Limited or no Connectivity through LAN (Ethernet)

Posted on 2009-04-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
A clients computer is unable to access the internet at all. When I first went and saw them, I found that their modem had a dodgy power button and any slight movement would turn the modem off. 1 new modem later and the problem still remains.

After checking the usual - IE settings, LAN settings - I determined that it must be a faulty onboard NIC. 1 new NIC card later and the problem remains. I took the machine home.

I have a wireless Desktop with ICS set up through its nic to my 'test' PC and a wireless laptop successfully accessing the net with my Belkin Modem router. 1 Vista, the rest XP pro. So my Router is a happy camper.

I wired the clients PC directly to the router through ethernet (they have XP home) on both the new card and the onboard and get "Limited Or No Connectivity" bubble appear.


=  Checked IE settings: Never dial up, obtain automatically, no proxy, no dialup accounts left behind

=  Local Area Connection is set to obtain automatically. Tried to set a static IP with the same settings as my test pc (using that machines PSU as that is broken on clients machine too) with the same result.

=  Tried firefox (clutching at straws, but you never know). Same deal.

=  Found a remnant folder of CA eTrust security suite in the program folders. This had obviously not been uninstalled correctly\fully. *feigns shock*   Found a previous post on here relating to this and removed all reg entries and folders. Nothing checked in startup menu.  (This is my biggest suspicion of the culprit)

=  Drivers are fine. (brand new PCI nic card remember?)

=  I have reset the TCP\IP through cmd (netsh ip reset) and also gone into the local area connection and reinstalled through there.

=  Ethernet cable works fine with other machines so it is not a faulty cable.

=  Rebooted my router for good measure

They tell me it just "stopped working a couple of months ago." I have tried my laptop on their connection just to test it out and it works fine. If I had to guess I would say that the CA firewall remnant (it was in the startup list) laid dormant until SP3 came along and played its screwy game on it.
I am at a total loss and am tearing my hair out! Any help is greatly appreciated. I am really really trying to avoid a reinstall and just really really wanna go play with my new laptop I got today!
Question by:Monkey_Bazooka
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment


    If it is a wireless connection, be sure SSID was inputed correctly, and also check if the DHCP on the router was enabled, and the ip addresses are configured correctly.

    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    Is there any firewalls or Antivirus programs (besides the remnense of CA eTrust) on the computer? If so, I would disable and even uninstall them. I've seen this behavior, especially with them Antivirus 'suites'.

    Also, look in your Network Connections and make sure that only your Local Area Connection exists. I remember one time a connection called 'gateway for windows' (or something like that) was somehow installed and was messing everything up.

    check your Local Area Connections Properties, on the general tab, you only really need TCP/IP and typically File and Printer Sharing, and Client for Microsoft Networks installed. If anything else appears, I would uninstall it.

    Next thing you can try is to start disabling services. Short of a complete reinstall, would be to start uninstalling software.

    I hope this helps

    Author Comment

    Not wireless. And there is definitely no other AV or firewall on there. By all accounts and purposes it should be connecting with no issues? Again all help is appreciated.
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    >until SP3 came along?

    Use the update fix of service pack 2.

    Good Luck!

    Author Comment

    Sorry, missed that one. Tried it and got error stating that it was a higher version than the fix was meant for. Something along those lines, anyways. Thanks for the input, though, every bit of info is helpful. I know this is a hard one (imagine how I feel getting shut down at every possible solution!) but I know someone has the answer.

    And they will be crowned king! :)

    Thanks again guys.
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    Try changing NetBIOS from Default (use if needed blablabla) to Use NetBIOS over TCP/IP

    Try completely taking out winsock

    Step 1: Delete the 'corrupted' registry keys.
    This is usually safe, however, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. And you might back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs.
    Back up and restore the registry  ( )

    Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
    In Registry Editor, locate the following keys, right-click each key, and then click Delete:


    (if you see any others - like a GoogleSock -- take them out also. A bad GoogleBar uninstall had me running in circles for days)

    When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
    Note: Restart the computer after you delete the Winsock keys. Doing so causes the Windows XP operating system to create new shell entries for those two keys. If you do not restart the computer after you delete the Winsock keys, the next step does not work correctly.

    Step 2: Install TCP/IP Right-click the network connection, and then click Properties. Click Install. Click Protocol, and then click Add. Click Have Disk. Type C:\Windows\inf, and then click OK. On the list of available protocols, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click OK.
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    Added note:
    sometimes you get lucky and don't need to do the Have Disk part, Windows just starts installing it.

    Author Comment

    Okay. Sorry for the delay. Tried the above with no luck once again. I ended up rolling back to SP2 just to see if there was any change. Lo and behold - instant internet! I reinstalled SP3, thinking maybe it was a dodgy install the first time. That dreaded bubble reappears and internet is gone again.

    So, my conclusion is that SP3 has broke it, but how? No fixes from Microsoft that I can see.

    Possiblity that there are remnants of CA (possibly Zone alarm as well? Thought I saw the name in the registry somewhere) that is mixing with the SP3 update causing the issue? Have read many posts where people have simply turned off the zone alarm firewall and internet has been fine, but obviously I don't have that luxury.

    Still doubtful its driver issues - 2 NIC cards with the exact same issue is just too coincidental.

    What do you guys reckon? Try a reinstall (still REALLY reluctant. If it didn't work I would be charging the client for nothing and I will have wasted my time) or rollback and turn off updates? Unless of course someone knows of an M$ fix?

    Thanks fellas.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I think it'd be worthwhile testing to make sure its not some bizzare hardware problem, such as a faulty PCI Bus (Been there!).

    Use UBCD4Win to test.
    If you're not familiar with this, it is based of Bart's PE (Pre-installed Environemnt), meaning it is effectively a copy of windows you can run from a CD drive. This lets you test whether a totally independent copy of the operating system will show the same problems or not. I'd expect that it will work fine, but its worth the test anyway.

    Head over to, follow the instructions, and see how you go.

    Also, you'll need a windows XP CD.

    If UBCD4Win works, it means it is definitely a problem on the installed OS.

    I'd next recommend using the Windows Install CleanUp Utility to totally remove any remaining bits of the CA Firewall you mentioned. It'll create a list of all installed (or partially installed) programs, and give you the option to remove them. Head over to for more information.

    Hope this helps.
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    SP3 has been causing some wierd problems. Including breaking networks.
    I can't remember if a reinstall with SP3, then setting up the network did the trick, or if they just had to stay with SP2. But it seems like SP2 was the answer one time, along with a bug note to MS.

    Accepted Solution

    I ended up trying to downgrade to SP2 again and then the net still wouldn't work (remember the first time it worked immediately). After headbutting a brick wall for about half an hour, because that seemed a less painful thing to do for a while, I backtracked a bit and thought I double check the firewall again.

    Windows firewall was on, so I turned it off to test. I did a double take and saw that it said a firewall was still on. I checked and..... Zone Alarm was the firewall!! Wha...?!

    I couldn't turn it off because there was nowhere I could access it - not installed anywhere accessible. I tried the Windows Install CleanUp Utility suggested by Jaduff above but it couldn't find it. I ended up finding a folder - c:\windows\system32\zonelabs. I deleted it and even though it says that zonealarm is still the firewall and turned on, internet is now accessible.

    I turned off updates so they don't get SP3 again. Only solution to completely remove this monstrosity of a program would be a reinstall no doubt. If they want to I will - at more cost to them of course - so I will leave it up to them.

    Thanks for everyones help, there were some great suggestions and will be helpful for anyone else who comes across this post.
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    Nice job of tracking that down. I haven't heard of Zone doing that before.

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