Connecting a long unconnected computer

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by Rushie, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    This machine was last connected to the internet March 2015. It's got Windows 7. It boots fine, clock is correct.

    My plan was to connect to the Internet through my AirPort Extreme (it's got a firewall) and immediately update my AV, and Windows. So I plug it up and boot, and it won't connect. It says there is no network hardware.

    So my question is this: Do you think it's not connecting to the net because Windows is over two years out of date? I'm thinking the Windows firewall is blocking it but when I try to change it I get error messages. Or is it more likely a hardware failure in the ethernet card?
     
  2. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did you lube well before connecting? I've always found that paying attention to the details early in the process is important.
     
  3. Dana

    Dana Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No, if it says there's no network hardware it's not seeing the PC's network card, either because it's disabled or broken. First thing to try is a different ethernet cable, though.
     
  4. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Dana's right. Windows 7 is a stable platform for the internet. It is not the core of your problem. -Skip
     
  5. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just tried a different cable. That's not it. Tried a different router too but I didn't expect that to help. I found an external ethernet gadget (USB) and tried it, but needed it's driver and when I tried to install it from the CD/DVD found that it too is not working. I think it's time to get a new computer.
     
  6. Vince R

    Vince R Pre-Flight

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    Sometimes you just need to go into the BIOS setup and check the configuration. A lot of times, older computers will have a small battery to keep your BIOS memory refreshed. When that battery dies, you lose your BIOS settings, and viola - your peripherals like network cards won’t work.
     
  7. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    I thought about that but assumed the battery was good because the clock was up to date. On another machine the clock was out of whack when the battery was bad. It would think it was 15 years ago for example and I wouldn't be able to update anything on account of that. Could that still be it anyway?
     
  8. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Agree to check the BIOS and make sure everything is enabled that needs to be. I'd recommend turning off PXE boot if it is enabled for the NIC.
    One thing to keep in mind, is how old is the computer to start with?
    If it's a dinosaur and you don't really want it, even if it's running, then you might take advantage of the Christmas sales.
    Also, as a thought......they won't replace your main computer but A $149 chrome book will do a lot as far as email, internet, basic computing, etc. and seem to have really good battery life.
    We have about 30 of them here at work and for the most part folks love em.

    ps... old computers make good scapegoats :)
     
  9. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Just to be clear Skyrys is talking about the main battery, not the BIOS battery. If you get serious about this machine replace the BIOS battery, too.

    -Skip
     
  10. genna

    genna Line Up and Wait

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    You do not say if this is a laptop or desktop. If laptop, you can go to manufacturer's site and download/reinstall network adapter drivers. Also, if laptop, try both: wired and wireless connections.

    Use most direct network connection.
    Try "Safe Boot with networking" (F8).

    If different network adapters are failing to be recognized the problem is more likely with Windows than adapters. Reinstalling Windows is a potential fix too.

    As a practical matter. This sounds like an older computer. Depending on how good it is, you can pick up basic laptops and desktops for less than $200-300. Windows and all... So I don't know if i would put any money into an older computer.... unless it is some gaming machine.
     
  11. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm assuming you already checked the Device Manager to see if it sees the NIC and that its driver is installed? It may have been disabled for some reason, or the driver may be corrupted. If the latter, you may be able to do a driver rollback. Or you could uninstall the card, reboot, and see if it picks it up on start and reinstalls the driver from cache.

    Otherwise, add-on wired Gibabit NICs had be had for ~ $10.00 at Micro Center or Fry's (or about double that at most other places). I'm sure that wireless ones cost a bit more, but I don't know how much more because I don't generally use WiFi if I can possibly avoid it. Just make sure to get a NIC that supports Win7 (which should be easy enough) and that fits an available slot.

    I wouldn't toss the computer over a cheap part replacement. Even if you don't want to use Win7, it probably would run most flavors of Linux just fine.

    Rich
     
  12. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Also possible that a firewall is blocking it. That usually won't result in a "missing hardware" message, but with Microsoft, who knows.

    Does device manager show the network device?
     
  13. Vince R

    Vince R Pre-Flight

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    Depends on the computer. Sometimes the BIOS memory can be corrupt even though the clock is fine. A lot depends on the actual chipset and motherboard.

