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Dust causing integrated NIC packet loss?

Last response: in Overclocking
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May 27, 2006 5:37:41 PM

I have a 2nd PC with an Abit NF7-S2 MB which is on 24x7 for p2p, file and printer sharing ...

Yesterday I starting having numerous problems which I narrowed down to the intergrated NIC which was getting 25-50% packet loss when pinging, which persisted despite restarts, cable changes, router resets, bypassing the router, antivirus and spyware scans ....

However switching to a PCI ethernet card yeiled 0 packet loss.

Suspecting a hardware problem, perhapse overheating, I ran prime95 for 20 hours (priority 10 large FFT's) and got 0 warnings 0 errors.

Finally this morning I take the system appart and gave all the fans a good dusting and now the integrated NIC is working at 100% again.

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It would make perfect sense to me if the dust caused the system to overheat resulting in general instability.

I have fixed extremely PC's with nothing more than a can of compressed air. But the dust just affecting the NIC and only the NIC seems a bit odd.

1) Can dust really be that specific?

2) Should I just be happy the system works or should I keep running test, and if so which ones?
May 28, 2006 1:45:01 AM

try updating the drivers on the nic, mine was very slow until i did that. I have verizon dsl and was downloading at .5Kbps until i updated the drivers and this was on a new system.
May 28, 2006 2:05:14 AM

I have found that just taking a system apart and putting it back together can fix some general performance problems.

The fact that the NIC is onboard doesnt really compute. One thing is maybe the MB plate was grounding it out. Ive had the tabs get bent and make contact incorrectly.

Also, when you installed your PCI NIC did you uninstall your onboard in windows/bios? Possibly just reinstalling it made the difference due to a windows corruption?

-M
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May 28, 2006 3:10:18 AM

Didn't disable the NIC, didn't even insert the PCI Nic, it was already installed.

Only change was applying compressed air to inside of the case to remove dust.
May 28, 2006 3:23:16 AM

depending on the envirnment .
dust can cary a static charge.
not so uncomon.
May 28, 2006 5:39:05 PM

A freind with a 2 year electronics degree seems to think under the right conditions dust can cause electrical interference for sensitve curcuits.

Anyway I still find it odd.

I am tempted into deleberately coating a space PCI nic card with fine dust from my bagless vacume cleaner and seeing if that will break it.
May 28, 2006 6:17:15 PM

I have opened cases that had not been cleaned in years upon years and everything worked fine. Im talking 1/4" layer of dust.

There are different reasons for dust gathering. If static charge is collecting the dust then the charged dust could impede performance in an electronic device, I suppose.

Do you keep your computer in a high traffic area or on carpet?

As kwalker said:
Quote:
depending on the environment

-M
May 30, 2006 4:06:00 AM

Its still running at 0% packet loss (pinged my router 1000 times) after the compressed air. Where before it couldn't ping 4 times without losing 1-3 packets.

It was definately the dust because asside from shutting down and restarting (which I did a couple time before dusting) all I did was apply compressed air inside the case.

What I am not sure of is if the dust was causing electrical interference or whether it make the NIC's IC overheat.
!