Network Adapter doesn't show or connect in Windows 7

Dell Optiplex 7020 mini tower. Onboard Ethernet, Windows 7 Pro. SP1

Network and Sharing Center show "Unknown" as network.  No Adapter listed.

Device Manager shows onboard Intel Ethernet.  I can uninstall, and adapter will be recognized.
CHKDSK c: /F  found no problems
Ran Startup Repair - couldn't find a problem

Tried System Restore to a point 5 days ago.
"System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings were not changed.
Drive might be corrupt.  Try running chkdsk /R

chkdsk /R is going to take 45 minutes, and I don't know if that will help at all.
I could try a USB ethernet adapter.

Thanks
computerlarryAsked:
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PerarduaadastraCommented:
If you can get the NIC functioning correctly by restoring it to a point some weeks in the past, this rules out any hardware issues and points instead to more subtle problems such as registry corruption or damage, or possibly being a result of the various Meltdown patches and fixes being rolled out by Microsoft and Intel recently.
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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
If you check the device manager do you have any !'s or ?'s listed?
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Unais AshrafIT TechnicianCommented:
Have you tried to disable and enable the adaptor in device manager. Are the drivers up to date.
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computerlarryAuthor Commented:
Network adapter shows up without ! or ?
I disabled and enabled several times, no change.

I installed the driver, and I am going to use the Dell Diagnostic and Repair software, which I hope will reinstall the driver.  I couldn't find a dedicated driver on the site - just Intel Device Manager Diagnostics (DMIX) Utility
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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
If you run ipconfig from the command line what does it show?  If you look on the back of the computer do you have blinking lights where the network cable connects into the computer?
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PerarduaadastraCommented:
Try disabling the NIC in the BIOS, rebooting, rebooting again, and re-enabling the adapter in the BIOS before it starts Windows again.

Can you ping anything? Try the loopback address - 127.0.0.1

Have you tried a TCP/IP stack repair? Make a note of your existing network settings if they are available and run these three commands from an elevated command prompt, and reboot the machine after they have completed:

netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log
netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log
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computerlarryAuthor Commented:
IPconfig gives me a self-assigned IP address.

Will a TCP/IP stack repair work if the adapter has been uninstalled and reinstalled?  Is the catalog independent of the adapter?
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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
Have you tried another device using this Ethernet cable?  I assume by self assigned IP address you are talking about an APIPA address which is 169.254.x.x.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
try installing this driver from intel
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nobusCommented:
you can Always test with a separate Lan card - if the onboard is bad or not
it can even be a bad connection, or cable!
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computerlarryAuthor Commented:
I installed a USB Ethernet adapter.  This adapter wasn't recognized either.
The netsh  resets didn't help either
Intel driver didn't help.

I can't use System Restore without getting an error.

Fortunately - I have the machine backed up with "Retrospect", which has a system recovery image.  I can get the computer back to the way it was a few weeks ago.  No real data worries, because they use DropBox for data storage.
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nobusCommented:
no errors in the event viewer?
you can also test if the internet works when booting from a live Linux cd
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computerlarryAuthor Commented:
I forgot about using my Parted Magic Memory Stick to test the internet!!!
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nobusCommented:
see: - something can be solved in a simple way
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computerlarryAuthor Commented:
I am restoring the drive from an image created by "Retrospect" software, which works with Windows PE.
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computerlarryAuthor Commented:
After restoration of backup image from several weeks ago, the network adapter worked fine.
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nobusCommented:
good to hear that- if you don't need more help, plse close this Q
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computerlarryAuthor Commented:
EE appears to have changed their interface, or maybe it doesn't run properly on Safari.
In any case, I was unable to assign points for an assisted solution.

I have written to tech support to correct this.
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