Link to home
Start Free TrialLog in
Avatar of veldwolf

asked on

network adapter error

My system recognizes my Network hardware, but will not install their drivers. When I choose to install,  the system goes through the motions, but ends with a window that says: Cannot install this Harware. There was a problem installing this hardware (the name of the hardware) An error occurred during the installation of the device. The system cannot find the file specified.
This behavior is for all network hardware, i.e. Ethernet, wireless adapter, etc...
I have a Ralink wireless card and an Nvidia nForce onboard ethernet adapter.

All devices were functioning properly until i removed Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

I have tried a winsock reset, i have even taken a brand new, never seen before network card
and tried installing it. Same thing happens.

Under device status (via device manager) both devices say:
"this device is not working properly becuase windows cannot load the drivers required for this device (Code 31)

If i try to uninstall the device in all cases it gives the error:
"failed to uninstall the device. the device may be required to boot up the computer"

Windows XP SP2

Please dont tell me to reinstall windows.
Avatar of Journer
Flag of United States of America image

have you tried installing the driver with the manufacturer's driver?  Download the latest nforce for your board from nvidia and try that.  also download the latest drive from ralink.

it seems unlikely that uninstalling your antivirus would uninstall drivers.
what happens when you boot into safe mode with networking?
Avatar of veldwolf


I've tried downloading the drivers, no luck. Bear in mind the same thing happens when I install a brand new ethernet card which has never been used on the PC before.

The behaviour is pretty much the same in safe mode. I get the same uninstall error and the device doesnt function.

I suspect the uninstall went wrong somehow and has affected all the network adapters. In addition, I have Vmware installed, it's network adapter is the only one visible in Network Connections, when i click on it's properties all clients, services and protocols are gone (excpet Client for Microsoft Networks) and if i try to add something like TCP/IP protocol i get the error: "Could not add the request component. The error is: The system cannot find the file specified"
something odd is deffintily going on.  what happens when you uninstall vmware server?

you might want to rebuild the install of the OS.  you can pop in an install CD and run the repair wizard on it.
did you recently install service pack 3 when this problem occurred?
According to this article: if the RunOnce key is missing from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion, it will cause the "system cannot find the file specified" error when attempting to install drivers.  I just had this problem with the video driver of an older Dell with an 845G chipset, and sure enough, the RunOnce key was missing.  Once I added it, I was able to successfully load the video driver.
I just found this thread while Googling the exact same error message that the original poster is experiencing.  I have an XP Pro SP3 desktop with a 965 motherboard and a Netgear WG311T that gives the "unable to find the file specified" error.  It does the same thing with two other network adapters as well, although I was able to install drivers for a Geforce GTX-260 card with no problems.  The RunOnce key is present and accessible, and I even tried deleting and recreating it.  So, in short, the RunOnce key repair I quoted may not resolve this problem with network adapters, although it did help in the case I mentioned above.
Avatar of slsmith
Flag of United States of America image

Link to home
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial
Thanks slsmith!!!  That advice helped me with a similar issue that was stumping me, and I did not really want to format my customer's machine...
Your welcome.  It is suprising how many people this issue has affected.

I can't believe this worked. I've had an old AMD laptop (ze4420us) with 2000 on it lying dormant for 3 years!!! Every year or so I look around for a solution, because I surely could not figure out  the problem....and finally here is the solution.
Thanks smith. I never liked using this laptop with XP (it's dual boot) due to the 256MB ram, but here it is working like a Lomborghini on Windows 2000. Thanks Smith. If I could give you points for someone else's question I would.
Oh man, WinXP pro here. Dell B110 dimension worked here! Thank you SLSMITH!!!

Whew what a ridiculous issue.
4-5 years later and this issue is still hanging around - sad.  The paypal email is defunct so please do not use.  Find a good charitable cause instead.