Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Computer Repair Wisdom - IP address with No Internet

Through PC-Mat.com, I repair computers and electronics all - the - time. And even though I have been doing it for 10+ years, I seem to forget one of the most useful things I learned years ago.

When repairing computers, it is not always what you have, but the order in which you install it.

Here is a recent example:

I sometimes encounter strange errors after copying a customer's hard drive to a new, larger drive. This time I had an IP address, good DNS, can ping other network computers, but no Internet. I did all the usual fixes: Winsock2, lsp, NodeType: Hybrid, reinstall the driver, reinstall XP sp3, install IE8, sfc /scannow, netsh stuff and I'm sure more... all with no result.
So I was thinking about reinstalling XP... aaaaghhhhh... I HATE doing a reinstall...
Then, after watching Hancock thru Netflix instant streaming... I thought, "Oh yes... why don't I uninstall it from the system."
I used this method of troubleshooting as my first step for many years... before I knew "too much."
So I went to Device Manager, found the Broadcom network controller, right clicked on it, hit uninstall, and rebooted.
The computer booted up, found the "new" hardware device, and connected me right to the Internet... aaaaaaahhhh peanuts.... 6 hours of being "hardcore", and all I had to do was reinstall the device AFTER my OS reinstallation.

So what's the moral of the story?

It's not what you have, but the order in which you have it.

I'm sure there is some grand life meaning to that too, but more importantly it would have saved me about 6 hours of frustration...