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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an ADSL 4-Port Broadband Router serving a computer with Vista and another with XP.
For the past 18 months everything has been working fine but just recently Vista has been losing its connection.
In the "Network and Sharing Centre" > "Manage network connection" dialogue, the "Local Area Connection3" icon has a large red cross displayed.
When the icon is selected the Toolbar above has an "Enable this network device" command which when clicked on goes through the enabling process and then tells me it is enabled when in fact it isn't, the "Enable" command is still displayed in the Toolbar.
Some times when I go to the "Internet Protocol Properties" dialogue all the addresses are missing so I retype them in.
Other times when I try a "Diagnose and repair" I'm told I do not have a network adapter installed and configured. Device Manager confirms this.
The only way I can reconnect is to do a System Restore using a point when I knew the connection was working.
This is fine but when I close down and restart at a later time the connection is no longer there.
My ISP suggests the problem is with Vista but I'm wondering whether I shouldn't get a new router.
Any help would be appreciated.
Ken
 

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If the XP machine is working normally, I'd be looking for issues on the Vista machine. Top suspect would be malware from your description.
 

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I'm told I do not have a network adapter installed and configured. Device Manager confirms this.
The only way I can reconnect is to do a System Restore using a point when I knew the connection was working.
Sounds like the ethernet adapter or its driver is going AWOL. When Device Manager shows no ethernet are there any 'other' devices, which could be the driver-less adapter?

I'm not disagreeing with malware being a top suspect; just trying to gather more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you JohnWill for your suggestion. I have done a search for Malware with the Microsoft removal tool and nothing was found.
Device Manager shows 3 adapters TerryNet which are shown below.

6T04 Adapter *
Atheros L1 Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T Controller#3
Microsoft 6to4 Adapter#2 *

The two adapters with the asterisk have the yellow flag showing and when I try to update the drivers I am told "The best driver software for your device is already installed."
The Properties dialogue tells me "This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)"
When I click the "Check for solutions" button I'm informed "Windows is checking for a solution to the problem" and nothing else happens.
The Atheros adapter which is the broadband one has the best driver already installed.

Another suggestion I had was that it could be a Windows update that is causing the problem. Could this be the answer?
 

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Another suggestion I had was that it could be a Windows update that is causing the problem. Could this be the answer?
Could be. Sometimes you don't notice a driver "update" sneaking by. Make sure you have the latest driver for that Atheros L1 Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T Controller from your PC (or motherboard) manufacturer's web site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the link to the Malwarebytes' site JohnWill.
I ran it and a found Hijack.Display had a registry entry which I asked to be deleted but when I checked I found it in quarantine.
I presume I can safely delete it now.
I then installed two updates which I thought might be causing the problem and closed down the computer several times and then finally switched the router off.
I'm pleased to say that every time I start the computer now connection is always there.
Once again thank you and TerryNet for being so helpful,
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I may have been a bit premature JohnWill in thinking the connection problem was solved.
When I opened up this morning I had no connection and no icon in the "Manage network connections" window.
The "Diagnose" dialogue told me "The network adapter Local Area Connection 3 is not working properly."
Rather than do a System Restore I uninstalled the latest Windows update to see what happened and the connection reappeared after closing down and restarting.
I then closed down and after a couple of hours restarted only to find I had lost the connection again so I closed down.
Later I opened up again and the connection was there again.
It seems I must open up and close down and then go through the process again and hopefully get a connection.
I did another Malware scan and there was nothing there.
Ken
 

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See post # 6.

You probably have Windows Update set to "auto download and install." That is dangerous for your drivers. I advise set it to "always ask before download or install", or else maybe "auto download" but "ask before install." Whenever you see a driver in the list say "no thanks."

Can't guarantee this will solve your connection problems, but it could be part or all of the cause.
 

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I've never had Windows deem a driver to be a critical download, they're always listed in the "optional" category, and you have to select them. Maybe that's changed?
 

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I've never had Windows deem a driver to be a critical download, they're always listed in the "optional" category, and you have to select them. Maybe that's changed?
I don't have a clue. I'm just paranoid about letting Windows do updates completely behind my back. When choosing which updates to download I've also always seen drivers only as non-critical.

I'm getting lost here with all the updates and System Restores and the intermittent connection problem, and am probably getting overly cautious about Windows update.
 

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I think Microsoft took enough bad press about some of their driver updates so they don't push those without you asking for them. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you TerryNet.
My updates are set for "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them."
Like JohnWill I've never had a driver as a critical update nor have I had one as an optional update so far.
The connection is working well today. I had no connection last night when I closed down but this morning it was connected and I installed a "critical" update.
As long as I have the LAC icon in "Manage network connections" I can usually get it working by disabling and then enabling it but when I have no icon then I have to do a System Restore.
I don't think with my limited knowledge that I am going to improve the situation, and I have the reliable XP, so I will have to learn to live with it.
Ken
 

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Do a system restore to before the update and see if that brings it back to life.

You can set Windows Update to ignore specific updates if there's s troublesome one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you JohnWill for your reply.
As you know prior to installing new important updates Vista creates a new restore point which I can use to uninstall it if need be.
I have just had two recommended updates and one important update which I installed and then closed down and restarted.
On restarting I had lost the connection but because I still had the LAC icon in "Manage network connections" I was able to disable and then enable and that retrieved the connection.
Had I lost the LAC icon then I would have uninstalled the updates one at a time to find which one was causing the problem and then I could hide it.
Because they seemed to be OK the next thing I did was to create a new restore point which I can use - in the event of my losing the LAC icon at some later date, without losing the updates.
I like to switch the power to my computers off at night which means the router is also switched off and for at least 18 months Vista always had a connection, but now I lose the connection and the LAC icon and have to do a System Restore.
Windows XP doesn't lose the connection.
It seems I must never switch off the router.
Ken
 

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If you turn off your router, you need to restart ALL the machines from a cold start. If you don't, you will likely have problems similar to what you experience. :)

I never turn my router off. Of course, my router also provides the TV guide data and On-Demand functionality, so if I turn it off, my TV guides don't get updated, which would be bad. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks JohnWill for your comments,
I have now arranged my power cables so that I can leave the router on but switch everything else off which will still mean I have to start my computers from a cold start. .
I know it has nothing to do with my making the change but the only way I can get a connection now is by using System Restore.
The LAC icon was there but disabling and then enabling didn't work as it has done before.
When I looked in Device Manager the "Atheros L1 Gigabit Ethernet" adapter was missing.
The system requirements for the router I have makes no mention of Vista only XP.
I think it will pay me to have a chat with the company I have bought computers from to see if getting one for Vista is the answer.
Ken
 

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The router has no idea what version of Windows you run, and I really doubt it's a router issue. The fact that the Ethernet NIC is missing in Device Manager clearly points to a local problem with that machine, the router can't cause that symptom.
 

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When I looked in Device Manager the "Atheros L1 Gigabit Ethernet" adapter was missing.
That suggests to me that there is an intermittent NIC failure. Why a System Restore would fix this is beyond me, unless it is just coincidence--by the time the Restore is finished the NIC has decided to reappear and play nice for awhile.
 
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