Youíve installed a network card (also known as a network interface card, network
adapter, NIC; if you're strictly using a wired Ethernet network, they're also
know as an Ethernet card or Ethernet adapter), and it doesnít seem to work at
all. The computer canít communicate with the network in any way. Here are some
Install the Right Driver
All major network card manufacturers have Web sites where you can go to download
driver programs. Download and install the latest version for each network
card, making sure that it supports the version of Windows that the computer
is running. If thereís no Windows XP driver, try the Windows 2000 driver.
Try a Different Slot
Un-install the network card in Device Manager, power down the computer, remove
the card, insert it in a different slot, and reboot. Let Windows detect the
card and install the driver program. On motherboards with an AGP graphics
slot, the top-most PCI slot can be unsuitable for use by a NIC.
Specify Explicit Speed and Duplex Settings
By default, network cards are configured to automatically detect the proper
speed and duplex settings. This automatic sensing can fail, preventing the
computer from accessing the network.
In Windows XP, right click the network connection and click Properties
| Configure | Advanced. In Windows 95/98/Me, go to Control
Panel | Network, double click the network adapter, and click Advanced. The
name of the appropriate setting depends on the particular network card. Specify
explicit speed and duplex settings that work on your network. Most switches
and hardware routers use 100 Mb, full duplex. Hubs use half duplex. Hereís
an example, showing how to configure an SMC 1211TX network card thatís connected
to a switch.