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NW Card disappears?

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#1 brettjameslive


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Posted 01 August 2013 - 06:30 PM

Okay, here's an odd one. 


As a note, we've been suffering some bad thunderstorms in this part of the UK recently.


I had a guy call me today, who I visited, said to me that during a thunderstorm last week, he was using his computer, when he saw a 'spark' (I'm very unsure about this!), and since then his internet doesn't work.


So, looking at his machine (Compaq Tower, running Vista), and his router, I deduced that the problem was on his computer (we replaced all cables and the router, and my laptop connected up just fine, via an ethernet cable - his desired connection method). When looking under device manager, there were no Network Adapters listed (in fact NW Adapters was missing altogether). I restarted the machine, scanned for hardware changes, no joy. I thought that maybe there had been a power surge during the storm and it had fried his Ethernet port (as it carried some power, and was, indirectly plugged into his telephone socket, via the router.


I fitted a new PCI Ethernet Card to replace the MB port, and hey presto, it worked!  Managed to get a few bits downloaded, then.... the connection dropped out.  Couldn't get it back, although the card was showing in Device Manager.  I restarted the machine, and now, under device manager, we are back to square one.  I.E. NO Network Adapters shown at all.  The card, and the switch I have it plugged into are showing lights, but the computer has totally lost the card again. It's not listed i the Networking section of Vista OR Device Manager.


I have scanned for hardware changes again, to no avail.


Any ideas on what may be causing this strange behaviour?


Many thanks



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#2 dicke



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Posted 03 August 2013 - 06:54 PM


Sounds like the problem didn't stop at the NIC. You may have to go deeper to find the root of the problem

Keep us posted

Stay well and surf safe [stay protected]

Dick E

#3 the_patriot11


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Posted 03 August 2013 - 07:21 PM

Some things to try:


Manually uninstalling all NIC drivers and  re-installing the NIC card drivers.


Trying a different slot (cold be a fried slot)

Edited by the_patriot11, 03 August 2013 - 07:21 PM.



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#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 07:33 PM

Just a thought, but power lines are normally much more exposed to lightning surges than telephone lines, just because of the way the power distribution system is built. Have you checked his PSU ?  I know you can get a spark breaking a 12V line, but if your acquaintance did see a 'spark' there was probably more than 12V behind it.


Another possibility is a blown electrolyic capacitor on the motherboard - they don't like over-voltages either, and they can have some weird non-total failure modes. I have had one - not in a computer, a TV set - which from a cold start would work for about 30 seconds and then give up. Switching off and then on again, and it didn't work. Leave it for 10 - 20 minutes, switch on again and it would work for another 30 seconds or so. A good hard look is probably the best tool for detecting this. Look for any with bulged caps and any signs of leakage around their bases. A faulty one is not likely to be completely ruptured because it almost certainly wouldn't work at all in that condition.


Chris Cosgrove

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