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LAN not detected on Dell D420?

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Posted

So my girlfriend started at uni this week, and much to her dismay, found that her laptop simply refuses to detect any kind of ethernet connection.

Currently, she is able to get onto the internet (somewhat briefly), using a guest wifi connection, although this is painfully slow, and tends to drop every 5 minutes or so, disappears etc.

I've been able to talk her through installing a VNC server on her laptop, so I've been able to have a look through her system, in between the wifi dropping connection, and can't seem to figure out what is causing the issue.

Running Windows XP (Not sure which service pack off hand, or whether or not it's x86/x64)

After some searching, I've found that the network adapter that she's running is a Broadcom 5721C1.

The LAN icon in the system tray simply says that the network cable is unplugged, so I said to try a new cable- no difference there. Apparently there are no proxy settings needed, to gain internet access.(Although of course, the network would still show up in this case)

When looking through her system however, I found that the network adapter doesn't appear to show up in the system at all. The WiFi, Bluetooth and 1394/firewire ports all show up, and presumably work, without any issues at all. The network adapter however, doesn't even show up in the device manager (even as unidentified, etc.). I gave reinstalling/updating her drivers a shot anyway, but that hasn't really achieved anything...

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions? I'm having withdrawal symptons, and need to be able to Skype her! :cry:

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Posted

Take a look in the device manager and see if there is any issue with the drivers. It may be disabled or not installed properly.

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Posted

yeah that would be first port of call

device manager for exclamations

drivers

maybe a dodgy connections

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Posted

Take a look in the device manager and see if there is any issue with the drivers. It may be disabled or not installed properly.

yeah that would be first port of call

device manager for exclamations

drivers

maybe a dodgy connections

Already checked the Device Manager I'm afraid... No errors, and it's not disabled.. Rather, it just doesn't show up at all.

There are no unknown devices, and I've installed newer versions of the drivers on the system already, just on the off chance that it'd make any difference.

Edit: Not sure what the BIOS is like on this particular but I suppose it's possible that the adapter has been disabled in there?

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Posted

So the NIC doesnt show up at all? Go into the BIOS and see if there is any sign of it in there. Sounds like it is either disable in there or has failed completley.

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Posted

So the NIC doesnt show up at all? Go into the BIOS and see if there is any sign of it in there. Sounds like it is either disable in there or has failed completley.

Unfortunately not... As far as Windows is concerned, the adapter just isn't there... Unfortunately, I can't get direct access to the laptop, and thus the BIOS, for another week, when she's back home...

I've ran ipconfig, and a line for ethernet DOES show up in there, only it says that there is no connection... Although I'm not entirely sure whether or not that'd show up regardless of whether an ethernet adapter was present..

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Posted

Can you run ipconfig /all next time you are connected and post all of what is listed? Little confused that it isnt listed in device manager yet a reference line shows under ipconfig.

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Posted

Check the power options for the PC. I know that model will have trouble with the NIC beeing disabled when on battery. And even if you plug in the power cord it may need a restart for it to work.

edit: Dell have its own tool for power config utillity. Check the Control Panel for it.

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Posted

How old is the laptop?

Could simply be a busted port, if everything you try seem to indicate that no cable's connected.

Or maybe the wall socket. Has she tried a different socket? If it's not possible, then maybe ask a friend to connect to the same socket and see if they have the same issue?

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Posted

Can you run ipconfig /all next time you are connected and post all of what is listed? Little confused that it isnt listed in device manager yet a reference line shows under ipconfig.

Sure, It'll most likely be later on this afternoon/tonight when I can next have a look at it- I'll post the results!

Check the power options for the PC. I know that model will have trouble with the NIC beeing disabled when on battery. And even if you plug in the power cord it may need a restart for it to work.

edit: Dell have its own tool for power config utillity. Check the Control Panel for it.

Ah thank you! I wasn't aware that this was an issue with this particular model, I'll be sure to check that out!

Edit:

How old is the laptop?

Could simply be a busted port, if everything you try seem to indicate that no cable's connected.

Or maybe the wall socket. Has she tried a different socket? If it's not possible, then maybe ask a friend to connect to the same socket and see if they have the same issue?

I believe that it's 2007, although I'll have to check that.. It could be the port, I'll ask her to try it with one of her flatmates network sockets.

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Posted

D420 is about 4-5 years old, by my estimate. We have been using these at my company for a while.

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Posted

Check the power options for the PC. I know that model will have trouble with the NIC being disabled when on battery. And even if you plug in the power cord it may need a restart for it to work.

edit: Dell have its own tool for power config utillity. Check the Control Panel for it.

Good point but,

I've ran ipconfig, and a line for ethernet DOES show up in there, only it says that there is no connection... Although I'm not entirely sure whether or not that'd show up regardless of whether an ethernet adapter was present..

If it was turned off would it show up at all in ipconfig?

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Posted

I don't remember. Been a few years since I have been working on them

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Posted

True, whether or not it'd still show up in IP Config, if it was to do with the power, I'm not sure...

Still worth a shot though!

And yeah, I just checked the service tag, apparently it was sold mid-2007.

Edit: And thanks for the help guys, much appreciated!

Edit 2: Just disabled my ethernet adapter, and ran ipconfig on here to test it out. The ethernet doesn't show up at all, if it's disabled, which makes me think that the adapter is still working, although what on earth has happened to it I'm not sure...

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Posted

Device Manager > View > Show Hidden Devices - Does it show up now ?

If so, Properties of Adapter > Power Management > Allow windows to turn off this device to save power (Something along those lines)

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Posted

Device Manager > View > Show Hidden Devices - Does it show up now ?

If so, Properties of Adapter > Power Management > Allow windows to turn off this device to save power (Something along those lines)

Actually, I'd entirely forgotten about that option! I'll be sure to check that out once she's online again, although at the moment, that's sounding promising!

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Posted

It's not uncommon for the port itself to just die, while the adapter is still reporting to be fine.

Happened to me once when I connected (unknowingly) to a PoE port (Power over Eth, usually for powering up IP phones) - and just my luck, they had a power surge...

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Posted

Actually, I'd entirely forgotten about that option! I'll be sure to check that out once she's online again, although at the moment, that's sounding promising!

If that is the problem, changing the power scheme of the laptop to High Performance should wake up the adapter too

Click Battery icon in toolbar > power options > high performance (Might be different in XP)

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Posted

Delete the Ethernet adapter in device manager and reboot the machine. Also worth updating your chipset drivers.

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Posted

Note that Dell Power Config Utillity will override the power settings on the PC. You need to uncheck that the utility can disable the NIC when on battery. For some strange reasons this might affect it running on power as well.

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Posted

I don't know about that specific laptop, but a lot of computers have an option in the BIOS to disable LAN when not plugged in, but often it doesn't work as intended and disables even if it is connected.

(I think it's usually called "SmartLAN", also used to check ethernet cables)

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Posted

sounds like to me that the nic is dead or the pins are fubar'd.

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Posted

I'm going with sc302 and say that the pins are messed up. I remember replacing a few motherboards on the D series for bent pins.

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Posted

I'm going with sc302 and say that the pins are messed up. I remember replacing a few motherboards on the D series for bent pins.

If the pins were bent, would it not still show in Device Manager?

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Posted

Note that Dell Power Config Utillity will override the power settings on the PC. You need to uncheck that the utility can disable the NIC when on battery. For some strange reasons this might affect it running on power as well.

That's what I'm thinking it is, the Dell Power Config Utility is disabiling the NIC.

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