
    Your 180w power supply would limit expandability, without doing a full build in a new case, new ps, etc.
  24. mjs125

    mjs125 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok that was actually my main question at this juncture.... My Mainboard info lists the Mainboard Version as HP P/N.... What is the difference between that and the GL6E? Or is there a difference?
  25. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

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