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Dell Inspiron 5150 with Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated network card - network cable unplugged

Posted on 2006-06-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Most of the time when I have a good network cable connected to my router and plugged into this laptop there is a status of 'Network cable unplugged'.  However, intermittently it is connected and internet access is fine.  I have the latest driver from Dell installed and I have removed the adapter in Device Manager and reinstalled it but the behavior is the same.  Any advice on troubleshooting and repairing this would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.
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Question by:marathonman330
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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16825508
replace your cable or plug into a different port o the router.
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Author Comment

by:marathonman330
ID: 16825527
I have tried 2 different cables that are both working fine with my PC.  I have tried 2 different ports on the router plus plugging the laptop directly into my cable modem.  Most of the time the laptop thinks it is unplugged.
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Assisted Solution

by:jamietoner
jamietoner earned 400 total points
ID: 16825546
Try updating the bios to newest version and if the issue persists its most likly a failing nic where known good cables and ports on the router have been tryed. If the system is still in warranty contact dell to get the motherboard replaced.
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Author Comment

by:marathonman330
ID: 16825584
I have the latest BIOS version.  I'm afraid that it is the NIC/motherboard failing but am hoping for another solution.  It is not under warranty.  Could it possibly be the contacts on the network connection being dirty?  If so, how would I clean them?  Thank you.
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Assisted Solution

by:Irwin Santos
Irwin Santos earned 400 total points
ID: 16825596
i concur with jamietoner...if the simple things didn't work for you...the NIC is on the motherboard (most times) and has to be replaced.  Some notebook computers have a separate card like the IBM Thinkpads, where you just have to remove that particular board...however, the majority of Dell notebooks are all packed on to the system board.
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Assisted Solution

by:willcomp
willcomp earned 400 total points
ID: 16825919
Check connector pins in jack.  They can get bent down and make intermittent contact.  I use a sharp point J tool to pry them back up.  It's a relatively common problem, perhaps I have clumsy customers.
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Accepted Solution

by:
mysticaldan earned 800 total points
ID: 16825938
As Willcomp above also says What you can try is to check the RJ-45 socket on your laptop and see if the pins inside are straight and not bent or anything. It does seem like a bad socket problem so whenever the connection gets made the network comes online and when its loose its not. Another way to test this would be to move the cable up and down when inserted in the socket so as to twist the RJ-45 jack inside the socket and see if the NIC comes online or not. Make sure you hold any position for a few seconds. I have had smilar problems with desktop NIC's also and usually i can pry the connector pins inside the NIC a little to the upside and all works well. I also scratch the NIC pins cause sometimes due to oxidation they might seem fine but the contact doesnt get made properly. Also remember that this could be a similar problem from the router side also so you might wanna try your laptop in some other networked area like a Switch or another router just before you take any concrete measures.

Another thing you can try is to disable power manageemnet features and see if that helps.

Dan
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Author Comment

by:marathonman330
ID: 17028391
It was a bad RJ-45 socket.  When I connected a cable and tilted it upward then I would be online.  Thank you for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 17047336
cool .thank you!
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Expert Comment

by:mysticaldan
ID: 17048515
9 out of 10 times similar solution works. I am glad it worked out for u you. If something else came up you can always ask us :)

Dan
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