Windows hates networking
July 2, 2010 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Non-working on-board NICs. Difficulty level: work fine in Linux, do not detect plugged in cable in Windows.

My on-board NICs (Realtek 8110SC built into Abit IP35 Pro motherboard) recently stopped working in Windows 7 (no change while booted into Linux, everything works peachy keen). By stopped working, I mean they show up in network devices and device manager with no errors, but do not detect a plugged in cable. The activity lights on the physical ports stay dark as well.

Googling this scenario leads to things like 'lightning shocked ports'. Which is obviously not the case here, because they work fine in Linux!

I can't exactly trace it to a driver update (the last was 4/27/2010 but I'm relatively certain they worked for a month or so after that), but that seems the obvious conclusion. Unfortunately, installing the latest drivers from Realtek (6/xx/2010) hasn't fixed anything. I'm at my wits end on this one...

Any idea what I could try or where I could find different drivers? (Realtek hides their ftp archives, so I can't browse there)
posted by wrok to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It is probably a driver problem. Go to the Device Manager, select the NIC, press delete on your keyboard to delete current driver. Restart your computer, let Windows automatically reinstall the driver and then check if it works.
posted by bbxx at 12:56 PM on July 2, 2010

Yeah, I've tried that as well, no luck.
posted by wrok at 12:58 PM on July 2, 2010

Does ipconfig list it? What about Event Viewer?
posted by rhizome at 1:08 PM on July 2, 2010

Yes, they're listed in ipconfig (they appear 100% as working NICs, they do not have any activity nor detect a plugged in cable though). Nothing in event viewer either, except the 'run diagnostics' results from my testing.

"Root Cause: An Ethernet cable is not properly plugged in or might be broken"

Ooookay, Windows.
posted by wrok at 1:19 PM on July 2, 2010

You could try going to device manager and forcing windows to install a different driver - but that only works sometimes. Also, if you go into the bios and force an IRQ reset or move the IRQ for that device that can force windows to reinstall drivers, too.

When I've had this happen in the past, the ultimate solution was to trawl through the registry deleting every reference to the driver, deleting the cached driver files and INFs and rebooting. After that, windows will realize that it doesn't have the driver available and ask you for the correct driver.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:20 PM on July 2, 2010

My on-board NICs ... recently stopped working in Windows 7

Hmm. Can you think of anything that changed on your system (e.g. software updates, either in Linux or Windows) around that time?

It's not entirely unheard of for Linux to place a device in a state that is unusable by another OS that is installed on the same system (or vice versa).

It sounds like a PCI or ACPI power management issue, so I have two suggestions:
  • Check for a BIOS update.
  • Power off the system and unplug the mains for a minute. Boot Windows and see if the problem persists.

posted by scatter gather at 3:16 PM on July 2, 2010

wrok: ""Root Cause: An Ethernet cable is not properly plugged in or might be broken""

Well I hate to be a jerk, but have you tried using a different cable?
posted by rhizome at 3:18 PM on July 2, 2010

Fair suggestion, but yes I've tried other cables :)

No recent Linux changes, no recent relevant or potentially-relevant Windows changes (outside of the 4/27/2010 driver update). I ran through the BIOS settings and everything looked kosher, I'll see if there's a firmware update I can install.
posted by wrok at 4:33 PM on July 2, 2010

You could also check the duplex and speed settings on the NIC and make sure they match your switch/router.
posted by jack.tinker at 6:40 PM on July 2, 2010

Is it possible that one driver supports automatic crossover cable detection and the other doesn't?
posted by NortonDC at 10:34 PM on July 2, 2010

This may sound stupid, but have you scanned for trojans? if something works well in Linux but not Windows, that would be in the back of my mind...The brother in law had a weird trojan on his computer which restarted it about 20 seconds after an ethernet cable was inserted into the slot. It would boot up fine, ipconfig etc would be fine, yet plug in the cable - BANG! reboot. I can't remember if he had link lights though. Another thing, perhaps try booting with a UBCD for Windows CD and see what happens.
posted by humpy at 4:02 AM on July 3, 2010

Well I ruled out everything suggested, so I bought a new network card (with an Intel chipset) that will hopefully work in all OSs. C'est la vie.
posted by wrok at 6:54 AM on July 8, 2010

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