I got a new computer in Nov. 2007. It is on most of the time from about 9am to 7pm.
Sometimes I shut down for some hours but most times I do not, unless I'm gone for many hours.
Last night I shutdown. Then I remembered I forgot to send someone an e-mail. I booted up and could not connect to the internet. I got a "first time ever on this machine" two computer icon bottom right of my screen near the clock (like the two little computers that blink green back and forth to show you are connected). I think it said cable not installed or something related to a cable. I called my ISP tech support and I have cable modem. I unplugged all cables and connected again and they led me thru a few things in control panel. Finally they said on our end it looks like your ethernet, etc. is fine. Then he said you may have a bad network card.
I shut down at midnight and planned to take it to the shop at 10am and re-booted at 9am for the fun of it and no issues. I left twice and shutdown twice while I was away and still no issues.
Was my network card possibly overheated?
What makes it go bad?
Do they have a "normal life span" or should they never need replacing?
Is that something I could replace myself like a video card?
My computer has a fan and it does not take too much room heat to get it roaring. It can be rather loud and run along time, so that should-could prevent a part from overheating.
Is the network card and ethernet card two different things?