Network Adapters NEVER show up in device manager

I'm working on a machine here inshop that has me baffled... No matter what I try network adapters are not showing up in device manager. I've tryed 2 PCI LAN cards (diffrent chipsets) and one USB Wireless Adapter not to mention the onboard LAN (which is enabled in the BIOS). None of them show up in device manager, infact there is no Networking tab at all in device manager. I told device manager to show hidden devices then I do get the Network tab but without any adapters listed (just some MS stuff, Teredo tunneling... and a bunch of WAN Miniports, very simmular to what's on my notebook). When I installed the Wireless adapter it showed a list of available networks but as soon as I connected to one it disappeared (the adapter) and never came back. To make things even weirder I tryed Ubuntu (just the Try Me Option) and I still was not able to connect. I tryed a System Restore to before the last time the computer downloaded Windows Updates( which would mean it was online then) and still no go. My next step is to format but the fact that it still didn't work in Ubuntu has me worried, I guess just maybe the adapters I tryed there are incompatible with Ubuntu... and Windows has some very evil virus or infection that messes with the registry to not recognise network adapters? I'll leave the hard drive scanning with Norton AV overnight, see if it finds anything.
Has anyone here ever seen or heard of an issue like this before?
I built the system here in shop: Asus M2N68-AM Plus Mobo, Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OS.
Thank you in advance.
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  1. To me, it actually sounds like either a nasty mobo fault or more likely I think, a bot-type evilness caught from the internet. I have heard of (fortunately never experienced) bots that will mask hardware to take complete control of it. I would suggest running a few other AV's through it as well - possibly a registry cleaner too.
    If the machine comes up "clean" (I would be suprised), I'd pull the mobo and look around the PCI/NIC area for small cracks or imperfections (I'd be suprised) but then, that could be the problem.
  2. Hi Sam :)

    I own computer shops which do repairs etc...

    The Network tab in Device manager will NOT show up at all until it SEES a hardware device (card etc)

    Personally I would do this ...if you dont want to lose a customers data...

    Pop in a NEW BLANK hard drive and install 7....

    If once into Windows it shows the network devices it was Windows that was screwed,,,(I would bet on it actually as I have seen it before)

    If no devices than your mobo is toast....but I doubt it would run as well as you are saying if it was...

    All the best Brett :)
  3. Make sure you have the chipset drivers installed.
  4. Okay, a quick update:
    1st: Thank you everyone for your input!
    Bruce- good call on the chipset but I had already tryed that.
    Friedman- Norton found 5 or 6 Java Exploits... not what would cause this issue, buy my opinion.
    Brett- I took your advice and swapped the hard drives and did a quick Windows 7 install. Problem persisted in the new install. I did manage to get an Asus USB wireless dongle to install and it did go online, but after about 10 mins the dongle would always disapear, I'd have to unplug it and plug it back in every 10 mins to get back online, not a viable solution. So I'm calling this a dead mobo, or dying anyways, becuase other then that the thing works fine. I ordered a new mobo, too bad the system is using Socket AM2+ so all I could find is am Asrock, not my board of choice but it will have to do. Same chipset as the old board so I am hoping that I can get away with a windows reinstall which would save our customer some $$$.
    Thank you everyone once again.
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