XP won't load drivers for ANY network adapter

February 5, 2010 at 01:43:12
Specs: Windows XP
While trying to find a fix for the problem that no network connection was shown in the "Network Connections" section of the control panel I tried to uninstall my LAN adapter from the Device Manager and restart the system.

The device was detected, and I chose the correct drivers from the CD (and again more up-to-date drivers I had on my HD). Then I got the message "the hardware you installed will not work until you restart your computer.

After restarting the system the device appeared again the the Hardware manager, but with an exclamation mark on it, and in its properties the text said "This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device (Code 31)".

I downloaded (using a different computer, of course) an installation utility from Intel's website, and this application gave the message that no device of the kind for which I was trying to install the drivers was present.

I tried to connect a USB wifi device, got the drivers for it, and got the same results: the device is shown in the Device Manager with an exclamation mark on it, and with a message that Windows cannot load the driver for it.

So it seems that the problem is not with any specific drivers, but with network adapters in general.

How can this be fixed?

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February 5, 2010 at 08:00:39
Sadly, the fix may be either a repair of XP, or a clean install of XP.

If nothing else you try works, I would try the Repair first. To repair, boot to your XP CD and begin the install process. Go past the "recovery console" and up to the point where it tells you it's found an existing copy of XP. Choose the "Repair" option and let it run. If that works, you will want to go to windows update and run all the updates again as a repair causes you to lose them.

If it doesn't work, backup all your data and do a clean install. I would also do a fresh backup prior to trying the repair too. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

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