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On board Ethernet got disabled by a bootable utilities disc

This is a discussion on On board Ethernet got disabled by a bootable utilities disc within the Motherboards, Bios & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. AMD 970 chipset Gigibyte MB Win 7 Pro Realtek on-board chipset with a 1/18 dated driver update. It's kinda hard


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Old 03-23-2018, 08:03 PM   #1
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AMD 970 chipset Gigibyte MB
Win 7 Pro
Realtek on-board chipset with a 1/18 dated driver update.

It's kinda hard to describe this,, but long story short;
I was tiring newer versions to update those bootable CD's with troubleshooting programs on them for possible future use (hopefully not) eg;
Ultimate Boot CD,
Knoppix v7.2 & 8.1
EaseUS Partition Master WinPE,
All IN One Rescue Toolkit,
MiniTool Partition Wizard
for examples.
I believe it was one of the Knoppix versions that did something as they have Ethernet drivers so one can use the included browser, but that is only a guess.

Somehow, the on -board Realtek Ethernet chipset got disabled or corrupted to a point I had to connection to the Router. The 1st time, in Device manager, the network device entry wasn't even there. I managed to get thing back, I believe by powering down and/or rebooting.

The 2nd time, Device manager had the Ethernet device entry there and it showed that it was working, but no connection. Network & Sharing showed a "Unknown Network". The Router showed the port connected as did the LED's on that back of the Tower including activity. I couldn't even access the Router.

I reset defaults in the UEFI BIOS, but that didn't work. Then I did something that I haven't had to for probably 16+ years, I cleared the CMOS on the MB, then reset the BIOS again on bootup. Connectivity was restored.

So, the question is; what could of been done and how did this happen? How could a program outside of the installed O/S affect a on-board device after the program is closed? Has anyone heard of something like this happening?

Mind you, I also didn't have connectivity when I re-loaded two of those bootable discs, so this is NOT a W7 O/S issue. I have a 2nd bootable HDD (same O/S) and that was dead also.

I don't believe it was a 'virus', the iso's that I burned to the CD's came from the original source.AMD 970 chipset Gigibyte MB
Win 7 Pro
Realtek on-board chipset with a 1/18 dated driver update.



It's kinda hard to describe this,, but long story short;
I was tiring newer versions to update those bootable CD's with troubleshooting programs on them for possible future use (hopefully not) eg;

Ultimate Boot CD,
Knoppix v7.2 & 8.1

EaseUS Partition Master WinPE,
All IN One Rescue Toolkit,

MiniTool Partition Wizard
for examples.
I believe it was one of the Knoppix versions that did something as they have Ethernet drivers so one can use the included browser, but that is only a guess.


Somehow, the on -board Realtek Ethernet chipset got disabled or corrupted to a point I had to connection to the Router. The 1st time, in Device manager, the network device entry wasn't even there. I managed to get thing back, I believe by powering down and/or rebooting.


The 2nd time, Device manager had the Ethernet device entry there and it showed that it was working, but no connection. Network & Sharing showed a "Unknown Network". The Router showed the port connected as did the LED's on that back of the Tower including activity. I couldn't even access the Router.


I reset defaults in the UEFI BIOS, but that didn't work. Then I did something that I haven't had to for probably 16+ years, I cleared the CMOS on the MB, then reset the BIOS again on bootup. Connectivity was restored.

So, the question is; what could of been done and how did this happen? How could a program outside of the installed O/S affect a on-board device after the program is closed? Has anyone heard of something like this happening?


Mind you, I also didn't have connectivity when I re-loaded two of those bootable discs, so this is NOT a W7 O/S issue. I have a 2nd bootable HDD (same O/S) and that was dead also.



I don't believe it was a 'virus', the iso's that I burned to the CD's came from the original source.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:08 PM   #2
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I hope I didn't loose anyone, if so please re-read. It had to be some 'tampering' with the on-board Ethernet chipset and the driver it temporarily loaded.I hope I didn't loose anyone, if so please re-read. It had to be some 'tampering' with the on-board Ethernet chipset and the driver it temporarily loaded.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:18 PM   #3
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The possibility and be a very remote possibility is the chipset is turned off in the bios, enter the bios and look to see if there any reatek settings set to disabled.
What model Gigabyte motherboard do you have?
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:42 PM   #4
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That was one of the 1st things I looked for. It still showed 'enabled', so I disabled it, then re-enabled. Rebooted, but that didn't help.
I don't remember exactly what got me back running the 1st time. Just the 2nd, when I cleared the CMOS. (I had to hunt for the header on the board. )

Model is GA-970A-D3P.

It had to be some interaction of one of those 'utility' CD's where a Ethernet driver was loaded so FF could be used. Exiting apparently either left something behind or put the chipset in some 'odd' state basically disabling it.
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:46 PM   #5
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The bios controls low level functions the os can not make invisible changes to it, that would take a bios flash. If it were a driver issue the chip set would still be visible to Windows and shown in device manager as either disabled "not working".

Is the Ethernet chip set seen by the Koppix or Ultimate Boot CD?
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:01 PM   #6
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One of those utilities discs did something since it affected the chipset no matter how it was accessed.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
One of those utilities discs did something since it affected the chipset no matter how it was accessed.
Definitely one of them, especially those that use a Linux kernel and generic drivers that provide basic device functionality. Those drivers can spook devices into an unusable state until a low-level reset is done. I have had similar problems in the past with audio and bluetooth. On my old HP 620 notebook, the inbuilt speakers would stay mute if I reboot from a live session of Ubuntu (with working audio) to Windows. The only remedy to this was to boot up with the Ubuntu live disc, perform a sound test and shutdown (not reboot) Ubuntu, then perform a cold boot into windows and voila, sound returned! With bluetooth, on the same machine, the bluetooth adapter would disappear from device manager and it would seem there is no bluetooth adapter on the system. Likewise, the remedy was to toggle the bluetooth switch on Ubuntu from ON to OFF then back to ON, before shutting down the Ubuntu live session and cold booting into Windows. I could reproduce these issues every time and it became a habit to perform those steps before ending a live Linux session and loading windows.

You may be able to find better Linux drivers for the ethernet controller and incorporate them into the utility discs. It won't be an easy task though, and hopefully the creator of that disc has a tutorial on how to go about it.
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Old 03-25-2018, 07:55 AM   #8
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When and if I find the problem disc(s), that will be tossed. Modifying that is way above my capability and not worth it. Something I wouldn't expect from Linux. M$ is another matter.

I have already ordered two Ethernet cards (different chipsets), something I should of done some time back for issues with the Router & Modem to make troubleshooting easier. I never had a NIC go south in almost 18 years of playing around with PC's.

Lesson learned.
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