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HP Notebook PCs - Unable to Connect or Lost Connection to Wired Network in Windows XP

This document pertains the HP Notebook PCs with Windows XP

A notebook PC that has been accessing the internet may suddenly lost the connection. This problem may be accompanied by a browser error like, "Cannot find Server." Possible causes may be:
  • The cable connection is loose or damaged
  • The router or modem fails
  • The device driver is missing or corrupted
  • The Internet Service Provider (ISP) service or network fails

Also, after resuming from standby, you may experience difficulties in connecting to the network. See Troubleshooting access problems when resuming from standby .

Troubleshooting connection problems

Use one of the following methods to diagnose and repair a notebook PC that suddenly cannot connect to a wired network.

Method 1: Check network cabling

Method 2: Check router and modem

Method 3: Reinstall network drivers

Method 4: Contact ISP / Network support

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Method 1: Check network cabling

The most common causes of lost connections to the network are: loose ethernet cable physical connection, and an intermittent failure of the ISP cable service. On most PCs, there are two light emitting diodes (LED) next to the physical connection where the ethernet cable plugs into the back of the PC. The LEDs will glow or blink to indicate the current status of the network device.

Perform these steps to verify the physical connection of the PC to the internet.
  1. Look at the connector where the ethernet cable attaches to the PC. If the ethernet green LED is glowing steadily and the yellow LED is blinking, the network card is connected properly to the network, go to Method 2.

  2. If the LEDs at the ethernet connection are not glowing, check the connection of the PC to the network as follows.
    • Unplug and re-plug the ethernet cable to establish a good connection.
    • Connect the PC to the network using a different ethernet cable.
    • Connect the PC to a different network plug.
    • Connect the ethernet cable directly from the PC to the modem, to bypass all the network wiring and the router.
    • If available, connect another PC to the network connector to determine if the network is working.

  3. If the LEDs do not glow under any of these conditions, or you do not have access to the router and modem, contact the System Administrator to verify system is operating and to reset the modem and router if necessary.

    If you have access to the router and modem, go to Method 2.

Method 2: Check router and modem

The network connection LEDs will glow and blink only when there is a physical connection between the PC and network router. If LEDs are not glowing after checking the network cables and connections, perform one or more of these steps, then test the connection.
  1. If on a home network, or on a business network where you have access to the router and modem, and the browser displays a "Cannot find server" error message, reset the router and modem by turning the power off and on, and restart the PC.

  2. Verify the router is operating by checking the condition of the LEDs.

    In general, a router has a steady green LED to indicate a connection between the router and the computer, and a blinking LED to indicate the transfer of data through the system. See the manufacturer's documentation for specific description.
    • If the LEDs on the router indicate there is no connection to the modem or no data is being transferred, bypass the router by connecting the ethernet cable from the PC directly to the modem.

    • If the PC can now contact the network, the router is defective and needs to be replaced.

  3. Verify the modem is operating by checking the condition of the LEDs.

    In general, a cable modem has a steady green LED to indicate a connection to the ISP, and a blinking LED to indicate the transfer of data through the system. See the manufacturer's documentation for specific instructions.

Method 3: Reinstall network drivers

If the modem, the router, and the PC have been reset, and the glowing LEDs indicate a good physical connection, but the PC cannot connect to the internet or a network resource, perform the following steps to verify the network device is enabled and to reinstall the network drivers.
  • Verify the network LAN connection is installed and enabled.
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network Connection.
    2. Look at the Status on the Local Area Connection. If the status is disabled, highlight the name of the connection and click Enable this network device.
      NOTE: If the Local Area Connection can be found under Network Connections, Contact HP to schedule a repair.
    3. Go to the next section reinstall the network device drivers.
  • Reinstall the device drivers.
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel.

    2. On the Control panel, click Switch to Classic View, and click System.

    3. On the System Properties panel, on the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.

    4. On the Device Manager panel, click the plus sign (+) next to Network adapters to display the installed adapters. A red X on an adapter icon indicates a problem.

    5. Locate the Ethernet adapter in the list of Network adapters. Right-click on the Ethernet adapter icon and select Uninstall. When prompted, click OK to confirm removal.

    6. Restart Windows. Windows will automatically locate the Ethernet adapter and reinstall the proper drivers during startup. Follow the instructions on the Startup Wizard.

Method 4: Contact ISP Support

Occasionally an ISP modem will need to be replaced or the ISP network or servers are not functioning correctly. You should contact you ISP Technical Support number for the following conditions:
  • Can not connect to ISP modem (Ethernet lights on Notebook PC are not blinking when connected to the ISP modem)
  • ISP modem LEDs are not blinking
  • Method 1, 2 or 3 did not correct the problem

The following links are to the most popular Internet Service Providers:

Links to major ISP providers (in English):

Troubleshooting access problems when resuming from standby

You may encounter problems when trying to access the local area network (LAN) after the notebook PC resumes from standby. If this should occur, follow the steps below:

Disable Wake on LAN (WOL)

If the Wake On LAN option is not required, you should disable WOL in the BIOS setup utility by performing the following:

  1. Restart or power on the notebook PC.

  2. Press F10 when the HP logo displays.

  3. Click System Configuration on left, then click Built-in Device Options. Select Disabled under Wake on LAN.

  4. Click File on left top and then click Save Changes and Exit.

  5. Click Yes to confirm saving changes and exiting.

Enable PME for the Intel NIC

Enable a power management event (PME) for the Intel Network Interface Card (NIC) by executing the following registry script.

  1. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories and then click Notepad.

  2. Copy the script below and paste into the Notepad window.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318}\0009] "EnablePME"="1"

  3. On the Notepad File menu, navigate to the desktop, click File, click Save As, type enablePME.reg as the file name, and then click Save to save as a registry file.

  4. Double-click the newly created registry file. Click Yes to confirm adding the information to the registry.

NOTE: In some cases, it is necessary to shut down the system, disconnect and then reconnect the AC adapter from the notebook PC to clear the failing states.

Download and install the latest Ethernet Driver

Installing the latest Ethernet Driver may resolve this issue. For more information about downloading and installing drivers for your HP notebook computer, please see the Locating HP Software, Drivers, and BIOS Updates in Vista support document.

If the procedures described in this document do not solve your issues, please contact HP for help.

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