|Thanks for response, ijack...|
First off, let me say that the version of XP running on this notebook right now was NOT installed when I purchased it! I wiped the HD and re-installed from my own master XP Home copy. This same copy has been running well ever since! With, BTW, the Ethernet connector functioning correctly as well (prior to now, that is!).
Yes, the light does normally go off at some point during boot, but then COMES BACK ON once boot is completed! What's happening in this case is quite odd indeed; the light goes OFF and stays that way throughout the remainder of the boot-up process. It NEVER comes back on again! And, I know to check the driver settings in the Control Panel - System - Device Manager - all network devices appear OK, with no exclamation marks or other conflicts!
This is what is so confusing! I have been using this connection with THE SAME copy of XP for years, and it WAS WORKING; also, it STILL works when I boot into Ubuntu Linux (without removal / re-insertion of the Ethernet cable required, either; thus, the cable is INDEED CONNECTED!).
But, now XP says that, after it boots up, my cable is UNPLUGGED!!! What the heck?
I have seen so many mentions of issues like this on the 'Net that it makes my head spin, but no answers / suggestions they provided have fixed this problem!
One piece of info. I have left out (not intentionally, just due to lack of space, and not wishing to over-complicate the initial problem's description...) - I have recently re-designed my network topology to use a Windows 7 system for ICS (Internet Connection Sharing). All of my pc's (including those with Linux) are now sharing that connection quite happily (except for this one, the ONLY one running XP...).
All 5 of my pc's on my LAN are connected through an 8-port switch (of SMC manufacture...) to this single ICS connection, and 4 pc's connect to it and use it without issue...; only this XP notebook is having any problems at all!
I have individually DISCONNECTED, and then re-connected each of these other pc's on the LAN as well, to see if this clears up the problem, to no avail.
I have also turned the 8-port switch off, and then back on again as well, also with no luck!
Does that info. help at all? I am really frustrated by this point!