Wired pc wont stay connected

I have an IBM pc running Windows XP Pro. It has always worked fine until today when I replaced the optical drive. Now I can't stay connected to the internet or my home network. The light on the router "sees" the computer when it is off, but when I start it up I can use the network for a very short period of time before it starts to come and go and finally drops off the network completely. I don't believe it to be a hardware problem since it worked immediately before the drive switch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Go to Control Panel, Hardware, Device Manager and see if the network adapter is present or is yellow flagged as faulty. If the adapter is a PCI device there may may be an interrupt/IRQ clash resulting from adding new hardware (though I'm puzzled that a drive might do that).

    If you can't resolve this, I'd put in a new network adapter as they're cheap.
  2. It is not a PCI device; it appears to be part of the mother board. Device manager says it's working. I've clicked <repair> and it can't seem to find a correct IP address. I've tried manually changing the IP address (and other related items) to match the other desktop that runs through the same router, but then it says it's working yet isn't. I'm completely puzzled too. The only thing I can think of is a static charge in the line somewhere due to opening the case. Something is obviously causing it to shut down when the pc is up and running because the router sees it when it is off. I tried to check to see if there was an IRQ clash, but I'm not sure where to find that info for the drive. I don't think that's it though, based on what I could find in device manager.

    If all else fails, my boyfriend has an extra internal wireless card laying around.
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