Realtek PCIe FE family NIC disappears after soft reboots

Hi

We are experiencing problems with Realtek PCIe FE family NICs on certain models of Toshiba Satellite Pro C660 laptops - specifically those fitted with Core i3 processors.  

After building the laptops using a standard image you can start Device Manager and see the NIC included in the list of discovered and active devices.  The network works just as expected.

If you then do a soft reboot the NIC disappears from Device Manager.  It's not even listed as an unknown device - it just doesn't appear at all.

If you perform a further soft reboot the NIC magically re-appears and works as normal.  The process is repeatable i.e. the NIC disappears every alternate soft reboot.

If you do a full power cycle i.e. remove battery and switch off the mains suppy, then the NIC always appears as normal!

I've seen problems listed elsewhere relating to these particular NICs and sleep mode.  So I disabled Windows Power Management from affecting the device.  I also checked the BIOS for any NIC related power options, but couldn't find any.  The BIOS has been updated, as have the Realtek drivers, PCI drivers etc.  

The config summary is:

Toshiba Satellite Pro C660 - sub-model PSC0RE seem to be the only models affected.  These are Core i3 based so may have a different motherboard from the other C660 models which work fine.
Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with SP1 plus updates ( 32-bit also seems to fail)
These machines are all being freshly built with a standard image created using MDT.  The image works flawlessly on a wide range of other hardware.  No Realtek drivers are embedded in the image.  These are install either by MDT, or manually during testing/debugging.
Realtek PCI Express NIC drivers V7.094 - the latest from their site.

Grateful for any help anyone can provide. Starting to run out of ideas.

Mark.
MarkoIrelandAsked:
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Norm DickinsonGuruCommented:
There may be a BIOS flash update that you can install to resolve this issue. The steps to follow are listed here: https://aps2.toshiba-tro.de/kb0/HTD9502M10000R01.htm and the location of the latest updates is here: http://www.toshiba.eu/innovation/download_bios.jsp

The latest BIOS update appears to be from 6/12/13.
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MarkoIrelandAuthor Commented:
Hi Norm, I already upgraded to the latest release you mentioned but to no avail.  It does sound like a BIOS issue i.e. not exposing the NIC to the OS on soft reboots, but it was working on a Toshiba installed copy of Windows 7 before we imaged them.  We use the same image on thousands of other notebooks with no problem though.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Toshiba's use their own hardware/power management drivers and utilities which are very machine specific.  Even something as innocuous as a BIOS upgrade could render these dysfunctional.
Also, every manufacturer often customizes their drivers to match the hardware implementation of that model.  Drivers should ALWAYS and ONLY come only from the support page for that model at the manufacturer's website.  I can't begin to count the thousands of PC's I have seen where using non-specific drivers have wreaked havoc on Windows.
If you can't find that page or need more help beyond using Toshiba's drivers and the latest version of their power management utilities for the specific model you have, please post the whole model number, OK?
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MarkoIrelandAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay in replying.  Been off-site.

We reverted to the older drivers (from 2010) and the problem was resolved.  We have now incorporated these into the image.

Many thanks for your assistance.
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