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Incomplete XP sp3 Ethernet Boot-Up

This is a discussion on Incomplete XP sp3 Ethernet Boot-Up within the Other Hardware Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. PC Hardware Troubleshooting - Ethernet Network Interface Initialization Problems Hardware: A 6-year old Gateway 825 GM Desktop Computer - Windows


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Old 01-13-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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PC Hardware Troubleshooting - Ethernet Network Interface Initialization Problems
Hardware:
A 6-year old Gateway 825 GM Desktop Computer - Windows XP MCE 2005 SP3 - Phoenix BIOS - Built-in Marvel Yukon 88 E 8050 Gigabit Ethernet - Hard wired with an Ethernet cable to a D-Link DIR 825 V 1.01 Router - Home Network LAN
Sporadic Boot-Up Problem:
Almost 70% of the time when booting up, the system fails to recognize and initialize or activate the built-in Ethernet card, and thus provides NO InterNet capability.
Note: I didn't know this was even a problem until connecting this comuter to a router in Aug. 2009, upon subscribing to DSL, but I suspect it has been a problem all along. (No use of dial-up since that time - which always worked correctly)
My Personal Pre-Power-Up Steps I Take To Increase My Chances Of Connecting To Our Home Network:
I ensure the Ethernet cable is pushed firmly all the way into the jack, and even gently nudging it side to side on both the back of the computer and the router.
Anxiously await the gigabit switch light on the router to illuminate during the boot-up process signaling that the boot-up process included the Ethernet initialization. (Am frequently disappointed)
Results:
Successful Ethernet Initialization:
When the system does initialize the Ethernet capability, (which happens seldom) then almost always the Safely Remove USB icon in the system tray Fails to display.
Unsuccessful Ethernet Initialization:
When the system fails to initialize the Ethernet capability upon boot-up (perhaps 70% of the time), then the Safely Remove USB icon DOES display and functions properly.
Secondary Symptom: Additionally, when the Ethernet capability fails during boot-up, there is no reference to the Marvel Yukon Gigabit Ethernet in the Network Adapters of the Device Manager, only a reference to the 1394 FireWire net adapter.
Hardly ever do I get both Ethernet Network Adapter capability and the Safely Remove USB icon both up and running properly at the same time.
Phoenix BIOS:
There does not seem to be a "user selectable hardware component start-up time delayer" function built into the BIOS to allow me to manipulate or delay any boot-up sequence.
Router:
Neither does there seem to be a router software selectable Ethernet delayed start-up capability built into the DIR-825 configuration software - which is not asccessible during unsuccessful Ethernet system boot-ups, short of putting the rotuer installation CD into the optical drive. Nor does there seem to be a "manual" way to boot the router during these "failed" boot-ups, since during those troublesome times, I can't get into the router configuration software. (when all systems work properly, the router configuration software does offer a "manual reboot" capability)
Other household desktop computer on same home network:
This desktop computer relies on the wireless USB adapter for it's InterNet connection, and it connects flawlessly each and every time and provides the information regarding the Network Adapter displays in the device manager each and every time, regardless of whether or not this computer is engaging in InterNet activity. Proper operation of everything involved with this secondary desktop computer is totally independent of whether or not the "problem" computer encounters a susccessful or unsuccessful boot-up, if they happen to be operating at the same time.

About ayear ago, I completely reformatted the hard drive, and re-installed everything in the hopes of eliminating this problem. Unfortunately, that was a complete waste of time, as unfortunately, the problem did not vanish with this "all cleaned up sterile system".

My Theory:
Perhaps during Windows boot-up, the 2 modules (Ethernet Initialization) and (Safely Remove USB) arrive at the same time in the boot-up cycle, and one function cancels out the other function.
My Questions:
1. Is there a Registry setting in which I can change or incorporate a "Delayed Start" of one or both of those components during the Windows boot-up sequence?
2. How would that be done - exact steps please, my registry hacking skill is zero. (I have located the key in which the Marvel Yukon Ethernet Adapter is addressed within the Registry, but it appears to me that all the info presented in that short module is default info only that wouldn't change with consecutive boot-ups)
3. Any ideas out there to solve this problem - Not Including Installing A D-Link Wireless USB Adapter To This Computer, And Shedding The Hardwired Ethernet Cable Configuration?
3. Any settings software or hardware settings anybody knows about that are "user changeable" that may help solve this intermittent problem?
4. I have downloaded and installed a software "Start-Up Delayer"program, but it only allows the user to change the order of auxillary software programs from loading or delaying - it seems to lack any Windows boot-up module delays, and lacks any hardware component delay capability. I believe my problem is likely a combination hardware/software problem.
5. None of the normal troubleshooting books I scrutinize seem come close to addressing this problem. I have knowledge of a Safely Remvoe USB substitute program, but have yet to purchase or download such a program to see if it would help.
Any ideas out there? I would greatly appreciate some help.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:56 AM   #2
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There is no reason to "delay" anything during bootup. The only "delay" option I've ever seen in the BIOS, is for HDD detection. It is used to compensate for older HDD's that don't spin up fast enough for detection. But that is at the hardware layer (ie: BIOS). ALL hardware is detected before Windows begins to load. Windows simply loads drivers for all hardware that is detected.

Also, when the PC is powered up (regardless of whether the OS is even booted), you should get a "link light" on the PC NIC and on the router/switch port.

With all of that said, there are two possible causes. First, the motherboard is faulty and the hardware is not properly detected on each power up. Thus the hardware cannot be used by Windows. Second, the Windows installation is corrupted.

Boot into Windows and check Device Manager for any hardware with yellow !. If anything is listed, those devices require drivers. You can also check for the missing hardware. For example, if the LAN adapter is not working, look for the adapter in Device Manager. IF the hardware was detected by the BIOS, then Windows should list the hardware in Device Manager (whether it's working or not...even if no drivers are installed). If the hardware is not listed in Device Manager, the typical cause is hardware related.

Bottom line, if the hardware is functional, then it gets detected and initialized by the motherboard and is then useable by Windows (and should be listed in Device Manager). If the hardware is faulty, then it cannot be detected and/or initialized properly for use. In which case Windows will not see the hardware and it's not useable (and not listed in Device Manager).
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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I agree with Dogg. Suggest you go into BIOS, disable your built in NIC, and install a plug in model. Should be less the $10 just to test this hypothesis.
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