I'm very fluent in computers, being a programmer. I help friends and co-workers out by cleaning their machines, being very comfortable in windoze, linux, and unix, doing everything from coding to removing infections.
I've got a really strange problem with XP Home SP2 on one of my Dell Vostro 1000 AMD dual-core laptops. Whenever there is no network connection present, whether it's from the computer waking up from hibernation or simply turning off the wifi, the 'no network connection' appears in the system tray near the clock. However, it's not just one connection with the red X on it, there are dozens. When I hover over them, they disappear instantly, but it's annoying to have 1/2 the taskbar area taken up by a single icon repeating itself. They reproduce so quickly that simply going into the network properties, changing the notification preferences, and clicking OK results in 4 of these icons appearing in my tray. When the laptop (used mainly for playing MP3s because I cracked the side of the screen a while back
) wakes up from hibernation, I have to scroll back and forth over the tray icons to get them all to disappear; windoze must have a limit on how big the notification area can grow to be and simply doesn't display the overflow.
I've checked for infections and spyware and found nothing out of the ordinary. I've also turned off the notification under the network connection preferences, but this apparently only disables the balloon notification. (Tried it on more than one XP box with the same result - icon is still there with the red X, just no balloon telling me there's no connection.) Searching via google turned up one person having the same problem from 2005
, but the solution was to disable the network card and install a different PCI NIC. (Being that mine's a laptop connecting via wifi, this really isn't an option.) I do feel that the problem is caused by a setting or flaw in windoze somewhere.
I've never seen something like this before and frankly am at a loss to explain it. There's nothing out of the ordinary running on this box and I've left it pretty much alone. I've got Media Player Classic HC running for the aforementioned MP3s, BOINC to help World Community Grid, Firefox 3.5 for the rare times I want to surf on it, Dimension 4 to set the time via NTP to my home BSD unix server, and that's about it. (And yes, I know it shows how much of an absolute nerd I am to have a dual-core laptop basically dedicated to do nothing but playing MP3s... ;) ) I'd rather not re-image the system for something so minor as this, but it's just a little annoyance that I'd like to do away with.
Any ideas or suggestions?