Must constantly repair network connection

cyrusuncc used Ask the Experts™
I have a machine that is running Windows XP Home Edition SP2.  The computer is directly connected to a cable modem.  The main problem is that this computer will stop working on the internet until the network connection is repaired.  This can last a couple hours, or a couple minutes.  Repairing the network connection always seems to fix the problem.  I know that it is probably not the cable modem, because if i directly connect my laptop to it, it doesn't have the same issue.

Any ideas?
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I forgot to mention...  i have tried removing & reinstalling the network adaptor, several "fix tcp/ip" programs, spyware scanners, virus scanners, etc...

hi, how old is the desktop ? Because if it's old, then it should take longer to established the connection.  Also every time you unplug and plug a different computers into the modem, it's take sometime for it to re-established the connection.   Since you have more than one computer, i would recommended you get a router.  You can find one online for around $30.  That would let you share internet connection.
Agree with newbieky,
Get a DSL router.... it is even more secure. Plugging your computer directly to the modem is asking for trouble.
Have you tried getting a different NIC card. Have you checked if there is newer driver.


Seems like a corrupted registry

CHKDSK run it to fix corrupted registry


You probably are experiencing problems with HOME XP networking, it is crippled compared to XP Pro, and if you went to XP Pro, you would not have this problem.  But before you shell out more money to M$, try this --

remove all networking components from networking in windows (TCP/IP will not go).  Then go to device manager, and remove the networking adapter.  At this stage, if there were updated drivers for the NW card, you should have downloaded them.  In that case, go to windows/inf/other, and remove the INF file that relates to your adapter, specifying the old drivers.

Now reboot.  Watch the device reinstall, and if it needs to be pointed to the new drivers you downloaded, do that now.  It will reinstall the drivers, and then you complete the network setup, always choosing a residential gateway.  Now find out the DNS servers of the cable company, and put them in the TCP setup on the computer (or the router, if you have one).  You have now rebuilt networking in full.

If this fails to solve the problem, go to XP Pro, and install anew if you can, else install over XP home.

does your isp require 2 mac addr's?  mine has to have the mac addr of the modem & either the nic on the pc or the router if on home netwk.  if it does & you switch computers, then it can't verify the mac addr to which the acct is tied to.

another thing to look at is the possiblity that the problem is on their end.  i had a problem where all pc's on my netwk kept dropping out/in.  the problem was the ip addr assigned hadn't been renewed on their end because my router didn't release it - i had to shut everything off overnight for it to release that ip & grab a new one the next day.
Another option that you may be running into is your desktop not being able to negotiate the speed and duplex settings very well. I have had a very similar experience with some machines (new and old) over the years and the solution I found that worked best was to hard set the speed (10 or 100 meg) setting and the duplex setting manually.

This can be done in XP by opening the properties on the network device. Then under the general tab choosing the configure button, Then under the advanced tab of this new window, choose speed and duplex. The setting will be what ever appears in the drop down on the right under the heading of value. 10 half is as simple as it gets (10 half is 10 meg, half duplex). This setting will stop your computer from auto negotiating this info with the dsl router, if you hard set this it does make sense to try and hardset the router end as well, but it is not 100% necessary.

Why this may help: if your computer is negotiating 10 full but the router is negotiating 10 half they will both talk for a while. As traffic passes you will find more and more errors and re-tries. After a time the devices realize that they really can not talk to each other and stop, by repairing the connection you basically stop and restart the interface, thus restarting the process.

Just my thoughts, hope they help.


The system is not too old.  its a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz system.
I suppose i should have been more descriptive.  The site only has one computer, but to test it i plugged my laptop in.  I have contemplated using a router there anyway, but wanted to fix this problem first.

chkdsk found file system errors, fixed them, but still having same problem.

i doubt the problem is with xp home, as my laptop is running the same os with no problems.

i've tried removing the nic card, but it doesn't show the add new hardware wizard, it just adds the card by itself.  Its a built in, Intel Pro/100 VE Network Connection.

Where could i find updated drivers or an install program for this?

the isp does not restrict by mac address

i tried setting various speeds, but all experienced the same issue.


the nic is a built in "Intel Pro/100 VE Network Connection" that doesn't have a driver's disk... any ideas on getting a new driver for this?

Check this site to download driver select os and click download



Thanks for the link to the driver.  Unfortunately there is no change.

I've made a temporary fix that will work for now.  For the moment, the cable modem is connected via usb to the computer, and its stable.

I would still like to get the ethernet working, because i will be putting a router in here soon.

Any other suggestions?
do you have restore disk?  I think you might need to do a system restore since it looks like system file is corrupted.

try this command sfc/all in command and provide windows xp cd
I'm going to have to go out on a limb and recommend not connecting a windows computer directly to the internet.  Three cheers for cheap linksys routers, befsr41 eh?

did you try another pci nic (onlinerack)?
have you called the cable company to run diagnostics on the line?
If it is working through the USB, it could be the NIC card.....  Try going into the advaced options of the NIC and disable some of the error checking, disable the power saver too.,.... Nic cards are not expensive, you can probably return it if it does not fix it......  


well, the usb was working for a while...  now its showing the exact same symptoms as the ethernet port was.

the internet works for a minute (sometimes under a minute) then it needs to be repaired.
so modem thru ethernet to pc built in nic = problem
and modem thru usb to pc usb = problem
but not when connected to laptop

when you set up your acct with your isp, did they require any mac addr's (normally they need the one for the modem & sometimes require an additional one for a router or nic)?

you're absolutely sure it isn't the modem, but it is also unlikely that both your nic & usb ports are messed up, so that only leaves the o/s - so try backing up your data, wiping the drive, & reinstalling (be sure to have cd key).


i just tried the sfc /scannow with no luck.

that is my "last resort" .. wiping out the hd and starting over.  Unfortunately, there are other circumstances that do not allow me to do so for a while.  I was really hoping to get this problem resolved.

I'm thinking about replacing the hd, and fresh installing the os on that.  Any thoughts or ideas about that?  I have to keep the original hd in its current state and safe.

that would be ideally better than wiping the original, as you could slave the original to get your data off.  you'd have to clean install everything onto the new drive and maybe eventually wipe the old one so it gets rid of all the excess windows stuff.

did you try a repair install?      "xp in place upgrade/reinstall (repair)"

doing a clean install on a new drive - be sure you have the cd key for xp (need all updates again)      xp hm clean install

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