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PC Troubleshooting the Network Interface Card

How to troubleshoot a Windows PC Network Interface Card.

  • Check the cable connectors and cable. It should be 343 feet or less and contain a correct RJ45 (8 Pin) cable connector.

  • Check to ensure that you are plugged into the correct NIC jack. An RJ45 will not fit into an RJ11 but an RJ11 (6 pin) will fit into an RJ45 (8 pin) receptacle. It will be a loose fit. the RJ45 is for your network interface card. RJ11 is your modem (telephone).

  • Are the link lights on?

  • Recycle the modem hub/router. If you are running a cable modem or aDSL then you will have a separate hub or router. Disconnect the power for at least 20 seconds and then restart.

  • Check the link lights on the router. Are they on?

  • Check the cable types. A Crossover is for computer to computer and will NOT work with your cable modem. You cable must be a straight RJ45 type cable. It should state the cable type on the cable sleeve. Check for crimps in the cable and/or try a different cable.

  • Check for error messages => wrong username or password then contact your ISP for the correct account settings. Check to ensure that your ISP did not disconnect you for violations or failure to pay your bill.

  • Check error messages in Event Viewer. Start / Settings / Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Computer Management (or Event Viewer)

  • PING - this will test to ensure that your TCP/IP software is working correctly. If it is not then re-install the TCP/IP software.

  • PING n.n.n.n - where n.n.n.n is taken from IPCONFIG (WINIPCFG on Windows 98 and Me). Windows assigns default IP addresses starting with 192.168.n.n (for private networks). This will test to ensure that your NIC card is working correctly. If it is not then reseat the NIC card. If problem persists and you cannot PING across the NIC card then the card is bad - send in for service.

  • Perform an IPCONIG /RELEASE and then a IPCONFIG /RENEW in DOS to release the current IP settings and then re-assign the IP settings.

  • Perform a TRACERT to see if it will hop across the NIC.

  • Perform a ROUTE PRINT and view the IP Settings. There should be 7 entries.

  • Will your browser work with IP addresses but not with DNS names? If you cannot type in and get it to work but you can type in a known IP address (the IP for If the IP address works but the DNS does not work the re-install WinSocks (the DNS lookup software).

  • Reset the BIOS (Re-boot and tap the F2 Key, Press F9 (Default Settings), Press F10 (Save and Exit)

  • Uninstall and replace the drivers using Device Manager under Administrator Privileges - right click on My Computer / Properties / Hardware / Device Manager - expand Network Interface Card line item. Right click on the items below and select uninstall drive on the pop-up menu. Re-boot the system and Plug and Play will automatically detect the Network Interface Card device and re-install the drivers for you.

  • Reseat the Network Interface Card. If your computer beeps (POST codes - Power On Self Test) then one of your cards is not seated correctly.

  • For Notebooks - perform a hard reset.

  • Perform Diagnostics test.

  • Perform an MSCONFIG if your computer has it.

  • Shut down all other applications to avoid conflicts. Remove all other hardware devices.

  • Turn the date back to the January 1, 2000 or an earlier date. There are known Y2K issues and driver bomb errors related to dates. If this solves the problem then get a new driver from the Network Interface Card manufacturer or your oem manufacturer.

  • Perform a recovery. Ensure that you backup your data prior to doing a recovery.

  • If the problem persists then send in for service.
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