    It should be pretty easy to run the BIOS setup program and then just verify that everything is set properly - many BIOS' have a "reset to defaults" option if you're not sure what to use, and then you can just make sure that the on-board networking is enabled (assuming that's what your computer has). The hardest part is usually figuring out how to launch the BIOS setup program since each manufacturer seems to have a different way. Usually, it's just a matter of pressing a certain key while you power up the machine...if you can't figure out which, sometimes just holding the spacebar during power-on will give you a "Stuck Key" error that lets you launch into setup. Of course, if it's one of the big brands, you can probably find documentation online somewhere.

    It absolutely could be that the network interface is actually bad. If this is a desktop, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pull out the card, clean the card edge contacts (a pencil eraser will do if you don't have anything better) and reseat everything. If it's a laptop, this gets more complicated...depending on the brand, some have network chips right on the motherboard, and others have the network adapters in small socketed connectors.

    Sounds like you also have a USB Ethernet adapter, but need the driver. If you have it on CD/DVD, you can go to another computer and copy the driver setup files to a USB memory stick and install from that (or, download the driver package online and copy to a USB stick that way).
     
  14. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks for all the good info! I hadn't thought of putting the driver on a USB stick, duh!!
     
  15. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi.
    As others have mentioned, Win7 is a perfectly good PC.
    Confirm that your LAN (local area connection) is Enable(ed). I always disable it when I am not using the Inet.
    If you have a LAN connector all you need is a connection to the Router, if hardwired, if you have WiFi available you need to confirm that it is enabled and connected.
     
  16. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    They are enabled. Not only do I have the onboard adapter, I did use a USB stick to put the driver of the USB adapter on the machine. These are both now listed in Device Manager and both are enabled. No matter which I use, I am getting the message "no networking hardware is detected". But both these devices are listed as "working properly".

    Something else going on, some windows I try to open seem to be opening off the screen, it will flash by and then disappear below the screen and I cannot recover it, there is no icon on the task bar so I guess they aren't really opening.
     
  17. Norman

    Norman En-Route

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    I have a locally owned shop that when I can't get something right I take the computer to. NO! It is not Geek Squad. My guru usually has things fixed in short order.
     
  18. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Do not ever take it to Geek Squad. Never.

    They prowl through your machine, and they have had an agreement with the FBI to turn info over.
     
  19. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's my problem right now, there is no trusted locally owned guru I'm aware of here. There might be but we've just recently moved and I haven't found him yet.
     
  20. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    They also tend to be idiots. Anyone worth a **** gets out of there as soon as they possibly can.

    Rich
     
  21. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Do you remember why you took the machine out of service?

    Rich
     
  22. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    We moved. It was husband's machine, but he went ahead with his laptop 3 months before everything else came with the movers, and he never set his desktop back up. He was used to using the laptop by that time and we had no space for his office. Now we've just got rid of some furniture and are setting up one of the spare rooms for his office and I'm trying to bring the thing back into service for him. It was packed up and moved a second time when our house flooded, and put in storage for three months. So it's been bounced around inside trucks quite a bit since the last time it was online.
     
  23. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Maybe try using System Restore to a Restore Point way back before the computer was removed from service, when you know it was working properly.

    If that doesn't work, then hardware is almost certainly the culprit.

    Rich
     
  24. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There's also an off chance that a defunct security program (or possibly a virus) is trying to connect to a server before it will allow the computer to access the Internet, and that server no longer exists.

    Rich
     
  25. coolbreeze

    coolbreeze Pre-Flight

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    I can't see where you are located, but if you are in metro Atlanta, I can take a look at it.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
     
  26. Norman

    Norman En-Route

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    Do a search for computer repairs in your zip code. One of the on line telephone directories would be a good place to start. Then, if there are any, read the reviews on them.
     
  27. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    I tried that and got the message that windows cannot perform system restore.

    I thought of that too. The AV is a paid subscription to Kaspersky (out of date and disabled no doubt) and when I try to launch it I get the flash drive by window that zooms offscreen and leaves no icon indicating the program is open. Next I'm going to uninstall it in case that's what's causing the problem although I doubt it. He's also got malwarebytes on it too which I know can cause problems (because it just did on the remote machine I control for my work) but in this case I doubt that's the problem either. I'm guessing either the OS has some corrupt files or you are right, it's a hardware failure, maybe the former caused by the latter. My next step before I do anything else should be to copy all his files to another drive. If he had a backup I don't know where it is.
     
