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Driver or possibly hardware issue with fresh XP Prof install

Last response: in Windows XP
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June 4, 2013 4:57:48 PM

Sorry if I am vague here, but helping a friend out with his older Gateway laptop. It is a MX3231 that had Windows Home Edition on it from the factory. I own XP Professional 32 bit that I do not use. It is legit, I bought it. I wiped his hard drive and put this on the laptop. Everything installed fine, however, I can't for the life of me install drivers for the three following items;
Ethernet Controller
Mass Storage Controller
PCI Simple Communications Controller

These three items are in device manager with yellow question marks listed under 'Other Devices'.

I've gone to Gateway's site and downloaded drivers for the internal network card. The wizard does not recognize the drivers. If I run the setup.exe for the downloaded LAN drivers it installs a network card but the items listed under Other Devices does not change. I spoke with my friend and he said he could never get the network card working so he used the wireless connection. That works, but was just wondering if there is a way to test for hardware failure or if I am missing something for installing drivers. I focus more on networking so not an expert by any means on the software side of things. The network card that showed installed could not grab an IP, but I was able to ping 127.0.0.1. I think the software was installed correctly, but why these items are still in error status in device manager is beyond me. Hardware issue?

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June 4, 2013 5:11:18 PM

At the end of reading your post I was thinking the same thing you ended on. Hardware issue. That is what my mind thinks.

It could be bad connectors or internal connections.. who knows.

What happens when you plug in the an Ethernet cable in? Does the netework adapter act like it detects anything at all? (Trying to get IP address or anything but just a red X)

If it doesn't even do anything it is likely a hardware issue then.

One thing you can try to do is download the latest drivers (which you have already), then manually goto the Ethernet controller and right click the device. Goto Properties--->Driver. Select update driver. Then navigate to where the install binaries are for the Ethernet adapter. The driver is typically in a folder named such as "x86" or "32-bit" or "drivers" either a .sys or .ini file type I believe. Coupled with some .dll files in the same directory. You may have to dig around in the Ethernet driver folder for this.

If this still fails then I am positive this is a hardware failure.
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June 4, 2013 5:40:37 PM

jackson1420 said:
At the end of reading your post I was thinking the same thing you ended on. Hardware issue. That is what my mind thinks.

It could be bad connectors or internal connections.. who knows.

What happens when you plug in the an Ethernet cable in? Does the netework adapter act like it detects anything at all? (Trying to get IP address or anything but just a red X)

If it doesn't even do anything it is likely a hardware issue then.

One thing you can try to do is download the latest drivers (which you have already), then manually goto the Ethernet controller and right click the device. Goto Properties--->Driver. Select update driver. Then navigate to where the install binaries are for the Ethernet adapter. The driver is typically in a folder named such as "x86" or "32-bit" or "drivers" either a .sys or .ini file type I believe. Coupled with some .dll files in the same directory. You may have to dig around in the Ethernet driver folder for this.

If this still fails then I am positive this is a hardware failure.


If I plug in a Ethernet cable, the connection in Network Connections shows 'Obtaining IP address...'. I open a command prompt and do an ipconfig, I have an IP of 0.0.0.0. Neither ever changes. Network Connections never shows me obtaining an IP. If I do an ipconfig /release and /renew, nothing changes. As for Update Drivers, oh man, I've been doing that non-stop lol Don't take that personally, I just laugh because I tried updating the driver. However, it NEVER detects the *.inf, *.sys, or *.ini files. Never. I removed the devices from device manager and then rebooted. Windows detected new hardware and STILL did not pickup the files. Instead of automatically installing, I chose to point the update to the file locations and it still does not pick them up. I deleted the new drivers I downloaded and tried the older drivers. Removed devices again and rebooted. Problem remains the same. I am all out of ideas. lol The only thing I can yet try, is ordering the original restore discs from Gateway to see if those hold the mysterious drivers that work. Remember, I don't have the original OEM discs with drivers. However, I don't think this should be all that hard. Their site has the drivers... unless for some reason they wouldn't publish them on their site for some odd reason. I think I am thinking too hard about this and the network card is just fried. Hard to let things leave my desk not working though...

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June 4, 2013 5:43:36 PM

Lol yea it sounds like you have gone through all steps to try and get that Ethernet up, I don't mean to laugh but I have gone through countless hours working doing this recently for my system. Hmmm.

What if you set an IP address manually to match your network?

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June 4, 2013 5:58:28 PM

jackson1420 said:
Lol yea it sounds like you have gone through all steps to try and get that Ethernet up, I don't mean to laugh but I have gone through countless hours working doing this recently for my system. Hmmm.

What if you set an IP address manually to match your network?



I like your thinking Jackson. It's about the only thing I haven't tried. I did that and Network Connections shows I am connected when I assign a static IP. However, I can not ping anything and I have no connection to anything. The integrated NICs software seems to be fine, but it just won't function. I did also look on the back of the laptop and there are no lights indicating activity on the NIC. It's a ghost town. Friend or no friend, I think I've given him enough of my time lol I'm chalking this up to bad NIC. Thanks Jackson for all your time and suggestion. It's Miller Time.

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June 4, 2013 7:18:37 PM

Happy to help troubleshoot the issue. Sounds like you got it right with a bad NIC and the Miller Time
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