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AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH! I've tried everything and I still can't get my NIC to work!

(This tip comes courtesy of Charlie L who got it from Microsoft Tech support...)

If your system is acting flaky and keeps rejecting NICs, Windows might have bad information about your device configuration.  It turns out that the Device Manager can see things differently when you are booted into Windows' "Safe Mode" vs. normal boot.

This procedure will also probably help if you are using IRQ sharing, but your PCI NIC won't share an IRQ.

Before you try the procedure below:

  • Have your Windows installation CD and any device driver disks handy

  • Write down the TCP/IP settings for all NICs in the machine that you are going to perform this on.

Let's begin:

  1. Boot into Windows "Safe Mode". (Do this by booting and hitting the "F8" key as soon as you hear the "beep" shortly after Windows displays your hard drive and CDROM information.

  2. Open the Device Manger and check EVERY device category for duplicate and non-existent devices.

  3. DELETE BOTH of every duplicate you find and all devices that aren't really in your machine.

  4. SHUT DOWN the machine.

  5. Remove the NIC (or NICs).

  6. Reboot normally. Let PlugnPlay install the removed devices.

  7. Check Device Manager to see that everything is ok.

  8. Double click on the Computer icon in the Device manager and make sure you have a spare IRQ if you are using an ISA bus card, or check that you can see IRQ sharing holders if you are using a PCI bus card.


  10. Reinstall your NIC, reboot, and let PlugnPlay reinstall the card.

  11. Re-enter your TCP/IP settings and you should be in business.

Still no go?  Before you call an exorcist, try this one more thing... Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

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