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Dell Inspiron E1705 (9400) - Just won't recognize Ethernet?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 11, 2012 2:55:36 AM

I've got a Dell Inspiron E1705 (aka 9400) notebook from 2006. It's had several hardware problems over the years (it was in the generation under that class action lawsuit over Dell knowingly selling defective nVidia components - and, indeed, had that problem a while ago).

My current problem is that I cannot get it to recognize an Ethernet connection. When I plug the cable in, the port has a blinking amber/orange light. The computer does not recognize the connection.

I know the connection/cable is good, because it works fine on my desktop.

I have repeatedly tried installing everything listed on Dell's website under network-related drivers or software, or almost any other category. I also tried entirely reformatting and reinstalling the OS (XP Professional). The notebook still won't recognize the connection.

When it has the wireless software installed, it can detect wireless networks. However, my home connection is via wired router, so this doesn't help me.

My best guess is that this problem is due to a hardware failure of the NIC. However, I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to troubleshooting this kind of problem, so I'd like to ask those of you with greater expertise than myself:

Does this sound like a hardware problem? What other steps should I take to diagnose this problem? I'm thinking of getting an external ethernet card, since that might be cheaper than sending it in for servicing if it's out of warranty, which I think it may be at this point. Does that sound like a plausible solution?

I'd be thrilled for any relevant information you guys could offer. Thanks!
July 11, 2012 3:22:02 AM

giraffatron said:
I've got a Dell Inspiron E1705 (aka 9400) notebook from 2006. It's had several hardware problems over the years (it was in the generation under that class action lawsuit over Dell knowingly selling defective nVidia components - and, indeed, had that problem a while ago).

My current problem is that I cannot get it to recognize an Ethernet connection. When I plug the cable in, the port has a blinking amber/orange light. The computer does not recognize the connection.

I know the connection/cable is good, because it works fine on my desktop.

I have repeatedly tried installing everything listed on Dell's website under network-related drivers or software, or almost any other category. I also tried entirely reformatting and reinstalling the OS (XP Professional). The notebook still won't recognize the connection.

When it has the wireless software installed, it can detect wireless networks. However, my home connection is via wired router, so this doesn't help me.

My best guess is that this problem is due to a hardware failure of the NIC. However, I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to troubleshooting this kind of problem, so I'd like to ask those of you with greater expertise than myself:

Does this sound like a hardware problem? What other steps should I take to diagnose this problem? I'm thinking of getting an external ethernet card, since that might be cheaper than sending it in for servicing if it's out of warranty, which I think it may be at this point. Does that sound like a plausible solution?

I'd be thrilled for any relevant information you guys could offer. Thanks!



Hello, most likely nothing wrong with NIC, you can easy delete NIC from Control Panel, System/Hardware/device manager
and restart PC, Windows should fing the NIC and all drivers should reload themselfs.
If ths this wont help download IPFix eg http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html as you may have problem with socks not a NIC
Good luck



July 11, 2012 8:53:25 AM

bobdey said:
Hello, most likely nothing wrong with NIC, you can easy delete NIC from Control Panel, System/Hardware/device manager
and restart PC, Windows should fing the NIC and all drivers should reload themselfs.
If ths this wont help download IPFix eg http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html as you may have problem with socks not a NIC
Good luck


Thanks for the suggestion - unfortunately, it didn't work.

Network Connections shows a Local Area Connection, which claims "Network cable unplugged," despite having a known working network cable connected.

With the cable plugged in, and an intermittently flashing amber light, popup balloons appear stating, "Local Area Connection - A network cable is unplugged."

I tried running the linked fix, and restarting, but it made no difference, and the problem continued as before.

I should perhaps mention that the first symptoms, a long time ago, were in extraordinary slowdowns that made the DSL act like a 28k modem. That was why I initially started trying to reinstall drivers. The network connection stopped working entirely, however, which eventually led me to try this total reinstall of XP. Nothing I have tried on the software end has helped.
July 15, 2012 11:41:20 PM

Now sound to me that your DSL router could be faulty.
1 . Did you try notebook on another network?
2 . Did you try reset Router to factory defaults and reconfigure again (backup current setup first)?
3 . Did you try another Router on your connection ?
!