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Major TCP/IP trouble - cannot get any sort of network activity

Posted on 2007-12-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I've got  Windows XP SP2 laptop here in the office, and the user today complained of not being able to get on the internet, e-mail, network files, etc.  I noticed the DHCP and DNS client services won't start. An error pops up citing dependent services not starting when I try to start them manually.

I looked around a bit more and i saw the TCP/IP Protocol Driver in the Device Manager (under non-Plug-and-Play Drivers) had an exclamation point next to it. I made the mistake of uninstalling it thinking I could reinstall it there, and now I can't get it to reappear in this section even though I've reinstalled the TCP/IP on the NIC many times. I continue to get TCP/IP errors in the Event Viewer, saying "specified driver is invalid."

How can I get the TCP/IP Protocol Driver to appear in the device manager again? I assume that its absence there might be the reason for all this.

Any and all help would be appreciated.

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Question by:afmtech715
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by:2PiFL
ID: 20424700
I would uninstall  the NIC in Device Manager, reboot, let XP install it again in the hopes that tcp/ip gets repaired in the process.
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by:afmtech715
ID: 20424768
2PiFL; Just tried that. No luck. The Event Viewer still has the same TCP/IP errors - "specified driver is invalid" and the TCP/IP Protocol Driver isn't in the Device Manager.
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by:davorin
ID: 20426462
hi,

Spyware is cousing really odd problem, so I woud sugest you to try to scan PC with antispyware sw.
(spybot, adaware, best results I am geting with counterspy).

Then you can try to install adidtional NIC on PCMCIA or USB. (To see if it is HW related problem).

Ragards, Davorin
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by:davorin
ID: 20428239
Another - faster option:

Try to make a system restore to a date before the problem appeared.

Regards, Davorin
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by:afmtech715
ID: 20428273
Davorin: Yeah, I wanted to do a system restore, but for some odd reason there are no restore points saved! The only restore point I'm able to access is the most recent one, which in this case, was from a few hours ago.

I will look into the spyware thing...though I think at this point, recovering from the damage may need more than removing spyware.
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by:afmtech715
ID: 20442260
Anyone have any other advice to offer? I could really use some help with this before I resorting to formatting.
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by:davorin
ID: 20442463
I'm sorry to hear that you have no luck with restore point.
Let's firstly try to check for spyware and let me know if it was cousing the problems.
In most cases is enough to clean the PC and then also all other problems are gone.

Regards, Davorin
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by:afmtech715
ID: 20443824
Spyware scan just came up clean (after fixing some DSO Exploits).
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by:afmtech715
ID: 20443853
...though now the TCP/IP Protocol Driver DOES appear in the Device Manager, just with a yellow exclamation point (saying error code 24- the device is not present, is not working properly, or does not have all of its drivers installed). Strange, as it wasn't there at all before.

Still, I have no idea how to correct it.

<sorry, I wasn't sure how to edit my last post>
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by:davorin
ID: 20448788
Noticing changes is a good thing (relativly speaking). It looks like that in fact is malware related problem.

I can not tell you that you will able to clean your pc, but it is worth to try if you don't want to reinstall OS.
Try to scan PC using counterspy (CS). If any program can clean PC it is this one. (I supose that you haven't clean the PC using this program. SB and adaware don't always detect all treats)
One problem is that you won't be able to install CS updates as you don't have inet access.
Then try to reinstal TCP/IP driver, update CS (can take a really long time) and repeat the scan.
I'm crossing may fingers hoping that will help.
 
If it won't, I'm a little bit out of ideas.
(Maybe manual checking is exploits were cleaned properly, but this could be really pain in tha a... )
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by:afmtech715
ID: 20451862
Still no luck...I ran Counterspy, it found 12 minor threats - I had it clean them, restarted, and still the same problem.

Also, last night I reinstalled Windows (over itself) and I still have the same situation, with TCP/IP Protocol Driver having that error code 24 thing going on (as does the IP Network Address Translator) in the Device Manager..

I'm about to go buy a USB-to-Ethernet adapter as my last resort. If that doesn't work, I'll format unless any other ideas come up. Thanks.
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by:afmtech715
ID: 20452750
No luck with the USB-ethernet adapter either.

I'll cross my finger and hope someone here can bail me out on this...otherwise, I'll format tomorrow.
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by:davorin
ID: 20456078
As you are so far (format pending), you could try to remove all NIC drivers including TCP/IP protocol and reinstall them.

How to uninstall and reinstall TCP/IP

If TCP/IP is not working and the command "netsh interface ip reset resetlog.txt" fails to resolve the problem, you can try the following procedure in Windows XP or Windows 2003 Server, which basically enables the TCP/IP uninstall function that is normally not available in these operating systems.

In brief, you have to do the following:
Enable the uninstalling of TCP/IP
Uninstall TCP/IP
Reinstall TCP/IP
Reboot

Complete procedure
Open regedit (click on [Start], Run..., type: regedit , click on [OK]
In the left pane navigate to the following two keys and delete them:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
         \SYSTEM
          \CurrentControlSet
           \Services
            \Winsock

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
         \SYSTEM
          \CurrentControlSet
           \Services
            \WinSock2
 
Optional backup of the TCP/IP configuration file: Close regedit, open Windows Explorer, and locate the nettcpip.inf file in %winroot%\inf (for example in: C:\WINDOWS\inf). Make a backup copy to restore later, if needed.
Open the nettcpip.inf in the editor (for example, in notepad.exe).
Under the section [MS_TCPIP.PrimaryInstall], change "Characteristics = 0xa0" to "Characteristics = 0x80" and resave the file.
Open Network Connections, right-click on Local Area Connection, and select Properties.
Click on Install, Protocol, Have disk, and type the path to the inf folder you used above, for example: c:\windows\inf
Choose TCP/IP from the list. This will take you back to the properties screen, but now the [Uninstall] button is available, which was the purpose of the above procedure.
Highlight TCP/IP and click on [Uninstall].
If you're not in a hurry, reboot at this point. Ignore the warning messages that a lot of services are failing.
Optional: If you saved a backup copy of nettcpip.inf, restore it now.
Open Network Connections, right click on Local Area Connection, and select Properties
In the properties of Local Area Connection click Install, Protocol, "Have disk", and type the same path again, for example: c:\windows\inf
Choose TCP/IP from the list and install it.
Reboot.

If you haven't applied SP2 after yesterdays windows  reinstall do it now.

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Author Comment

by:afmtech715
ID: 20460245
davorin: Followed your instructions to a tee, and all seemed to go smoothly, but still no luck. I am now (once again) missing the TCP/IP Protocol Driver from the Device Manager completely. I guess I'm out of luck here...
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davorin earned 500 total points
ID: 20463744
Now it's sixth day you are trying to solve this problem.
I'm sorry that none of ideas helped you to solve the problem.
I think it is time for format...

Regards, Davorin
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Author Comment

by:afmtech715
ID: 20466468
Yep. I'm formatting right now.

Thanks for the effort, guys.
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Expert Comment

by:renichol
ID: 33205805
I had the same issue. I replaced the tcpip.sys file in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers with a known good file from another XP system.  Rebooted the machine and the network connection started working.  The TCP/IP Protocol Driver no longer had an exclamation point.
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