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HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?

by springchild74 / November 30, 2004 2:15 PM PST

Hi - thank you always cnet for your support.

I'm in a big trouble!

I just clean installed my virus-plagued desktop and I can't seem to get it connected to the internet any more - I suspect that I erased a "driver" of some sort that has to be there for an installed ethernet card to work. I get an error sign that says the computer needs "PCI Ethernet controller." Can I download this from the internet? From where? I was also told from an online friend that if I get a wrong one I'd be in a big trouble. So what kind are there and which one should I get?

Obviously I do not have the original box nor instruction booklet with which the ethernet card must have come with.

I'm a computer dumbo, please help! Please ask me if you need extra information - help, help HELP!!!


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Re: HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?
by Kees Bakker / November 30, 2004 5:12 PM PST

"clean install" generally is interpreted as an install after formatting, and then indeed you're responsible to reinstall all drivers for all hardware, because Windows doesn't have them.

You've got 2 ways to go:
1. Find out what hardware you have, find the driver on Internet and install it.
2. Buy a new Ethernet-card with driver and installation instructions.

For 1, try belarc (see, but I doubt if it will be able to do the trick, or open the case and search for clues.

Hope this helps.


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Re: HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?
by glb613 / November 30, 2004 7:32 PM PST

Go to the web site, download the drivers, install them and see if that solves the problem.

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Re: HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?
by springchild74 / December 1, 2004 12:10 PM PST

HELLO - thanks for getting back to me, I'm feeling a little desperate here. I downloaded belarc from my work computer and tried it on the problem desktop, but it did not detect network devices - says "none detected". But I know it is there.

So, I haven't been able to tell what kind of ethernet there is in my computer. What should I do? Should I try some most commonly used drivers for the network connection? Someone I talked on line told me that I will be in a big trouble if I installed a wrong driver. Why is it so and what could happen if I did?

PLEASE HELP!!! I need my connection back!

Thank you,

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Re: HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?
by Kees Bakker / December 1, 2004 4:09 PM PST

I don't think you get 'real trouble' if you install the wrong driver, only still have a non-functioning card. However, for safety's sake, be sure you know how to scanreg /restore (in Windows 98) or go back to a previous system restore point (in Windows XP). Then you can experiment whatever you like.

But with a new Ethernet PCI card being costing less than $10, I wonder if I would take the trouble.


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Re: HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?
by glb613 / December 1, 2004 7:11 PM PST

Belarc won't recognize what isn't installed. Have you tried removing the ethernet card and seeing what is written on it?

If that doesn't work and as cheap as they are, I'd vote for buying new.

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Re: HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?
by springchild74 / December 1, 2004 9:53 PM PST

Ok, here is my stupid dilemma: I am not a computer person and when I installed the card originally, it was my neighbor who did it - and he had moved away. Basically my problem is I don't know how to open up the computer and where to look inside. Is there any resources that will teach me these things? The desktop that's causing me the problem (well,I caused it ;-P) is HP Pavillion - forgot the model number - with celeron processor on it.

Thanks guys ... you are so great.


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Re: HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?
by Kees Bakker / December 1, 2004 10:42 PM PST

"how to open the computer"
Basically and generally, you need a screwdriver. There are a few screws at the outer side of the backside. after taking them out it's easy to take the cover off.

"where to look"
Look for the card that contains the connection for your Ethernet. You can't miss it if you know where to put the cable to your cable modem.

Best to do, however:
- Find someone like your neighbour who has some experience with things like this. It isn't difficult, but I can fully understand you're afraid to do it on your own.
- Or you can go to a computershop and let them install both the hardware and the software. They will be able to tell you in advance how much it will cost.


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Re: HELP!!!! PCI Ethernet controller?
by glb613 / December 2, 2004 7:04 PM PST

The model number of your computer is on the tower. Try going to HP's web site and see if there is a diagram for opening the case. I know they have them at Dell's web site.

Finding the card is easy. Like the other poster said, look at the back of the tower for the card then find it inside. You will need a Phillips screwdriver to remove it. After you remove the screw, it pulls out of the slot.

If the name of the product is not listed on the card and you don't have the installation software, the easiest fix is to buy another card. You will install it according to the directions. You can always take it into a repair shop and have the work done for you. But, this is an easy do-it-yourself project.

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Problem solved - THANKS!!
by springchild74 / December 2, 2004 10:48 PM PST

Hi cnet forum,

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your support - I managed to get the connection back last night.

Fortunately, I didn't have to even open up the box, even though I was prepared to do so with a screw driver when I realized it. When I looked at the back of the computer, right by the jack where the cable goes in, there it said "microsoft ethernet card model number xyz ..." With the information, I found the driver on the microsoft website.

THANK YOU!!!! I'm ecstatic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day everyone!!!


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