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LAN Cable Unplugged messages when it is clearly plugged in...


I am getting a message saying my LAN cable is unplugged when it is obviously making a good connection.

WinXP SP2 on Dell Dimension 4500.

I'm using a twisted-cable LAN cable for peer-to-peer Microsoft default network - mshome.

Connecting to a laptop with WinXP (no SP on this one - as soon as I can connect the flipping things I'll get it from the net...).

I just feel it must be something simple...


Avatar of stevenlewis

try forcing the NIC to 10mbit ahlf duplex
Avatar of fatcharlie


Hi Steven,

er, what does that mean?

I'm no expert here, so:

What's the NIC?
Where do I change the setting?

I understand 10Mbit and duplex.


NIC = network interface card
it should be in the properties of the card
right clikc on network places, choose properties, right click on local rea connectin, choose propertied, click on configure (the network adapter), click on advanced, and the connection type

I tried that and now it says it can't start...
You changed it from autosense to 10mbit half and it won't start?

I changed it from Auto sense to 100Mbit full duplex!

Rioght I have now changed it to 10Mbit half duplex it has stopped saying the cable is unplugged.

In the network connections screen,under Status, it says 'disabled, bridged, firewalled'. I right click on tit and select 'enable', whereupon it says 'connection failed!'.

Thanks for the responses - i appreciate it.

>>I'm using a twisted-cable LAN cable for peer-to-peer Microsoft default network - mshome
by this do you mean a crossover cable?
for connecting directly machine to machine, you need a cerossoveer cable, if using a hu or switch or router, then you need a straight thru cat 5 (tow of them, one for each machine)
see here
 for diagrams
and then see here for a how to (get it working)
special thanks to FE for the web site
What are the ip settings on both the computes. Have you checked them properly.
I am pretty sure the ip settings are OK - I have sett them both to manual settings, for the PC, which is also the default gateway, and for the laptop.

I have checked the 'enable NetBios over TCP' box on both machines in the properties for the lan connections.

I have just rebooted after setting both machines to WORKGROUP for their workgroup name.

i notice that after setting the NIC to 10Mbit half duplex, it has now reverted to 'cannot start'.

This one tricked me, when i first clicked 'enable' it changed its description from 'network cable unplugged, bridged, firewalled' to 'disabled, bridged, firewalled' so i thought we had cured the 'cannot start' problem. It seems not.

Keep it coming, guys.

delete the bridge
Ok, I have deleted the bridge from both machines.

The entry in 'Network Connections' for the NIC has been coming and going - i cannot see why.

I have disabled the Loopback adapter and the NIC has reappeared. The NIC is set to 10Mbit half duplex and is now starting up ok (when I right-click and select properties, I then select 'configure' for the card and it shows 'working properly'), but the entry for the properties read: 'network cable unplugged, Firewalled', so i seem to be back at square 1.


I would keep the NIC settings to defaults with out changing. No need to mention default gateway in u r case I guess, But mentioning it wouldnt cause problem. And test the basic things like loopback address...
I go back and ask again, are you using a crossover cable or a straight thru calbe?
and again see here
special thanks to FE for the web site
Definitely a crossover cable.
Still no luck.

The message I get from the properties dialog box is: 'This device cannot start. (Code 10)' - does that make any sense to anyone?

Have I done something wrong installing the card?

In hope,

Hmmmm, that is (unfortunately) a rather generic error message
this is MS take on it
 This device cannot start. (Code 10)
 Device failed to start. Click Update Driver to update the drivers for this device.

On the General Properties tab of the device, click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooting wizard.
 This can be caused by numerous issues
irq conflicts (although xp should be pretty good at avoiding these)
faulty hardware
improper drivers
the card not seated properly

try removing it from device manager, check to make usre the card is in properly (in the slot)
reboot and reinstall the drivers
if possible try another card

I removed the card with device manager, then turned off the PC, grounded it, and removed the card.

I then substituted another card and re booted, after installing the drivers, no luck. I removed that one an went back to teh original. Still no luck.

I'm reasonably sure the card is OK and properly seated in the slot. I feel both cards cannot have the same fault which is producing a 'network cable unplugged' message.

