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Windows 7 computer has Local Area Connection icon missing

Posted on 2014-10-22
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Last Modified: 2014-10-23
I've got a brand new (out of the box today) Windows 7 desktop with a curious issue.  I had an issue installing Microsoft Office 2013.  I restarted the computer and after doing so, the computer was offline and unable to connect to the internet.  The Local Area Connection icon is missing from the Network Connections.

The NIC is listed in device manager and everything appears to look normal.  I have uninstalled the device, restarted the computer (device reinstalled correctly) and I've still got the same problem.  When I do an ipconfig, I do see Local Area Connection listed and I get an IP address of 169.254.x.x

Other computers are on the network are fine.

Thoughts?
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Question by:SupermanTB
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Expert Comment

by:Maclean
ID: 40398106
Open Regedit, and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

If you see the below options in the right-hand pane, delete them (Backup the registry just in case, but its pretty harmless in my experience)

NoAutoTrayNotify
HideSCANetwork

After deleting the values, browse to the below key and delete the same names:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Then log off/on (Or reboot) and all should be well.

Also found this which pretty much summarizes the exact same, but it offers a registry "fix" for download

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/fix-for-when-clock-volume-power-or-network-icons-are-missing-and-grayed-out-in-windows-vista/
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Author Comment

by:SupermanTB
ID: 40398112
Much thanks.  i'll check it out.  Odd how this happened on a brand new computer
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Author Comment

by:SupermanTB
ID: 40398121
I won't be able to check on this until tomorrow morning, but now that I thought about it....I don't know if that's my issue.  If it were just a problem were the icons were hidden (but still working) then the computer would still be online and getting an IP address.  That's definitely not happening.  I actually had someone take out the wire plugged into the computer and plug it into a different computer and that new computer was able to get online immediately.
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Expert Comment

by:Maclean
ID: 40398235
Ok, I misread that completely yes. Ignore all the above.

It does sound like the NIC is not recognizing the LAN connection, the address listed is a generic one that gets assigned when it receives no DHCP.
Are you able to plug it into another location, to see if the other location provides the DHCP address?
I figure you might have tried a different cable etc, so it could be that the port which the system is plugged into might not be using the VLAN that works with the DHCP scope (Might be a server VLAN which requires a static IP)

You could of course test if NIC is ok by entering statiC IP details, or on the patch rack, double check that the port is connected to the right switch. (If yes, plug another laptop into the port to see if you receive an IP ok)
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Author Comment

by:SupermanTB
ID: 40398258
Thanks very much for your reply. See my most recent comment. I plugged a laptop into the same cable that is plugged into the desktop and it got an IP address just fine
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Maclean earned 500 total points
ID: 40398269
Alright. I suspect that the NIC is simply not functioning properly.
You tried a re-install which did not help. You could try using an older driver, but that seems a bit reluctant, as likely you have more systems of the same model. I would RA it back to the manufacturer.
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Author Closing Comment

by:SupermanTB
ID: 40400491
I just setup the replacement with Dell.  Thanks very much
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