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Loss of wired network connectivity - device driver code 38 error

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#1 bin1


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Posted 12 December 2014 - 05:57 AM

I'm hoping an expert on bleepingcomputer can help me restore wired network connectivity on a Toshiba Satellite L300D-12I laptop running Vista Home Premium SP2 32-bit.  Your forums have been a massive help with solving other issues I've had.


I'm out of ideas with my latest problem.  Wireless is working fine, but the wired connection recently stopped working.  The same cable works fine on another computer, and did until recently on this laptop.  With the wired connection I get the green light on the network adaptor with an occasional brief single flash of the yellow light every 20 seconds or so.  The notification area icon just shows a red cross.


In Device Manager under 'network adapters' there are three entries, one with an error:

1. Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller [this device is working properly]

2. Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller - GFI Software Firewall NDIS IM Filter Miniport [error as below]

3. Realtek RTL8187B Wireless 802.11b/g 54Mbps USB 2.0 Network Adaper [this device is working properly]


Entry 2 shows the yellow warning triangle with the device status "Windows cannot load the driver for this hardware because a previous instance of the device driver is still in memory. (Code 38).  Click 'Check for solutions to send data about this device to Microsoft and see if there is a solution available."


Clicking the 'check for solutions' button gives a message saying 'could not load driver software... windows is checking for a solution to the problem', but nothing further comes up.   I see the same problem following both a clean reboot (msconfig) and in safe mode with networking.  I have tried disabling and re-enabling the offending network adapters entry, and also running the Microsoft FixIt kb310123 (which recommends reinstalling the device driver, but then just says it was unable to apply the fix).


Note that the laptop antivirus package is Vipre Internet Security 2014, which I think is also GFI.


I fear that the blame for the problem lies with me.  Earlier in the same day when the wired network connectivity was lost, I launched the Toshiba TEMPRO utility on the laptop for the first time.  This recommended that a number of 'fixes' be applied, including firmware/BIOS.  I created a system restore point before installing the fixes, although have not been able to recover the connectivity by restoring to this point, or to an earlier point when I know the connectivity was okay.  I'm not sure whether system restore can undo updates to firmware or BIOS.  Here is a list of all the things which were applied:


I hope you can help me to get the network adapter running again.  (And please don't tell me that I shouldn't have applied 'fixes' to a computer which was working fine - I know that now!!)  Thank you!

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#2 bin1

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 10:23 AM

Update - wired connectivity restored.  To assist me and other users, can anyone explain what's going on?  Uninstalling and deleting the driver for entry 2 (the one with the error) did nothing after a restart.  However, uninstalling and deleting the drivers for both entries 1 and 2, followed by a restart, has restored the connection.  However, I now only see entries 1 and 3.  Were similar entries 1 and 2 duplicated in error, or were they different?  What's a 'Firewall NDIS IM Miniport', and is it a problem that it's now gone)?



#3 hamluis



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Posted 14 December 2014 - 01:12 PM

If you have two networking devices...one wireless and one ethernet/wired...Device Manager should only reflect two entries for said networking devices.


Device Manager may reflect items which have been installed and then uninstalled...it may also reflect drivers which relate to abortive attempts to install devices.


In any case...take a read of Remove Unused Drivers and Devices - http://www.windowsnetworking.com/kbase/WindowsTips/WindowsXP/UserTips/TroubleShooting/RemoveUnusedDriversandDevices.html .



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