LAN card fried by Lightning, New Card

Emachines Et1831-07 desktop
August 22, 2010 at 16:16:33
Specs: Windows 7, Intel Celeron/3GB RAM
I had a lightning strike (practically struck our house) and it took out our computers (even though they were plugged in to battery backups). One computer was fine, the other computer had it’s LAN taken out. I have tried reinstalling drivers, system restores, etc and it won’t work so I’m pretty sure the card is bad. I have a new card (the computer is an eMachines and the card is an HP wireless G - 5188-3742). I have installed it and it’s recognized under the DEVICE MANAGER but it’s not actually working. When I try to update the driver it says that the “best one” is already installed. It also says that I need to contact my computer manufacturer to update firmware or the BIOS. EMachines customer service is horrible and they aren’t helping me at all.

I ran a test on the computer and it has the number for the motherboard (I believe it’s made by eMachines) as: EMCP73VT-PM

Emachines says there are no BIOS updates available for this model but I was wondering if anyone knew how I can go about fixing this?

See More: LAN card fried by Lightning, New Card

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August 22, 2010 at 17:32:43
You may find a more up-to date driver here:

Was the fried LAN connection an onboard NIC or a plug-in PCI card?

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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August 23, 2010 at 02:47:20
it is a card plugged in to the motherboard with an antennae sticking out the back

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August 23, 2010 at 03:04:03
So you are saying the lightning strike fried a wireless PCI network card?

For the power surge to have reached such a card it has travelled through the motherboard and may have done other unseen damage. The slot may have damage. I have had motherboards at times with faulty PCI slots resultant from powersupply meltdown. I could use the board but not with anything in the faulty slot.

Did you uninstall the old NIC in devicemanager

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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August 23, 2010 at 04:05:40
If THIS is what the card looks like, it is 54 Mbps 802.11g Wireless LAN PCI Adapter no longer sold as a stand-alone device by the manufacturer (HP). BTW I have one like that installed in my HP Pavilion Slimline.


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August 24, 2010 at 11:02:15
I went and bought a $20 USB wireless LAN at Wal-Mart and installed it, seemed to do the trick

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August 24, 2010 at 11:43:26
"I had a lightning strike (practically struck our house) and it took out our computers (even though they were plugged in to battery backups)."

You're not truly protected from power spikes and surges unless EVERYTHING that connects to the computer is connected to something that protects against power spikes and surges - all devices that plug into your computer that plug into AC directly or via an AC to DC adapter, AND the cable that connects you to the internet (coax or telephone line) if you're connecting to the internet from the computer via a network cable, AND the telephone line if you're using a dial-up modem. UPSs usually don't have enough plug ins or ports to connect everything to them.

That said....
A nearby lightning strike, or a lightning strike on the AC power grid near you, can produce power surges or spikes or both that can get past any protection device, and that can even jump switches that are switched off, if the cord to the computer was plugged in at the time.

You may find that more than just the wireless card was damaged.

"I ran a test on the computer and it has the number for the motherboard (I believe it’s made by eMachines) as: EMCP73VT-PM"

In most cases, emachines did NOT make the mboard in their desktop system.

According to the list here:

this is your mboard:

It's an ECS model and was supplied to emachines. It may be an OEM only model, a model made only for brand name system builders, or it may be identical to a retail ECS model. In either case, it probably has an emachines bios version rather than an ECS bios version.

It may not have been made by ECS either. Many ECS models are/were actually by Hsing Tech - the same company that sells their mboards as retail PCChips models. In that case, there is no mboard model printed on the mboard surface.

The manual link there no longer works and is for the GF7050VT-M5, which is similar to the MCP73VT-PM.

Manuals here, but you have to become a member:

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