Question about Dell Ethernet Card Network Adapter

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Ethernet connection fails to cable modem

I picked up a used Optiplex GX260 PC for use in GPS updating, etc. I connected the ethernet cable to the PC; however, I cannot get a cable modem connection. My iMac works well on the cable modem, same cable I used to connect to PC (normally connected to Apple Airport).

Wizards do not detect LAN capability. Tried downloading drivers from Dell, no luck.

I surmise my ethernet hardware is inoperative in the PC. Concur, likely?

What are my other options (toss PC, USB wireless to airport, replace ethernet hardware??)?


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Let's do a little bit of troubleshooting and see what we find out. First I assume that you are using some kind of Microsoft operating system. (if not, let me know.)

  1. You say that the cable is working fine. That's a good start.
  2. If you connect your cable to the GX, do you see an orange (connectivity) and a green (traffic) light next to the adapter?
  3. Did you check your Device Manager to see if the adapter is working? (Right-click "My Computer", choose "Manage" and open "Device Manager".You should have an entry under "Network Adapters". The on-board, standard network card is an Intel Pro/1000MT.
  4. If there is no entry, then the adapter is faulty (or not recognized by the Operating System).
  5. If you have an entry - is there a yellow question mark? If so, then the driver is missing. You can download it from Dell's support page here.
  6. If your adapter is broken, you can always try to find either an external USB-to-Ethernet or wireless USB adapter or install a new network card. See example here. Make sure that you get one that also comes with a small installation frame, so it fits your housing. (look at the pics in the link.)
  7. If your network card is fine and you have a driver already installed, it could be your network settings. Is your adapter set to get an IP via DHCP? Open your Control Panel and Network Connections. Do you see an entry there? If so, right-click it and choose "Properties". Scroll down to "Internet Protocol TCP/IP" and double-click it. Are both radio buttons set to "Obtain...automatically"? If not, change that and click "OK" to close all related windows.
If you have any more questions or need more help with any of the steps above, just come back here and leave a comment - I'm happy to help.

Posted on Aug 02, 2010


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