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How to troubleshoot a NIC

The Ethernet Adaptor or the Network Interface card (NIC) is the piece of hardware that makes it possible to access the internet. The Network Interface card is also essential for PC-to-PC communication and other forms of computer interactions that involve two or more devices such as Bluetooth and Infrared. Frankly, two computer systems can only share a file with each other because they have a network Interface Card that enables them to communicate with each other -- sending and receiving signals. If a device must communicate with another device, it needs a NIC. Your broadband modem and printer use the NIC technology.

PROBLEM: Can't connect to the Network

There are a host of problems that could cause you to have trouble connecting to the network. The first thing I always try is unplugging all routers and modems for a few seconds and then plugging them back in. Next, in Windows, you can run the "repair" wizard on the ethernet card. To do this, in the toolbar, right click on the card that is not connecting and select "repair". If you are still having a problem, you may need to look at a few more advanced things that may require the help of a network administrator. You may not be able to connect to a network if you are using an IP address that is already in use on your network. Also, check to see that your computer is using a unique name. Your computer name must not be the same as any other computer on the network. One last thing is to check your NIC drivers to make sure that they are up to date.

While troubleshooting, if you have a spare computer, you can use the spare computer to make sure that there is not a problem with the network. If you are able to connect the second computer, then you know the network is ok.


You have all the connections correct, but the NIC light is not on. Remove the NIC for a while and connect it again. Check to see that the network cable is not faulty by trying a new cable. Also, check the device manager from the control panel (XP, Vista, and Windows7) to see if the card is recognized. As with other hardware problems, the symptoms discussed here could be due to a different hardware problem other than the NIC.

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