Network adapter won't talk to Internet

By JPLconsultant ·
Hey guys,

I have a win xp pro sp2 machine, with all MS Updates. It's a laptop with integrated 10/100 NIC and WLAN.

I'm having some troubles with the hard-wired network connection. I suspect they're related, but I'll differentiate them here for clarity, hopefully.

Issue 1:

If I hard-wire the machine to the network, the adapter tries to obtain an IP Address, but reports that it's unable to, then almost immediately after that it in fact obtains the IP Address. For some reason, the system has to wait until it appears to timeout, before then showing it's connected to the network, with a valid, unique IP Address and full TCP/IP settings (sub mask, gateway, dns, wins) all of which are correct.

Issue 2:

One the NIC has an IP Address, it doesn't want to communicate with the WAN and has little communications with the LAN.

I can't access any websites (http or https).
I can't ping by hostname.
I can't ping by IP Address.
I can't ping the DNS (using our ISP's DNS).
I can't send a print job to the network printer

I can ping the router's IP Address.
I can ping the machines IP Address.
I can ping

The system is running Norton Internet Security, but with the FW disabled, no difference in behavior. I have verified the FW is configured correctly for this machine (no outbound services being blocked, LAN is in the "trusted" zone).

The network uses DHCP to manage IP Addressing, however if I give the NIC a static IP I can duplicate the results.

I can move the laptop to a different cable, same results.

I can move the cable to a different port on the switch, with the same results.

Another laptop on this cable/switch port has no problem.

I updated the driver, same results.

I uninstalled the NIC via Device Mangler, rebooted, the system redetected the NIC, XP installed the newest driver and still reproduced the results.

I ran WinSockXP Fix with no luck either.

I don't know if this helps or not, but if both the NIC and Wireless adapter are enabled, the all network traffic tries to funnel through the NIC, I believe, since the issues persist. However, as soon as the onboard NIC is disabled, the wireless works perfectly.

I checked the router and it's not blocking anything. No error or event logs in the router that seem related. I even rebooted it just to make sure there wasn't something funny going on there.

My customer did say, "I changed something the other day, and I started having these problems. I don't know what I changed or how to get back to it." <Grumble>

Does anybody have any additional ideas?

It will take me a few days to get back out there (it's quite a drive, so I have to get it in my schedule) so I appreciate your patience and help!


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All Answers

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I've seen similar behavior on a SonicWall Firewall that ran out of licenses

by ManiacMan In reply to Network adapter won't tal ...

The NIC would intermittently get an IP through DHCP, but browsing was horribly slow and at first I assumed it was an issue with the NIC, the driver, or the TCP/IP stack in XP. It was that stupid SonicWall all along, and it could be possible that you have a similar issue in which traffic is being chocked at your router/firewall.

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I'm not sure

by JPLconsultant In reply to I've seen similar behavio ...

This is a D-link router. There are no licenses for the DLink, so far as I know.

Also, this problem only follows this machine. Would a license issue stick with one machine? I guess it depends on how licenses are assigned.

I've got a request in for her to call me tomorrow. I'm interested to know if this is a problem only at this office or if it's this way at home or other locations. Of course, she left while I was working on it, so I couldn't "interview" her to get more details.

I had a machine from the same office not long ago where they couldn't get any network activity and it turned out to be Symantec. Even if I "disabled" Symantec, it still had it's hooks in somewhere and kept the system offline. As soon as I uninstalled Symantec, the problem went away. I wonder if the same thing is happening here?

In the mean time, I'll log in to the router tomorrow, grab the model number and see if there may be something about licenses on the DLink website.


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I'm not a fan of Symantec Firewall or other software firewall products

by ManiacMan In reply to I'm not sure

I find that all of them gunk up the protocol stack and cause all sorts of stupid and unpredictable things to occur on the PC. Try removing this PC from the premises and seeing if it connects on a different physical LAN. If it does, then you can be certain it's something with the way their LAN is setup. Also, have you attempted to perform a packet trace on this PC to see what's going on? Download WireShark and capture a full sequence of packets as this machine is trying to obtain and IP address and such.

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I agree

by JPLconsultant In reply to I'm not a fan of Symantec ...

I hate Symantec. Have for years. Then my buddy sent me this link:


Oh well.

By the way, this is a linksys WRT54GS router. No licensing issues.

I'm still waiting for a call back from the customer so I can ask more questions and hopefully get my hands on the machine. I guess we'll see how important this issue is to her based on how quickly she responds to me.


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Might check...

by deity_chooch In reply to Network adapter won't tal ...

What concerns me is that you said the obtaining of a dynamic address has to fail before an <acronym title="Internet Protocol">IP</acronym> is acquired. The first thing that pops into my head is that you have your <acronym title="Network Interface Controller">NIC</acronym> set to obtain an <acronym title="Internet Protocol">IP</acronym> address automatically, but you also have a default <acronym title="Internet Protocol">IP</acronym> address set in case of failure (I do the same thing as I use my laptop both on a <acronym title="Dynamic Host Control Protocol">DHCP</acronym> system and at home where it needs a static <acronym title="Internet Protocol">IP</acronym&gt. My guess is that this default <acronym title="Internet Protocol">IP</acronym> is valid, but maybe the subnet/gateway address is wrong and causing issues. I'm not sure, but I figured it'd be worth a look.

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That's what I thought initially, but no

by JPLconsultant In reply to Might check...

There is no default IP Address set, so I would expect the DHCP failure to generate the APIP address (169.254.x.x). But sure enough it actually obtains a correct IP Address and associated TCP/IP settings. If I check the router, I'll see the computer listed with the matching TCP/IP. I can turn off the computer, let the listing drop from the router, restart the computer and reproduce the whole scenario.

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by rahouseholder In reply to Network adapter won't tal ...

I would verify the configuration settings for the NIC as well. It could be that the card is having problems sensing the media, as in set for 10/half and the router expects 100/full.
Depending on the card, there could be any number of things they changed that could cause issues.

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Laptop is the problem.

by Mayhem1969 In reply to Network adapter won't tal ...

I think you've isolated the problem to the laptop nic since another laptop works fine on the same cable and switch.

When you disable the NIC the wireless works fine, so it sounds like a conflict between the two devices. Make sure you do not have an IRQ hardware conflict.

You've probably already done this, but make sure you have DHCP enabled in your advanced TCP/IP properties.

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