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Checking whether network card works

Rising Star
Posts: 1,053
Thanks: 28
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-09-2007

Checking whether network card works

I have only recently migrated to Windows XP from Windows 98 and am really regretting the change; I no longer feel in control whereas my old 98 was stable and always did what I said.

I am still using Home Highway and am preparing to upgrade to ADSL, but frankly do not expect much better performance than my current ISDN running OnSpeed! which for most things makes a huge difference. Although I spend hours on the internet each day, I do not play games or stream videos, so I do not need to handle large chunks of data. Most time seems to be spent waiting for third party servers to respond, which broadband is not going to change ! The ISDN connection seems more than adequate for my needs. But enough of my rants.

I have run a LAN successfuly here for the last five years using a LinkSys router. In readiness for broadband, I have now purchased a LinkSys Wireless ADSL router (354G) to replace the hard wired LAN. Just before that of course I bought a new PC directly from HP running XP. But I cannot get it work at all.

I have two other computers on the LAN, both running W98. The old hard wired LAN worked reasonably with the new XP machine but took much longer to connect than W98, and the W98 machines found the XP machine faster than the other way around, which surprised me.

When installing the Wireless system, I could not even get as far as on the XP machine, no matter what I did. I even restored the whole system to the first restore point when only the basic XP operating system was loaded, to ensure there could be no conflicts. A total failure.

I spent two hours on the telephone with the LinkSys Help Desk, and they finally concluded that the new ADSL modem was faulty and needed to be exchanged. I was and remain suspicious about that. So I decided to try it on one of the W98 machines just on its own without using the XP machine as the master. Bingo ! Straight into without any problem. After that, I tried to go back to the old hard wired LAN, but now I cannot even get that to work on the XP machine.

This seems to support my caution that it is not the router at all, but the network card on the new HP XP computer which, as it is brand new, I am reluctant to believe. I have attempted to talk to HP but of course all I get is an Indian gentleman who is reading off a script and has not got a clue. He just blames the router and says it is not the computer which is faulty.

So as usual, I am piggy in the middle. At least LinkSys had the fairness to admit it could be their product and did their best to try to assist me. The one thing I have learned from this saga is never to buy hardware direct from the manufacturer again. At least dealing with a shop one has the possibility of taking it back and letting them deal with it directly.

So the purpose of this posting is to ask if anyone has any ideas as to how I can prove that it is the network card which is not working on the XP machine. Is there some objective test which will demonstrate simply whether it is working or not ? I have tried to roll back the driver but of course, as it is new, there is no other driver. The "System Device Manager" says that the device is working properly but I am not sure how reliable that test is.

Where do I go from here ? Any ideas would be appreciated.


Vista? I love the sound of breaking glass...

Now you know why I continue to use 98Lite at home (if I'm using Windows rather than Mandriva), while leaving my estimable former work colleagues to sort out their own XP messes. No, it wasn't XP that finally broke this former IT Support camel's back, but once I saw Knoppix I realised Linux was far more intellectually stimulating than Tellytubby OS.

If you can get your hands on a crossover cable (rather than the straight-through CAT5 you probably have) then try a direct connection between a 98 and the XP box, and make sure the XP can ping the 98 and vice versa. You've checked that the HP LAN port is in the list of devices installed, of course, without warning signs, and not disabled. Isn't wireless LAN a necessary update in base XP, comrades? I seem to remember that. Try unpicking the network altogether in XP, rebooting, and remaking it all. If it's working but taking so long to connect, check you don't have unnecessary protocols like IPX running as well as TCP/IP. I've known others with very similar problems with wireless XP networking, and their only recourse was a reinstall of XP.

Ah, XP. Like Norton IS, if it's working it's fine, but when it goes bad you're screaming. Ah yes, the Repair Console that won't let you log into your old installation...whereas 9x repair is just a bootable floppy away. That's progress for you.

Checking whether network card works

um, it could depend what your subnets // ips // domains are on your XP box compared to those on ur 98 boxen. To be fair, XP has far far better networking than 98 so meh!

you say your xp box finds the 98ones slower -- thus I assume the LAN is actualy working? (this is due to the way XP finds PCs btw, its different from 98 -- you can turn it off though)

have you made sure the windows firewall is off?

also check out for a flash animation on how to install and setup your network, see if that helps at all?