Suddenly unidentified network in Windows 7

2009-11-23
This problem really had me worried for a few hours today. I was working as usual on my recently purchased Dell XPS Studio 435MT when all of the sudden the network died. I have a cable connection to a switch, which is connected to an Asus router which is then connected to an ADSL provider. So I started to investigate my cabling and restarting switch and router, but nothing helped. I then verified that my network was ok by starting my backup laptop and it did get an internet connection so everything was fine there.

[Skip to end if you just want the solution that worked for me.]

Next suspicion was that my network interface card in my Dell computer had died. It is a “Intel 82567LF-2 Gigabit Network Connection”. However, the signs wasn’t there that it might have died. Nothing wrong with it in Device Manager (Right click “Computer” and choose “Manage”).

Windows did recognize the difference between disconnected cable (red cross for network icon in task bar notification area) and my currently unsolved problem (yellow exclamation point) and “Unidentified network”. Also, the network cable lights at the connector seemed to work fine (at least they was lit). Still no network and no pings working. Trying to ping the router or another computer in my network timed out or gave “Destination host unreachable” from the local network driver.

The network had died just when I started Spotify, so I was now starting to suspect that it was something wrong in Windows. I have Windows 7, 64-bit. Some sort of configuration that had gotten the hiccups? I found some commands (“netsh”) that can reset the Windows tcp/ip info, but it did not help (after reboot). I removed the network interface card drivers in Driver Manager and restarted, at which point the drivers were reinstalled automatically, but the problem remained.

I also read that something similar had happed to someone and that he had reinstalled all of Windows and thereby gotten it to work again. Not something you really would want to do.

As a side note, my HTC Hero proved useful since I managed to copy the Android Phone drivers from my laptop to the desktop computer and thereby I could get online using my shared connection facility of HTC Hero and its usb cable. Nice!

Anyway, it struck me that network interface cards actually flash their lights when the power of the computer is off. So maybe it is the firmware in the Intel card that had gotten the hiccups?

Solution

So I shut down my computer and removed the power cable for a few minutes. Then I started it again, and what do you know:

It worked again!

Update: I finally got this error a handful of times and have now installed the following from Intel (not from Dell, since that download said that I already had the latest drivers). We’ll see if problem goes away completely or not. After this install, the driver version went from 10.0.0.2 to 10.1.6.0.

Intel drivers

5 Responses to “Suddenly unidentified network in Windows 7”

  1. sean says:

    Have you updated your driver lately? If I were you I’d either: 1) use windows to ‘roll back’ the PREVIOUS driver versions for your networking/wireless (I discovered that my spotty internet this summer was caused by a driver update sent to me by windows update back in June), or 2) the opposite – head on over to radarsync and find out which NEW driver you need and install that. I bet it’s one of the two. A lot of people think a driver either works or it doesn’t, but often a bad driver works somewhat.

  2. admin says:

    Yes, I believe you are correct. The computer is only a little over a month old and I will wait to see if the problem repeats itself. I did notice however that my driver version is 10.0.2.2 and radarsync lists a driver for this card as version 10.0.6.0. Thanks!

  3. Joe says:

    Having the exact same problems as you are. However I am using a Marvell Yukon 88E8056 ethernet controller. Thres a new driver out for these cards every month, none have solved the problem for me. Any luck finding a solution?

  4. admin says:

    @Joe: One might suspect that the error is somehow related to Windows 7. Obviously Windows 7 does a little bit more with network connectivity than Vista since it can warn (with a yellow exclamation icon) if the router loses connectivity with internet.

    I haven’t seen the error in a month or so, but I don’t know yet if it is gone for good or not. I did get the error once or twice after installing the most recent drivers.

    One other thing that struck me was that maybe it could also be an unfortunate combination of some other faulty (or near-faulty) equipment on the network that sends “unusual” packets to the network card. My router died a week ago and it might not have anything at all to do with this, but it is something to keep in mind. I’ll have to wait another month or so with the new router and see if the error comes back or not.

  5. Vijay Bhovan says:

    Wow great solution – unplug power for a 1 minute.
    Worked for me. I was messing around it drives and reinstall etc.. for days.

    Thank you so much for sharing that.
    People like you are very good people.

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