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View Full Version : Unique fix for the Limited or No Connectivity problem



PeteF
07-22-2007, 05:57 AM
Everyone,
I know this is a common problem with Windows XP; "Limited or No Connectivity",
but I have a unique situation where none of the typical solutions solve the
problem. I have also done some unique things that prove the hardware is not
the problem, so I'm looking for a way to fix this without having to reinstall
Windows XP and re-setup the entire PC from scratch.

FYI: This is Win XP Home SP2 and all updates. It's a wired connection from
the onboard NIC on a Dell Dim 4600 PC to a Linksys router. The router is fine
as all other PCs work perfectly and I even switched cables at the router to
ensure that each port is working properly. PC is free of spyware and viruses.

FYI: The following fixes DID NOT to solve the problem:

* Run CMD, then.. ipconfig /release
then.. ipconfig /renew

* Uninstalled NIC using Device Manager and allowed system to
redetect it and reinstall it. Did this in both safe mode and
normal mode.

* Reinstalled the driver for the onboard NIC using the Dell
Resource CD.

* Remove & reinstall all clients & services and for the
connection.

* Tried some Winsock repair applications to repair the registry.
WinSock XP Fix v1.2, http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html
and.. SuperAntiSpyware's Winsock LSP Chain repair.

* Tried repairing the TCP/IP Stack:

Run... CMD, then.. netsh int ip reset reset.log

Run... CMD, then.. netsh winsock reset catalog

* Booted to the Windows XP CD and performed a Repair Install of WinXP.
Since this did not fix it, I restored the system back to it's original
state using an Acronis Image from the secure zone.

---

Ok, even though all the above failed to fix the connectivity
problem, below are two fixes that did work and offer clues to what
the real problem is. Remember, the reason for this post is to find
a way to fix the problem without reinstalling WinXP and knowing
that there is nothing wrong with the hardware.

* Installing a network card to one of the PCI slots will indeed
restore the network connection. However, I don't like this fix
because I know there is nothing wrong with the hardware and the
onboard NIC. The real problem is software related!

* I removed the original hard drive. Temporarily installed a spare
hard drive and performed a clean install of WinXP SP1 and the
onboard NIC works fine with no connectivity problems. So, this
proves there is nothing wrong with the hardware. Again, the real
problem is software related!

Since I have an Acronis True Image archive of the original problem
WinXP setup and also a spare hard drive with a clean install of WinXP
SP1 that works perfectly, what I'm hoping for is a way to export
certain registry keys or files from the good setup and use them to
repair the bad setup.

Is it possible?
If so, we will have a fix here that
none of the other forums have!

---pete---

TonyDi
07-22-2007, 08:52 AM
Good luck. I ran into a similar problem with a W2K machine. The on-board LAN wasn't showing up in Device Manager. I installed a new NIC. A few months later, customer called to say the internal was now working. He noted this because he got a message saying New Device installed.

Guest117
07-22-2007, 09:53 AM
Pete, keep it going as I'm sure many can relate.
But I'm sure many have unique problems with connectivity.
Example: wireless notebook, good extended router, cable modem.
Main cable plugged into splitter to fire modem and a TV. No problems.
Then, all of a sudden, no connection, after working flawlessly for hours.
Try many of the fixes you did. Unplug modem/router for 10 minutes.
Nothing. Ipconfig/release/renew. Nothing.
(now, it's my own fault I'm not smart enough to bring notebook
to where other equipment is but instead run back and forth between 3 rooms:D )
Anyway, finally see that modem cable light not on. Unplug again. Nada.
Unhook cable from splitter and plug directly into modem. Bingo!!!
Have cable light. Run back to notebook. Crap!! Can't find router.
Run back. Still have cable light and router lights look good.
Unplug cable and put it back into splitter and output back into modem.
Lights, camera, action.
Run back and notebook works perfectly.:confused:
Gonna replace this cable modem and see if it tames my problem. Let you know.
Just thought you'd enjoy a laugh.:D I laugh myself to tears.;)

Dan18960
07-22-2007, 12:09 PM
Pete,

Under the LAN Connection Properties - it sounds like you have a check mark in the Limited / Connectivity option.

THIS is a secondary firewall I found out from a software company where I was having issues with intermitten connections to a server. I removed the check mark and everything started connecting consistently.

Now I remove that check mark before it ever leaves my dungeon.

Seth
07-22-2007, 12:18 PM
Pete,

Under the LAN Connection Properties - it sounds like you have a check mark in the Limited / Connectivity option.

