Lan Connection/NIC issue

Hello all:

I have run into an issue that I can't seem to resolve and hope to find someone on here that may be able to point me in a direction I have not tried.

I have a clients computer and he tell me that after a big storm his computer no longer connects to the internet.

After trouble shooting the onboard NIC it does in fact appear to be fried. So I just put in a new PCI Express Gigabit Card. Initially I am getting a link light on the NIC, but I am also getting the "network cable unplugged" error. So I decide to do one of the many steps people have mentioned when trouble shooting this problem. I changed the speed and duplex setting. BAM! It's up! Then about 15 seconds later, it's down again. The only way to get it to link up is to change the speed/duplex setting for the NIC again. Otherwise all you get is a solid status light on the NIC and the same cable unplugged error.

Sometimes after rebooting, it will not even show a link light at all. I go into the device manager and I see a Code 10 error "This device cannot start."

I understand when something doesn't work and it makes it a lot easier to trouble shoot than when something works intermittently because you can eliminate certain causes.

I have tried:
*  two different brand new NICs and get the same result.
* a different PCI slot with the same results.
* testing the PSU and it passed.
* swapping out PSU with a new higher wattage one, just in case. No joy either.

This is an older computer.
Acer Aspire M1100
Vista Home  - SP2
AMD Athlon Dual Core 2.10GHz
2GB RAM
32-Bit OS

I am wondering if the electrical surge may have just screwed up the motherboard enough that it allows the computer to boot up and function fully in all other aspects other than network access???

I would appreciate any insight you all may have to add to this problem. Thank you.
Driven1791Asked:
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tailoreddigitalConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Halfway through reading your post i was thinking,

"I am wondering if the electrical surge may have just screwed up the motherboard enough that it allows the computer to boot up and function fully in all other aspects other than network access???"


Hopefully another expert can give a solution, but i'd say the board is done.    How do the capacitors look?

This is bad motherboard capacitors,
Bad CapacitorsAlthough this image doesn't show it, capacitors will leak crap out the top too.
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dbruntonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
How exactly is this NIC connected to the Internet?  It must be plugged into some type of box.

Also look at swapping the Ethernet cable or testing the cable to make sure it is OK.

I'll presume there is a telephone system involved as well, this is some type of broadband.  Any static on line when you use handpiece?
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Driven1791Connect With a Mentor Author Commented:
@tailoreddigital: That's kind of where I am at on this job, so I figured that I would pick some other brains to see if there was anything else worth trying.

The capacitors are all good.

@dbrunton: I have a home office where I work on most of my jobs. I run the cable from the computer in question to a small switch, and that runs to my dsl modem. I have other computers connected to this configuration that all work well. The cable has been tested as well.
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tailoreddigitalConnect With a Mentor Commented:
i second your ideas.   Now there are 2 that have come to the same conclusion.
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AkinsdConnect With a Mentor Network AdministratorCommented:
Try resetting the netshell, maybe that will help.

netsh winsock reset

netsh interface ipv4 reset

Reboot
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dbruntonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Boot from a Live Linux CD such as https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD

If that has the same problems talking to the Internet then it is hardware, if it doesn't then it is software.  At present we can't tell.
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nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
did you disable the onboard lan in the bios?  if not, worth a try
but it is possible the motherboard is fried - as you supposed
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Driven1791Connect With a Mentor Author Commented:
I tried all of the recommendations here, but none worked. I just replaced the MB and everything reloaded just fine.

Thanks everyone for your response.
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HospitalITGuyCommented:
Looks like you missed the comment from  tailoreddigital

Hopefully another expert can give a solution, but i'd say the board is done.
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Driven1791Author Commented:
No answer directly solved the problem. Although, every suggestion helped to reassert my initial assumption that the motherboard was failing.
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