Status lights on Intel Pro/100 VE Network Connection

I recently had to reinstall Windows XP on my desktop (Dell Dimension 8300) and so had to re-set up my internet which I share with 4 others in my house.

I noticed that whereas previously there was a green light near the port for the cat5 cable (which I think flashed green) there is now a solid red light which flashes orange. My NIC is an Intel(R) PRO/100 VE and it is built into the motherboard.

Now, the connection seems to be functioning but it does seem to be somewhat slower than it used to be. I have checked that its plugged in properly here and at my friends computer (the host) and believe I have the most up to date driver, so I am at a loss as to why this light has changed colour.

Does anyone know what could of caused this? Or, even better - what do the different colour lights mean? It's one of those little things which is really bugging me.
atheistwithfaithAsked:
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_Commented:
Sounds like it is only connecting at 10 meg. What does it say in the Nic Properties?
If it is set to Auto, try setting it manually to 100 meg.
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MysidiaCommented:
Normally on modern NICs  with 3 LED ports
GREEN Status LED Speed LED green = Link up at 100 meg
GREEN Status LED Speed LED dark = Link up at 10 meg
GREEN Status LED Speed LED orange = Link up at 1000 megabits

But some of the old NICs used Orange to denote 100 meg.
RED Suggests you are at something like 10/Half.
Probably a cabling, port error, or auto-negotiation error.

Perhaps before you re-installed you had the NIC hard-set to 100/Full, and lost that setting when re-installing ?

May be a negotiation issue if your switch was hard-set to 100/Full for that port.
Both sides need to match,  if the switch is  set  to auto-negotiate/auto-switch the speed on that port, then the NIC should ideally be set the same way.

Failing that, hard set to 100/Half,  if you can only change one side  (e.g. unmanaged switch).


I suggest trying a different cable and checking your card, perhaps it was inadvertently damaged physically somehow, when you were in the process of re-installing OS...


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atheistwithfaithAuthor Commented:
In properties it says it is connected at 100Meg.

The desktop had been moved 100 miles and back, during which time I reinstalled windows - so I suppose it is quite possible that physical damage had occurred, though it would seem odd no other functions on the motherboard were affected.

I am not at home right now but will try your suggestions later.
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atheistwithfaithAuthor Commented:
Pretty much on the ball:
Red seems to indicate 100meg
Green indicates 10meg.

Orange flashing indicates data transfer.

Though using red as indicated a faster connection seems counter-intuitive to me, oh well.
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