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"Dead" Ethernet port

gbmiller
Occasional Visitor

"Dead" Ethernet port

HP Pavilion Media Center m8020n TV PC
Bell Sympatico Speedstream 5200 modem
D-Link WBR-1310 router -> wireless to second (XP) computer
Windows Vista on primary computer (Media Center)

Internet fine for 2 months then failed on Media Center. Ethernet port not responding but connection possible through USB port.

Sympatico modem replaced.
Cables checked.

5 hours with HP support >
Replacement of motherboard with "same settings", according to repair staff (ie no files lost, desktop & computer appeared unchanged).

Still no response from ethernet port (no lights, nothing)
5 hours with HP support >
Complete system restore.
This worked. The ethernet port lit up like a christmas tree as soon as I rebooted.

Internet restored - for 1 week.
Yesterday morming the connection failed and I have the same problem. No sign of activity on the ethernet port since. I can still connect via USB.

Is this a known problem? Are these routers compatible with Vista?
Thanks.
GM

4 REPLIES
John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Re: "Dead" Ethernet port

What you are describing is, at least to me, an obvious problem with the OS software. I can use a single statement that you made in your opening post to support that:

>Complete system restore.
>This worked. The ethernet port lit up like a christmas tree as soon as I rebooted.

As for a router being compatible with a certain OS, we are speaking of an IEEE standard here. If it is NOT compatible with this router, then it should not be compatible with ANY router.

The fact that it was up and running with this router on more than one occasion is enough to prove compatibility.

You mention that you have spent 5 hours on the line with HP tech support on two separate occasions. I know that the list of things that you did during these sessions will be long and drawn out, but I am curious to know what they had you look at and try. I would hate to go back over ground you have already covered.

That being said, my initial thought on this is that it sounds like Vi$ta is disabling you Ethernet port via software for some reason or another.

Before I go on, I will wait for a bit more info from your side of the fence. As I said, no sense running through the same things you have already done if we can keep from it, right??
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855
gbmiller
Occasional Visitor

Re: "Dead" Ethernet port

Thanks John.
We checked out the peripherals and cables.
We checked the settings for the internet connection.
A diagnostic after an attemped connection stated that I was connected to the internet although I obviously was not. The IT couldn't figure out why this message was "normal"
We did diagnostic tests of all the hardware. Everything turned up normal.
We reinstalled the driver for the card.
I believe we re-established IP addresses (I wasn't clear on what we were doing at that point.

Eventually we got to the stage where the IT who was helping me had no other suggestion except to restore it to original condition. By that time I was exhausted and took it to the future shop. They must have found it didn't work there either because they replaced the motherboard under warranty, but they couldn't have tested it in the shop because when it came back it still wouldn't connect. (This the part I don't really understand because I thought replacing the motherboard required re-formatting the disk. Instead, everything on the disk was unchanged)

This was wnen I spent another marathon with an HP rep and at the end of it all we restored it to original factory settings.

I'm quite willing to accept that this may not be solvable. I certainly would not go through another complete restore. I just have too many things to do with this computer.

My main problem now is how to connect with my other (XP) computer. My d-link router only has ethernet ports. Is there a good router that has USB ports instead? Any other suggestions?

Thanks



John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Re: "Dead" Ethernet port

>We checked out the peripherals and cables.

Always a good place to start. Silly question, though; How did you verify the Ethernet cable as being good? Unless you are the exception to the rule, most home users do not have the right hardware to do that.

>We checked the settings for the internet connection.

Another logical call.

>A diagnostic after an attemped connection stated that I was connected to the internet although I >obviously was not. The IT couldn't figure out why this message was "normal"

This statement is basically why I previously asked how the Ethernet (AKA -- CAT5, AKA -- network) cable was verified. I have seen more than one occasion where a cable with a short in it will give you intermittent connection failures but will otherwise look correct.

Quick explanation: On a regular Ethernet cable, you use 2 wires to send information and 2 wires to receive information. When you have a damaged wire out of those 4, then it is very likely that you will not see any obvious alarms or visual warnings about the connection being down. The software will even report the connection as good more times than not. I have found that simply replacing the old, worn cable (some of mine were in high traffic areas and not protected well enough) with a freshly made one was enough to solve a mystery. Just food for thought.

>We did diagnostic tests of all the hardware. Everything turned up normal.

Interesting thought. I am assuming that they used all M$ tools for this hardware verification. Did they happen to check to see if it were disabled in the 'properties' box at any time you can remember?

