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ethernet connection intermittently disconnects and reconnects

Posted on 2014-12-08
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Last Modified: 2014-12-21
Hello! I have a Windows 7 Pro 64 bit laptop. The wired LAN connection intermittently disconnects and reconnects. I have tried switching ports on the switch and plugging in to the port directly on the laptop as well as the docking station pass through. The wireless connection does not have this problem. I have tried updating the driver as well. Does anyone have any further recommendations?
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Question by:mrosier
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26 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:Wilfred Horden
ID: 40486837
Does another laptop or PC the same problem?
can you change the network cable?
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40486847
I tried changing the cable at the switch side as well as the desk side but still the same behavior. I didn't have any trouble with other PCs though. I am trying a USB ethernet connection as well to see how that behaves.
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Expert Comment

by:Wilfred Horden
ID: 40486855
What type of network card are you using?
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40486858
Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:FarWest
FarWest earned 100 total points
ID: 40486873
using device manager try to uninstall/ reinstall the device
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:Aaron
Aaron earned 100 total points
ID: 40486896
If the laptop wasn't having an issue before can you do a system restore to then? Also when does it drop the connectiong? I have had users loose connection temporarily after a system lock - logging back in... If you're not using wireless while testing (using a direct connect) try disabling the wireless. Sometimes wireless will try to connect and cause issues.
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Expert Comment

by:Rich Weissler
ID: 40486912
>  I didn't have any trouble with other PCs though
Did the other PCs have Gigabit NICs?

> I tried changing the cable at the switch side as well as the desk side but still the same behavior.
I assume you mean you've tried different patch cables at both ends, but continue to use the same infrastructure/building cable?  How long is that cable run, and what type/grade cable and terminators are you using?

Are the switch ports and the NIC set to Autonegotiate Speed and Duplex?

Is the switch managed?  (Any log messages from the switch?)
Any system event log messages when you disconnect reconnect?  (Well, any beyond just the message that it disconnected/reconnected?)
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Assisted Solution

by:mrosier
mrosier earned 0 total points
ID: 40486923
I tried that as well. I also tried uninstalling and deleting the driver and using a fresh download from the manufacturer's website, but the behavior recurs after a few minutes. Just for the heck of it though I did the simple uninstall and reinstall via the Device Manager and it has been ok since then for a longer period, so we will see if it holds. Also, the USB network connection I was testing did the same thing after a few minutes as well.
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LVL 29

Assisted Solution

by:Rich Weissler
Rich Weissler earned 200 total points
ID: 40486925
Ah, and it looks like Intel has administrator diagnostic tools available as well.  I can't say I've used this tool set, but it appears to have been written for your NIC, and appears to have a version available which is compatible with your OS.
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Expert Comment

by:paulfarmer
ID: 40486950
I have had recent troubles with Fast Ethernet equipment not working well with Gigabit NICs.
Just a thought.  I know they're "compatible", but...
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40486952
Aaron- I did try a restore to a day before it started happening, but it continued. The connection dropping is just during normal sessions. No locking actions anything like that is occurring. Just in the middle of editing an Office document or something. Also, I have the disabled the wireless just now to see how that goes though I have switching enabled in BIOS so they are not active simultaneously.

Razmus- I did try a laptop of the same model as mine without any issue. I just tried separate patch cables at each end but in the same desk in the same building, yes. I am using CAT 5e cabling. I am not sure about terminators though. I did try switching from Autonegotiate to full 1 GB as well on the laptop but not the switch if that is possible there. I do not have any log entries on the laptop besides the connection status changes. I will have to check the switch logs to see if anything is there. I will try that diagnostic tool!
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Assisted Solution

by:Rich Weissler
Rich Weissler earned 200 total points
ID: 40487016
Not certain what your switch is, but it's possible you have incompatible speed/duplex configurations.  (Autonegotiate doesn't always do what we might expect... and a duplex mismatch would 'kinda work', but disconnect intermittently like you describe.)
  Confirming: did your laptop connect which isn't disconnecting connect at gigabit speeds?   The computer which is disconnecting and reconnecting, establishes at full gigabit each time?  
   You might try setting both the problem computer and the switch to 100/Full and see if the connection stays solid... just to test.  (I believe the 1000Base-T will use all four pair, rather than just the two pair 100Base-T will use.)
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40487210
The alternate laptop did connect at gigabit speeds as well as my problematic one. I will try ensuring the switch and my laptop are set to 100/Full and see what happens.
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40487506
Ok so a couple of hours later after making the change to 100/FULL adjustment to my laptop and the switch port I am using no disconnections have happened. I lost internet at the last moment actually, but not a total disconnection, just the yield symbol over the connection.  And while there are no collisions logged on the switch port since doing this, there are...

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Expert Comment

by:Rich Weissler
ID: 40487652
I'm leaning towards a physical layer problem.

I guess it'd be too much to ask that one of the RJ45 connectors in the NIC is bent or out of alignment, or otherwise not making a consistently good connection?

If you've eliminated the cables, patch panels, and switch ports... that just leaves the very real possibility that the NIC is physically failing.
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40487669
well I did try a USB NIC bypassing the onboard one here as well. That one had the same behavior as well. When I get a chance I will try sitting an entirely different desk though. I tried a  different laptop at my desk, but I have not moved to another desk.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 40488285
did you check in the power section if that device is not turned off to save power??p
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40488857
Hi nobus, I don't have an option to configure my wired connection status there. But I am having this issue plugged in to power as I actively use the laptop.

Also, I plugged into the wired connection I have at home last night and didn't experience any trouble issues. I will try an alternate connection here in the office today and see how that goes.
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40492539
So I haven't had a single disconnection today and I did switch ports on the switch itself that leads to my desk. But I did that before as well with no improvement. I need to wait another couple days to be certain though I think. I am not sure what would be a solution in this case though since this port change didn't help the first time?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40493246
take your time; no problem
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Accepted Solution

by:
mrosier earned 0 total points
ID: 40502911
Ok so after all this time, I have not had any disconnection issues. I can only say that changing connection ports on the switch side might have had something to do with it even though I had tried that previously. I would not want to neglect everyone's time with points awarding, so I am not sure how to handle this since I don't see that as a suggestion from anyone in this string since it was a fix I had tried initially.
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Expert Comment

by:FarWest
ID: 40502935
glad to here that your problem is solved,
//
you can pray for all how participate to get awarded with plenty of points in future :)
and give the points to the one who has zero points this month

good luck
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40502946
Is that acceptable practice if the post wasn't the actual solution though? I wouldn't want to confuse anyone who wants to use this post in the future
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Aaron
ID: 40502966
There is good information here for troubleshooting... List multiple answers then list yours as the solution and then assists for the comments that could help people trouble shoot. Up to you, this is just what I think I would do.
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40502988
ahhh ok, that sounds good to me. Thanks!!
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Author Closing Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 40511416
My problem stopped after changing switch ports even though I had tried that earlier as well. I am awarding points to all the great steps that can be taken when this problem comes along and marking my final action as the best answer.
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