|Hello, everyone. :) My present problem is absolutely perplexing. I've tried solving it through modifying the registry, uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, replacing cabling, and connecting the NIC directly to the modem... all to no avail.|
Here's the problem:
Up until today, the computer was able to access the internet through a switch perfectly. No new software nor hardware has been installed, and no viruses nor new spyware is detected. Nonetheless, the computer cannot connect to the internet.
There is a "ghost" (non-existant) NIC showing up in the Device Manager. There are no IRQ conflicts, and according to Windows, the device is working fine. Uninstalling and/or disabling the device do no good; it comes back every time. This device is constantly reporting the "Network Cable Disconnected" message... but the card does not exist, not as an on-board NIC or a PCI card... not at all!
The actual, existing device, a Linksys card, is also reportedly functioning properly. This one is connected to the internet and, up till today, worked fine. It is not giving the "Network Cable Disconnected" error. I've run Windows Network Setup Wizard several times, and each time, it's either set this as the internet NIC correctly or it's ended with an error and closed. It cannot get an IP, and so, there's no internet access.
I can ping the computer itself with no problem (127.0.0.1), I can ping its ARPA address, but I cannot ping anything else in the network, nor can I ping any websites.
The computer is starting much more slowly than it normally does, and it takes a while for the "Network Cable Disconnected" message to appear. (I can't test the 'net before it does, because the computer's running so sluggishly that MSIE won't start up till then.) While trying to fix this problem, I did encounter a near-fatal Windows crash which the OS managed to recover from. This has not happened again since.
Any clues? I'm about ready to eat my beanie in frustration... :(