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PC will not acquire IP address / Laptop works fine

Posted on 2006-07-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
A couple days ago I came upon my desktop computer and noticed that the internet was no longer working on it.  I tried power-cycling everything, but the computer would just not obtain an IP.  All the correct lights are working on my cable modem and wireless router.  To eliminate the cable modem and router as possible causes, I used my laptop and was able to easily sign on to the wireless network, which issued an IP and I was able to surf the net.  

I’ve tried a few things with my desktop, including the Winsock2 fix per Microsoft, but used System Restore after it seemed to cause more harm than good.  Also, I have tried 3 different CAT5 cables and none have worked.  Usually Windows either says network cable unplugged (when it’s plugged in) or will say limited or no connectivity and give me a 169 IP.

Currently my desktop has an IP for some reason; the router issued one.  It doesn’t say limited connectivity and is connected, sending and receiving data.  But it’s strange; it’s like only ½ working.  It partially allowed me to sign on to IRC, my DNS redirector connected to the service momentarily (and disconnected) and it started to load websites, but didn’t actually complete anything.  I tried to log on to my router, because since last night, my wireless connection isn’t showing up anymore, but trying to connect to the router times out (even though it’s supposedly my Gateway/DNS).  I’ve also tried pinging the router and I get 50% loss.

I restarted the computer and when it tried to obtain an IP, was unable to and timed out.  However, I plugged my laptop in to the router directly and it obtained an IP immediately and was able to surf the net.  I was also easily able to sign on to the router and refreshed the Wireless Info and the wireless network option came back.  So the laptop has no problems interacting with the router and getting on the internet, but for some reason the desktop cannot.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  I’m still not completely sure where the problem lies, and I assume my WinSock data is ok because I’ve been able to partially connect to the internet.
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Question by:deftone56
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by:kaerez
ID: 17072271
This is a known issue on certain hardwares (I had it also in a PC).
Power off the PC, disconnect the CAT5.
Wait 3 minutes.
Connect the CAT5
Power up the PC.

Should now work.
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heathcote123 earned 500 total points
ID: 17072311
I think you could maybe use a new nic.
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by:jar3817
ID: 17072356
You might want to make sure you didn't get infected with any spyware recently if the machine was working fine previously.
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by:HyeProfile
ID: 17072666
Have you installed/uninstalled any firewalls recently???
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Author Comment

by:deftone56
ID: 17072671
I'll try those things when I get home.  

I also wanted to add that it appears that if I leave my computer alone after restarting and it having "Limited or No Connectivity" that now within a few minutes, it will say "Local Area Network Connected 100Mbps" and be 1/2 connected where some things partially work for a limited time, and then it continues to show its connected, but nothing works, and I cant go to websites or connect to the router.
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by:kaerez
ID: 17072677
As I mentioned this is a known hardware issue.
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Author Comment

by:deftone56
ID: 17072695
I recently uninstalled Limewire because clicking on a search result would pop-up a website.  That was about 2-3 days before having this problem and I didnt make any significant configuration changes since; normal usage (email, websites, IRC).  I have not modified any firewall settings recently.
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Expert Comment

by:kaerez
ID: 17072730
Limewire is a P2P program, this could only be the cause if you were affected
by a virus/trojan or if the drivers were changed.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Cutri
ID: 17072805
Right mouse click on "My Network Places" and go to properties.  Once your connection/s appears right mouse click and select repair.  Also as IPs are assigned against MAC addresses testing another machine isn't always a great test.  Obviously try rebooting your router and do the repair as I mentioned.

Also as it is saying it is connected check your IP settings as your symptoms usually mean you have an incorrect IP assigned, or you have a static address assigned that is not inline with your routers network configuration.
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Author Comment

by:deftone56
ID: 17072847
Reply to: Comment from garycutri

When I attempt to repair the connection, the repair procedure indicates that the IP Renewal failed and leaves me with limited/no connectivity.  I've checked my TCP/IP settings and they are set to auto-obtain IP and DNS info.  I should also note that in trying to troubleshoot this, I have entered the information manually, with the same results (1/2 connectivity - connected, but no usage).

I have also already power-cycled the modem, router, and pc several times, leaving them off for extended periods.

I will try kaerez' suggestion of unplugging the cable for 3 minutes with the pc off and restarting.  I may also try to install a replacement NIC to rule the possibility of bad hardware out (although I show no problems with this hardware).
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Cutri
ID: 17072875
Do you have a spare network card?  It may be your NIC drivers are corrupt, and when you have these issues it's sometime easier to just quickly change the card to test.  
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Author Comment

by:deftone56
ID: 17072906
The current NIC I use is on-board.  I have an unused PCI NIC at home I will try when I get there.
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Expert Comment

by:kaerez
ID: 17072933
If it's a SIS900 then you need to upgrade the drivers.
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Author Comment

by:deftone56
ID: 17072972
It may very well be SIS900.  I will check and update when I get home.  At least my laptop works and I can download stuff and transfer it to the pc.

Its just strange that it stopped working with no warning.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Cutri
ID: 17072982
As the others mentioned this is a common problem that seems to be instantly fixed by a format * (indicating drivers or tcp stack is corrupt) or replacement of the NIC.

* If updating drivers doesn't work
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by:Geisrud
ID: 17073028
Try rolling back any MS hotfixes since this started.  I've had those interfere with all kinds of things.
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Expert Comment

by:skags442
ID: 17075916
i would make sure that the pc isn't infected, atleast before you go and but a new nic, unless that is if you have one sitting around.

i had the same issue a while back and it was a virus.
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Author Comment

by:deftone56
ID: 17075962
I have Norton Corporate and Spyware Terminator on my PC, but my laptop has full internet connectivity and i can D/L and transfer anything to my PC.  What would anyone suggest I run (rather than running scans with either of those programs) to ensure I'm not infected somehow?
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Expert Comment

by:danieljanderson1234
ID: 17077230
Try a different port on the router.
I have a router that was fried by lightning. All the wired ports failed, but wireless still worked just fine.

Or

Try a wireless adapter in the desktop. A USB model should be quick to check.
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Author Comment

by:deftone56
ID: 17077998
It turns out my onboard nic was bad.  I updated the drivers, but the onboard nic still wouldnt work.  The lights on the card lit up and everything, but it wouldnt connect.  I happened to have a new unopened PCI Realtek nic and put that in.  After windows installed the hardware i plugged it into the modem and it got the connection.  I then hooked it into the router and modem and the router gave it an IP.  

I have to award this one to heathcote123 because he suggested a new nic.  Thanks for all the help!
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