>We reinstalled the driver for the card.

Typical.

>I believe we re-established IP addresses (I wasn't clear on what we were doing at that point.

They were most likely counting on you being lost by that time. That lets them do a bunch of stuff that makes no difference but looks like valid activity. Makes you, the customer, feel like more was done than really was.

>Eventually we got to the stage where the IT who was helping me had no other suggestion except to >restore it to original condition.

Basically the industry's way of saying "I have no clue what to do!" That is pretty much the standard answer when they cannot fix it any other way. It does not mean that there is no other option, it simply means that they have run out of articles and "How To"'s to read.

>By that time I was exhausted and took it to the future shop. They must
>have found it didn't work there either because they replaced the motherboard under warranty, but >they couldn't have tested it in the shop because when it came back it still wouldn't connect. (This the >part I don't really understand because I thought replacing the motherboard required re-formatting the >disk. Instead, everything on the disk was unchanged)

Just to clear things up a bit here. It is possible to do a hardware change without reformatting and installing the OS and all software IF you have the correct knowledge and tools. I won't go into details on the nuts and bolts of what is required, but I can promise you that it is possible.

Now, why they did not verify that it worked before you got it back is a mystery, not to mention just down-right poor customer service. There is no excuse for that.

>This was wnen I spent another marathon with an HP rep and at the end of it all we restored it to >original factory settings.

>I'm quite willing to accept that this may not be solvable. I certainly would not go through another >complete restore. I just have too many things to do with this computer.

I cannot say that it is unsolvable. If restoring the O$ to original format brought the connection back up, then it is obviously solvable. What they have not found yet is how and where it is getting disabled. Find the reason for that and you have your issue resolved. However, you are a bit too far from me for me to simply pop over to your place and start digging. Time, patience, and knowledge are the main things needed to get this resolved once and for all.

>My main problem now is how to connect with my other (XP) computer. My d-link router only has >ethernet ports. Is there a good router that has USB ports instead? Any other suggestions?

I do know that there have been several threads on the business/home support side of the forums with information on how to transfer information via USB ports from one PC to another. It is possible that your local PC store may have the correct equipment to do this.

If you have any problems finding the right cables, let us know and I am sure that someone here can come up with some suggestions. Since I have not had to do this personally, I do not have this information memorized. I hope you will forgive me.

>Thanks

You are, indeed, most welcome.

I am only sorry that I did not have a magical fix for this problem. I can only hope that something I have said, or will say, will lead you to an answer to your issue.

All I ask is that you keep us informed of your progress as you go. It is nice to have closure on issues such as this.

Oh, you might want to read up on assigning points in these forums as well. It is a simple way to thank people for the time they donate here.

Best of luck to you and make it a WONDERFUL day!
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855
gbmiller
Occasional Visitor

Re: "Dead" Ethernet port

Hi John.

I have 3 ethernet cables. One might be faulty but not all three. And they all work when connected to the old XP computer.

I decided to go back to the 1980s Colour computer era and try some troubleshooting too.

The event viewer shows a number of error messages at the time when ethernet connection went down:

Warning 20/10/2007 9:51:52 AM E100B 4 None
Adapter Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection: Adapter Link Down

Warning 20/10/2007 9:56:38 AM Dhcp-Client 1003 None
Your computer was not able to renew its address from the network (from the DHCP Server) for the Network Card with network address 001A925D41AC. The following error occurred:
The semaphore timeout period has expired.. Your computer will continue to try and obtain an address on its own from the network address (DHCP) server.

Error 20/10/2007 10:04:23 AM RasClient 20227 None
CoID={358EDDED-8270-4284-8E85-850A8B08F028}: The user HP_MULTIMEDIA\George & Athelene dialed a connection named sympatico which has failed. The error code returned on failure is 815.


Looks like this describes what is happening. It certainly looks like something is being switched off, followed by my attempts to reconnect. I don't know Whether it helps in diagnosis.

There are two other consistent error messages, but I think they are related to my printer and the fact that I haven't set up a Vista-compatible driver yet:

Error 20/10/2007 8:47:55 PM Service Control Manager Eventlog Provider 7000 None
The Parallel port driver service failed to start due to the following error:
The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.

Error 20/10/2007 8:48:10 PM Service Control Manager Eventlog Provider 7026 None
The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load:
i8042prt

I'll talk to the guys at Future shop later in the week about getting everything done through the USB ports.

Regards,
George