So where does that leave it? Either that slot is buggered (but it's not because I have tried swapping slots) or there is something else wong with teh internal hardware of my machine, or there is something wrong with the software of my machine... I reckon it is an internal hardware or software fault.

Any thoughts anyone, before I rebuild it?


May be a silly question, but is it possible the cable is bad?  If there is a short or a break in it you could easily see issue with connectivity.

Dave Dietz
OK all, no cigar - I had to rebuild it.

Points go to Stephen Lewis for being the most responsive!
Thanks, but since none of us could help, you should ask for a refund. I will post in CS to get your points back for you :-)
well I'm not sure how the protocol works here - but you deserve 'em for keeping on trying!

Thanks anyway!

I've asked CS to refund them, thanks anyway (I've already got lots of points, so I only want them when I fix it) :-)
AAaaaaarrrrggghhhhhh!!!!! Are you still there?
 Chance to eanr those points...
LOL, yep still here :-)

I re built the PC
I rebuilt teh Laptop
After doing that they can see each other and swap files etc! Yippeee!

Now to update them again to teh current patch level of WinXP (wondering whether I ought to give SP2 a miss since it seemed to cause all the problems in the first place...), since they are both at the level of late 2003 currently.

I can connect my PC via the Broadband Modem, but i don't want one machine to get too far ahead of the other, update-wise, so I want to connect them at the same time and sequentially download the patches, keeping them in synchronisation as far as possible.

Except the Laptop cannot now connect to the Internet!

To cut a long story short, I have tried to set the DNS settings manually, automatic etc. but for some reason I cannot get the laptop to connect to the shred connection. I have no router or hub so it's just a simple shared connectiopn.

In the Network Settings window, the shared connection is there for all to see! I can even close the connection with the Laptop, but I cannot get the laptop's IE to connect to teh Internet.

I have LAN Settings set to Automatic in IE's Tools/connections menu, so I cannot for the life of me see what the hell is the matter with the flipping thing!

I am so frustrated I feel like throwing the effing things out of the window and going back to Patagonia. Not that I have ever lived ther but I reckon life is simpler there - and not so cold.

I hope you can help,

OK, on the laptop I need the output of
ipconfig /all
the easiest way for me to see the whole thing is from a prompt type
ipconfig /all >c:\ip.txt
find c:\ip.txt
copy it to a floppy (or transfer it over the network to the machine that you are using to get here)
and then open it in notepad, and paste the contents here
also on the laptop I want you to run these poing tests (I'm assuming you are using ICS)?
ping the isp assigned ip of the host
please post the results here
Right then -


Windows IP Configuration

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :

        Autoconfiguration IP Address. . . :

        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :

        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

Pinging either of the ip addresses you sent just gets a 'destination host unreachable' message after trying the statutary 4 times...


FC (based in the UK, so FCUK)
again are  you using ICS on the host? (internet connection sharing)?
need an answer on this
and also run the same ipconfig /all >c:\ip.txt on the machine connecting here
find c:\ip.txt and paste the conetents here
Yes using sharing - the radio buttons are all checked for 'allow other network users to connect... etc.'; 'Establish a dial up connection.. etc.'; and 'Allow other network users to control...etc.'. I can connect and disconnect from the laptop - wierd - but IExplorer will not use that connection.

for the ipconfig I get:

Windows IP Configuration

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :

        Autoconfiguration IP Address. . . :

        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :

        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

PPP adapter BT Openworld Broadband:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :

        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :

        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :

        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :



If this is from the ICS host, then it's not setup right
Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :

        Autoconfiguration IP Address. . . :

        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :

        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

when  you seetup ICS on the host it will give the ethernet conection these values (always)
gateway will be blank and dns will be disabled on the LAN NIC

to set up ICS correctly on the host
for step by step

see here
How about a reopen (really would like to get this working, and get rid of the "C")
Ok it works! Hallelujah!

It was a combination of the ipconfig - which I have now set manually on the Host for the networking, and running through the set up instructions on

Thanks a mil Stephen - you got me there!


To the moderator:

Please can we arrange it so Setephen gets the points after all? Thanks.
cool, can we reopen this and get the grade changed? a "C" is the lowest grade here, (like an F in school)
Avatar of stevenlewis

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Thanks to both of you!!