Ok last night it was working - shutdown - this morning A Network Cable Is Unplugged" but it's not - so after doing all the obvious (news cables, checking with other PCs the connection) - I booted Knoppix linux off a CD and sure enough the Ethernet worked and I could browse the internet. So... not hardware not cables but Vista.
I did a restore back 1 day then 2 days - nothing, I rolled back the etherent driver - nothing - I deleted and un-installed the driver - nothing.
according to the device manager - "this device is working properly" - but still the icon "A Network Cable Is Unplugged" but it's not and fails to even look. ?so in summary, The linux disc shows the connections and hgardware are working, I'm guessing its an update which hasn't been undone by the restore. so... any ideas??