Common Network Problem - Limited Connectivity

15 April 2009

Every now and then, one would receive error message in the task bar saying one's network has limited connectivity or no connectivity. Very often, fixing the known bug in SP2 and clearing and resetting the TCP/IP stack etc just do not work. Then it may be worth the while to fix it by resetting the modem and also, re-installing the network drivers.

What could have happened?
Devices such as network controller are often assigned an Interrupt Request(IRQ) by the system during start-up. Because there are limited numbers of IRQ, many devices would have to share the same IRQ. Most computers nowadays are ACPI compliance. The ACPI will assign these IRQs during start up according to its default settings. It may cause competitive use of the IRQs and corrupt device drivers. If that being the case, the only fix is to re-install the driver. It is necessary also to resolve the IRQ conflicts to fix the problem permanently.

How to Confirm the Problem is not caused by ISP ?
It is always good to check the connection using another PC or noteb0ok just to confirm that the problem is related to the computer.
It is also good to take the opportunity to reset the modem to ensure that it has been reloaded to default setting or the manufacturer's setting. To reset the modem, one often need only to turn-off the modem, wait a few seconds and re-connect the modem again.

How to Re-install the Network Driver?
1) Bing up the device manager
Click start, then run. In the dropdown box, enter "devmgmt.msc" (without quote). One could also start up Device Manager using the Control Panel. The following Device Manager screen should appear.

Look for the "Network Adaptor", expand it and then double click the network device to bring up property screen. When in the property screen, select the driver tab and click the "Uninstall" button to remove the network driver.
2) Re-start the computer.
If the network driver is still in the window system folder, the computer will find it and prompt user to re-install the network driver during start-up. However, in case the computer cannot find the driver or the driver in the window system has been corrupted, one would have to re-install the driver using the motherboard disk that come with the computer.

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