Lightning Strike--But it Works Except for

By Bosco Murphy ·
A Lightning Strike caused my Laptop Inspiration not to connect to the Internet.

I have done a complete Format of Drive, Loaded ALL Software that machine was built with and it works fine, like new except under Hardware it says that the Cable is unplugged. I suspect that the Internal Modem (dell # H9379) got fryed.

My question is, could it be anything else? I want to purchase this part as it's only about $30.00 delivered. Thanks for the Help.

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Not makeing much sense.

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Lightning Strike--But it ...

You said that it displays a message saying a cable is unplugged. That is for a network 'card' (NIC). However, you suspect the modem is fried. These are two different components.

How was it that you were connecting to the internet before? Do you have a dial-up ISP or are you connecting through DSL/CABLE? If it's the latter, have you checked the external device which allows you to connect (DSL/CABLE Modem, router, switch, cables)?

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Thanks for that. I thought it was just me being thick again...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Not makeing much sense.

It didn't make any sense to me either.

I'm also wondering what this lightning strike 'actually' was? Maybe not lightning at all.

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Might be.. might not be...

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Thanks for that. I though ...

I don't know what the weather has been like in Massachusetts lately. But, out on the West Coast, lightning a common occurrence during certain seasons. Anybody who doesn't run off of a good UPS with everything, including phone/network being filtered through it, is just asking for trouble. Even if you don't get hit directly, the surge through the phone lines/network can fry lots of things.

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Even having some form of Filtering is no Guarantee

by OH Smeg In reply to Might be.. might not be.. ...

Rise times with Lighting Strikes are in the Vicinity of under 1 Nanosecond while most of the better filters have a switching time of 2 to 3 Nanoseconds so by they time that they turn off and shunt the excess power elsewhere the damage has already been done.

Even if there is the best possible Surge Protector in Place I just wouldn't even consider trussing then to stop a Lighting Strike. Where you can go from Mains Voltage to well in excess of 400,000 Volts in well under a Nanosecond. I just don't know of any device that can shunt that much energy safely.

Here I have a filter wired into the Mains which states that it can stop a Lighting Strike from 100 Meters away or more. This costs the earth to buy and then you need a Electrician to fit it and even with that in Place I still unplug everything during Thunder Storms.

I can remember years ago when I attended a place where the Main Frame had stopped working. I started at the obvious thing and pulled the Power Supply apart to find that it was working perfectly. Then at a frame when I pulled the covers I found Carbon and not much else inside. Had me a bit confused back then as whatever had hit this place had not come over the mains or had been so intense and sudden that the Mains wasn't affected.

So I asked to use the phone there and was informed that they had suffered a Lighting Strike to the Box outside that handled the Phones and that entire system was destroyed.

Seems that no one connected this with the computer as what it used to connect to the Phone Lines wasn't something that they ever touched but used hourly.

It did however make it interesting when opening all of the terminals which where also destroyed.


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Yep, I've seen it too....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Even having some form of ...

Years ago, when everyone still used dial-up, one office in another town lost 15 computers due to a lightning strike which came through the phone lines. It not only fried the modems, it welded them to the motherboard. They too had a UPS on each of the computers, but nobody thought to protect the phone lines attached directly to each of the computers. Their reasoning was they didn't think those little tiny lines would conduct electricity! :0

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Not makeing much sense.

by Bosco Murphy In reply to Not makeing much sense.

Hi, I am plugged directly into the Cable. There is no phone jack, just Cable. If I plug into my other PC or Laptop the Internet works fine. The Laptop I am having trouble with is a Dell Inspiration #E1505. I went onto Dell and put my Service Tag in and it showed everything the Laptop was shipped with.I did not see anything about a Network Card, just a Modem Componant #H9379. This is what I am suspecting is blown, am I correct?
Thanks PS. Service Tag (Dell) H2CCR91

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You have a NIC

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Not makeing much sense.

You said, if you plug in to the other PC, the internet works. This indicates you have a NIC (network plug-in).

According to the as-built specs for that service tag, there is a modem and NIC both. Even the service manual for that computer shows there are both.

So, if your internet works when you plug it into the other PC/laptop (using the RJ45 ports) and it does not work when you plug directly into your cable modem, the problem is in your network configuration. You probably have it configured to share an internet connection through another PC. Since it can't find the other PC, the internet is 'down'.

Try connecting it directly to the cable modem, then go through the Network Setup Wizard. This time, use the option that it connects directly to the internet, not through another computer.

Now, if you want all 3 computers to connect to the internet simultaneously, you'll need to purchase a router, connect it to the cable modem, then connect all 3 computers to the router and use the Network Setup Wizard on all 3 of them which would be set to connect directly to the internet through a router (get IP address automatically).

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Re-You have a NIC

by Bosco Murphy In reply to You have a NIC

Oh Boy I have a few questions and a wee bit confused.
I took your advice and did the Network Connection thing again, BOTH WAYS. (1) a direct LAN connection, no good, and then a connection thru an other PC, No Good.

This is my nefhew's laptop and he is taking it to Afganistan 1/2/09. He can not have Wireless enabled so I shut it off in the BIOS.
Just a reminder that I did below.
Reloaded XP, full Format NTFS
Nothing else on system just OP sys etc.
Machine starts real quick and everything works fine except for this Internet problem.
He is at Ft.Bragg and had Lightning a month or so ago, I'm in Boston.

Is the Network Card soldered to the Mother Board? Or can I replace it by removing plug/screws etc?

I also downloaded and installed all Drivers that this Laptop came with from Dell's site, everything even the optional stuff.

I really appreciate your help as I am an
M.E.and only a novice/intermiate when it comes to Computers.--Thanks---email me

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Yes, it is 'wired to the MB'...

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Re-You have a NIC

It's actually built into the MB. It's not replaceable. However, if you can't get it to work by following all the rest of the instructions, you can buy a PCMCIA network card or even a USB network adapter .

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Did you look in the Device Manager?

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Re-You have a NIC

You said you reloaded XP, full format, NTFS, nothing else on system.

Did you look in the Device Manager to make sure the drivers for the NIC are installed? If it's not functioning, you would see a yellow exclamation point on the device listed under Network Devices. Do you see any devices with yellow or red marks on them?

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