  28. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks for the offer but I'm in south Texas.
     
  29. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yep I did that and there is a guy with a Facebook page that seems okay. I'd rather try to find personal recommendations among my friends and neighbors. But so far most of them don't seem to use computers a lot. Some have even already come to ME for assistance. Maybe I need to set myself up as the town's computer guru.:lol::lol::lol:
     
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  30. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    . Oh. The Russians. Jasper sky has been banned by the Feds for all agencies and contractors because of the higher-than-normal risk of spying.
     
  31. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    More useless window dressing. Banning Kaspersky in an attempt to prevent cyberspying works as well as banning marijuana in an attempt to prevent us all from smoking it.

    Disclaimer: I don't smoke it. "Us all" is a generic reference.
     
  32. coolbreeze

    coolbreeze Pre-Flight

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    Yeah, that won't work. I hope you can get it working again.

    You would be surprised how much extra money you can earn with just a little "know how". Especially when you can fix a problem that the giant will known techies can't and you're at 1/2 the price.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
     
  33. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm actually the go to person in my family for computers and you can see how limited is my knowledge. I built my own gaming rig but I wouldn't be able to tell you the difference between a router and a bridge, or write code to save my life. But I'd be able to get your machine to run cooler. People can be good at one part of technology but have big holes in other areas. My sister is the IT person in her department at work, she keeps all their machines running but she cannot run her own Facebook page. Does not grasp social media and has a lot of trouble just trying to look at the grand baby's online photo page.

    I've got a paid maintenance service for our laptops and I love offloading that worry. It keeps the AV and internet security all up to date, performs regular scans and cleanups and any time there is a problem I get free human help 24/7. But it's a reputable company I trust and for something like that it has to be. Once or twice we've had to ship a laptop to them to fix (no charge) but that's not a big deal, shipping the desktop case is another thing entirely.

    I read somewhere that all of technology is like that today- there is no one who grasps all of it. The knowledge necessary to run the internet and everything we do with it resides piecemeal in the heads of thousands, maybe millions of individuals.
     
  34. John221us

    John221us En-Route PoA Supporter

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    When a machine is moved, sometimes the cards will come loose. Take the lid off and reseat the cards inside the machine.
     
  35. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Checked and all is tight. No joy.

    Oh Lord help me....... doing this got me distracted with my OTHER machine that's got Windows XP SP3 and I loaded Doom 3 on it and now Doom 3 won't start and I'm spending all day trying to get a dang old video game to work when I need to be making Christmas presents for all the neighbors and cleaning up the house. Why is it the more busy and swamped I get the more I tend to want to escape into useless time wasting play?

    PS Edit: Found the problem. Security update KB3086255 breaks games. Way to go Microsoft.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  36. John221us

    John221us En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Did you pull the cards out and reseat them? They can shift. Windows XP? just throw that one away...
     
  37. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    There were no cards except RAM. The ethernet must be built into the motherboard.

    PS edit: I must be blind. It's not XP, it's 7. Why did I think it was XP? I could have sworn I saw it say XP when it booted, I was sure of it...

    PPS edit: I DID see windows XP. I'm not crazy after all. I just remembered when I first turned it on, it tried to boot with my old IDE drive which has XP but now I just use for storage. I had to go into the BIOS and change the boot order to put my SSD first. I thought I was losing my mind there for a minute.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  38. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'd take coolbreeze up on his offer, put it in a box and ship it to Atlanta. UPS ground is pretty cheap.
     
  39. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    A big heavy box like that? Well, I suppose I could ask the UPS people. The plan right now is I'll get the machine I just put Doom3 on up to date and give that to hubby til after Christmas, then back up his hard drive and take action to fix or trash the other one.

    Thanks for all you guys' help!
     
  40. coolbreeze

    coolbreeze Pre-Flight

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    Although I'm pretty sure I can get it working again, I would hate for her to pay shipping both ways if I couldn't get it working.
    I hope it all works out for you.
     
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