This has finally got me P'd off enough, to ask a question... If I've posted this in the wrong part of EE, let me know, and I'll put links to it in any other section peeps' recommend.
Windows 2000, SP4 etc, on a Tosh Sat' Pro 4600 laptop.
Basically, it's got a problem recognising the internal NIC (Intel Pro 100/VE family)
When it can be persuaded to work, it works flawlessly with no problems whatsoever for days at a time. But, if the PC is restarted, booted or whatever, then Windows if it sees the NIC at all, identifies it as "New Hardware" and all that hassle. If it can reload the drivers, it will create a network connection as "Local Area Connection #3" for example, using "Ethernet Adapter #6" or some such odd combination, more often than not, the first figure will not change, but the adapter number will, but not in the properties of the logical network connection, and it won't let me just select the "new" one from a list.
Most of the time, it will not load any drivers. Even the Intel Promon.exe utility says that no adapter drivers were found.
Now, I have tried all that I know, uninstalling the drivers, hardware, cleaning the registry, etc etc. After a "Big" cleanout, it will install and work OK first time (but with odd numbering) but if then rebooted, it all goes badly wrong again.
I've even left it running Memtest86(v3.3) for days at a time, just in case there is a RAM fault. None found to date.
Windows will work just fine without any network, just that I wish to use it on my LAN, not only to get to other resources, but so I can get to it remotely with VNC etc, for the purpose of remote control of some of my ham shack. (Geek alert!)
I've even tried using another plug in (PCMCIA) network adapter I have, with W2k drivers, and it fouls up with that too, after it has got it working, it will not recognise it correctly for later sessions, resulting in the same overall mess...
Before I flatten the whole thing, and re-install windows from scratch, is there anything I can do to force Windows to only load one set of drivers, and the same set each time, regardless of how and why it identifies the hardware as "New" each time.
So.... Is this a windows problem, or something in the hardware? (the machines internal clock battery is not good) Despite the fact that it also messes up with another known good adapter.
I've "recovered" the Windows product key, and have a Win2k setup CD, but what chance that it will accept the recovered key as valid? The CD I have is for w2kPro, I have to admit I can't remember if this laptop is that version, or just Win2k. Guess this could be a problem, from reading other posts.