On-board Gigabyte LAN stops working

We have a number of Win7 computers with Gigabyte motherboards and are using the on-board Realtek LAN to connect to the internet and access the department network.  Occasionally, the internet will either not connect, or will be painfully slow.  We have found that by disabling and then enabling the  Local Area Connection will usually solve the problem.  One user downloaded and installed a new driver from Realtek, and the problem seemed to go away. Last week's flood of Windows Updates seems to have broken the fix.  I can't believe that we are the only ones to experience this problem, has anyone else run into it, and is it the driver?
donno46Asked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I am fairly sure it is not the Windows 7 updates (as my own two machines are fully up-to-date and exhibit no such slowness).  

I would follow up on the one machine above. Re-download the newest driver, uninstall the existing driver, restart, and upon restart, point to the new driver. Make sure, for starters, you are using the default settings for the driver.

... Thinkpads_User
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The other thing you might try is to check the power management settings of the wired NIC (and any wireless NIC for that matter) and make sure that the NIC's cannot be turned off to save power. This may explain why they cannot connect, but is not usually associated with slowing down.  

Also, use the vendor's driver, not the Microsoft driver, if you can, and generally do not use Microsoft hardware updates at all. .... Thinkpads_User
B12BLIBCommented:
Remove any 3rd party NIC management tools and let the OS handle its thing.
There has been a bug with some mainboards and Win7, most manufacturers released a BIOS update.
It primarily affected performance, though perhaps some boards had more issues.

Probably would recommend installing latest mainboard chipset drivers, and look if there is a BIOS update. Read the description of what it fixes. If applicable install.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Are these no-name computers or brand name computers. Most brand name computers that come with Windows 7 are certified, so the motherboards should not be suspect in such computers. No-name, roll-your-own, or upgrades are a different matter and in those cases, I agree with the above. ... Thinkpads_User
donno46Author Commented:
They are roll-my-owns. Windoze is the only mgt tool, didn't think of the bios update, will try that on the 2 worst machines tomorrow. Will also check on newer chipset drivers.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The motherboards may not be Windows certified in this case and may be at the root of your issue.
 ... Thinkpads_User
B12BLIBCommented:
What is the mainboard modem, and realtek NIC model?
Might help as well for info.
B12BLIBCommented:
Mainboard model I meant
donno46Author Commented:
Mobos are all Gigabyte, all the ultra durable models, and all for AMD.  Other than that, they were all built over the last year or so.  I choose them based on the user's needs and budget.  Can't imagine Gigabyte not being Win certified.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try a different NIC (use an Intel NIC card if you can get one) and see if that works. You need to isolate between a NIC problem and a more difficult motherboard compatability problem. ... Thinkpads_User
B12BLIBCommented:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/24080-42-onboard-realtek-rtl8168-8111-gigabit-ethernet

Some other guy having similar issues. Don't think any of the suggestions worked.
Are all the users in the same building or are they home users at personal location?

Still tempted to say chipset at least. Thats the driver which steers communication between MoBo & OS driver
BIOS optional. Drivers should be downloaded from Gigabyte preferably, even if older then MS updates. MS Updates generally has buggy drivers I noticed. Perhaps they are all installing those?

When in doubt revert to what worked is my opinion. So

-Chipset drivers from gigabyte or intel.
-NIC drivers from Gigabyte
-See if Gigabyte has a firmware update for the NIC card
-If all in the same office perhaps the router there has an issue, dropping user connections. Does not always have to be the NIC itself

http://blogs.technet.com/b/teamdhcp/archive/2009/02/12/dhcp-broadcast-flag-handling-in-windows-7.aspx

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donno46Author Commented:
Thanks for the links.
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