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No activity for onboard NIC.

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A co worker of mine recently purchased a Compaq PC. After having it for only a few months, he took a surge and the whole works was shot. He then purchased an HP PC. When it arrived, he set it up but could not connect to the internet. The cable company came out and verified that the modem was fine. He then asked me to come out to look at it for him.

In Windows Vista, the onboard NIC appears to be working properly. When I connect the Cat 5 cable though, the activity lights are dead. I didn't have a laptop with me so we moved his Playstation 3 into his office and I plugged that in. The NIC came on, but the activity light would only flash for a split second every ten or fifteen seconds. Since it wasn't connected to a television, I wasn't actually able to verify the connection, but I did at least see some activity on the NIC of the PS3. I moved the line back to the PC and got nothing.

What are the odds that the onboard NIC is bad? And if it is bad, why would Windows Vista say there aren't any problems with the device? I'll probably buy a new NIC for the PC, but I thought I'd ask this before I make a purchase.

Any and all information will be greatly appreciated.


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Windows Vista can only detect if you are using the correct device driver for your network adapter. That's why it will always tell you that the device is working correctly all the time. A network adapter may have problems with its components and still, Windows Vista will tell you it is working properly.

There are minimal odds that a network adapter gets broken. Based on my experience, most of the network adapter issues were caused by using bad Ethernet cables. I suggest that you connect first the PC to another PC using a known working Ethernet cable. Connecting it to a notebook using a crossover cable would be the easiest to do.
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