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Old 07-30-2012, 03:34 PM
tek9 tek9 is online now
 
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Default PCI NIC troubleshooting

Hello all.
I'm having trouble with a client's NIC.
A few weeks ago he brought me his machine (cloner he bought from a friend, Vista x86) saying the onboard NIC isn't working. I diagnosed a dead NIC, disabled the onboard in BIOS and installed a PCI gigabit NIC (Trendnet TEG-PCITXR) and all's well and good.
He calls me today saying the new one isn't working now. It's recognized in Device Manager, working properly, but none of the lights on the NIC light up, and obviously no connection.
I hooked it up at my place, and the same thing: no lights, OK in Device Manager. Moved to another PCI slot, same old. Installs in Windows, but no lights.
I installed it in another machine I had in the shop, A Win7x64 box, and it installs correctly, OK in devmgmt, but no lights.
My question is: if the NIC is dead: would it still install correctly and show as OK in devmgmt?
(BTW: This guy has been to me three times with this machine in a few weeks. First time was for the NIC, second time for a dead PSU, and now this. Every time after a thunderstorm... and he wasn't using a surge protector until after the PSU died... I'm wondering if they're related...)
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:41 PM
mr m mr m is offline
 
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Yes, I've seen NIC's install ok but not work. The driver can install fine but the transceiver (converts data so it can be transmitted electrically or optically) is blown. Buy a new NIC. Buy two and keep one spare for the next storm.

Lightning doesn't always destroy components on the first hit. It can weaken them so they fail after subsequent power cycles.

Surge protectors only stop anomalies in power lines unless it was designed to also protect the data lines. Better yet, get them to buy a UPS with AVR and data line protection. I have two on my bench for clients pc's.

I've seen people unplug their power in storms but never unplug the RJ45 or coax.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:47 AM
tek9 tek9 is online now
 
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Default Update: new issues

This computer just gets better....
After I installed the new NIC and verified it's working in shop, the customer picked it up, but called me later saying that's it's not connecting to the modem. Lights are on, but it says "Unknown Network" and it's being assigned APIPA (169.254.x.x) and no DHCP. Tried to talk him through ipconfig/renew etc, but it fails on reaching a DHCP server. This is being connected directly to the cable modem. (Optimum/cablevision)
I went over there, rebooted the modem, and tried connecting to my laptop and it went fine. Rebooted the modem again, tried his machine, no go.
Put in a different new gigabit card, same thing. And it takes the modem like a minute to light up the Link light-the one that knows when a cable is plugged in.
Tried again with my laptop after a modem reboot, and this time the connection was very sloooooow, like 1.7 kb/m.
I took it back to me, hooked it up to my network, and it works perfectly fine. Connected immediately, typical Cable speeds, Windows update found a new driver for the new card, and all's good.
Question is: what would cause the card not to talk to the modem but will talk to the switch/router in my network? If the modem is flaky, why would my own laptop work fine, albeit slowly, with his modem?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, all.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:14 PM
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datagnostic datagnostic is offline
 
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From the symptoms you've described I would suggest you test all the physical components first.
Is the (patch) cable fine? Is speed and duplex negotatiated as expected, etc...
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:46 PM
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I tested the patch cable the first thing when I got there. It was good. I also swapped it with known good one, just in case. Same thing.
The only difference between my place and his is basically his modem. All settings are unchanged, and are auto-negotiated. So I'm thinking he has a bad modem, or at least the Ethernet port on the modem is bad.
Any other ideas?
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:06 PM
mr m mr m is offline
 
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I'd put the onus on the client at this point and have him drive down to his local cable office and swap the modem. Don't have him call his ISP support because some knucklehead will ping the modem and say it's fine.

Whatever spike took out his NIC also wounded his cable modem. If your fully functioning laptop worked once and then the second time connected at only 1.7Kbs I'd suspect a flaky modem.

Don't rule out the Ethernet cables like datagnostic said. I've found bad home made and store bought.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:11 PM
tek9 tek9 is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr m View Post
I'd put the onus on the client at this point and have him drive down to his local cable office and swap the modem. Don't have him call his ISP support because some knucklehead will ping the modem and say it's fine.

Whatever spike took out his NIC also wounded his cable modem. If your fully functioning laptop worked once and then the second time connected at only 1.7Kbs I'd suspect a flaky modem.

Don't rule out the Ethernet cables like datagnostic said. I've found bad home made and store bought.
Yeah, I was suspecting the spike ruined the modem when it probably took out the first NIC. I'll tell the customer to pick up a new one locally, if possible.
Thanks for all the input.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:40 PM
tek9 tek9 is online now
 
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Final Update:
Client just texted me that he picked up a new modem and it works now. So it looks like the old one was indeed fried for whatever reason. Glad I wasn't wrong on this one.
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