THIS is a secondary firewall I found out from a software company where I was having issues with intermitten connections to a server. I removed the check mark and everything started connecting consistently.

Now I remove that check mark before it ever leaves my dungeon.

That just removes the messenger, but you do make a good point Dan. Just because that error shows up, does not necessarily mean you can't establish a connection.

PeteF
07-22-2007, 01:01 PM
Pete,

Under the LAN Connection Properties - it sounds like you have a check mark in the Limited / Connectivity option.

THIS is a secondary firewall I found out from a software company where I was having issues with intermitten connections to a server. I removed the check mark and everything started connecting consistently.


Thanks Dan. I just tried that. The yellow triangle dissappears but the IP
address is still 169.254..., so it's not communicating with the router to get
the correct IP adresss.

---pete---

Seth
07-22-2007, 01:03 PM
Pete,

Another good troubleshooting step would be to try Safe Mode With Networking.

PeteF
07-22-2007, 01:25 PM
Pete,

Another good troubleshooting step would be to try Safe Mode With Networking.

Yep, tried that too. Same problem.

Connection 5 is the bad one, so I even went as far as using Regedit to
find all 3 keys that contained the string.. Connection 5 . I then booted
up with the spare drive that has a clean install of Win XP with the
connection working normally and I exported those same 3 keys to
a floppy disk. I then booted to the problematic WinXP setup and deleted
those 3 keys and imported the ones from floppy disk. Unfortunately that
did not fix it, but I'm thinkng I'm on the right track. I just need to
know which key is needed to fix things.

---pete---

Seth
07-22-2007, 01:29 PM
There's good stuff in these (http://www.pchell.com/support/limitedconnectivity.shtml) there hills Pete...including a reg fix.

dbarrow
07-22-2007, 02:40 PM
When I ran Autopatcher, I noted several XP updates in there for Wireless Networking problems. These appeared to be "fixes", the ones you have to search out and do a manual dl on and may be specific to a particular problem. I didn't stop to read them.

We get similar issues on the toughbooks at work with Windows Wireless Networking. An hour earlier, it worked perfectly. You can be right next to the router and it fails to see it or connect. Plug in a LAN cable and it still refuses to connect. Reboot sometimes fails to clear it.
In most cases, we pull the battery out, reboot the machine, then restart the app (that we have to use to upload) and then it works again.

Sometimes the problem appears to be within the program.
If it picks up "limited or no connectivity" while traveling, when you get back in range of a "preferred network", even though the wirless (refreshed with a network scan) sees the router and is connected with a strong signal, the program is stuck on no connectivity and it requires a reboot and restart to get it going again.

I believe this is a definite software problem within Windows Wireless Networking as, like you find, the hardware is working fine.

Unfortunately for us, the users are restricted and we can't get to any CMD functions to do networking diagnostics.

Quite often, "preferred network connections" don't work worth a crap as we have dedicated secure VPNs at the hospitals but the machine refuses to connect to them or even see them and instead connects to another unsecured network with a weaker signal. Even after stripping out all but the VPN from the list, it still won't connect. At other times, it connects from a mile away!
The IT Dept. is still "Duh!" clueless after a year of this problem.

Try Autopatcher and look for any of those Wireless patches.
Perhaps a solution lies within...

PeteF
07-22-2007, 05:31 PM
There's good stuff in these (http://www.pchell.com/support/limitedconnectivity.shtml) there hills Pete...including a reg fix.

Good lead Seth!

First I applied the Microsoft patch (KB884020) using the download
here.. http://www.pchell.com/downloads/SP2ConnectivityFix.zip
Basically it's a registry entry to help fix the connectivity problems
introduced with SP2. I checked before installing it and this SP2 PC
with all the latest Windows Updates did not have this registry entry.
Once I installed it and rebooted, the connection icon in the system
try began to behave differently. It still would not connect but now,
every 10 seconds or so it would toggle from being connected to
being disconnected. I'm thinking, it's acting like a bad cable or like
the NIC is marginal. I then went into the properties of the connection
where you configure the NIC, went to the Advanced tab and changed
the speed setting from.. 100 bps full duplex to 10bps full duplex and
now its working pefectly!!! WOW! :D

I think this fix will be acceptable as long as the customer is only using
the network connection for internet access. It still does not explain
why the connection works fine at 100 bps with a clean install of
Windows, but at least I know the basic setting in the registry are
not drastically corrupted.

PS: Keep this thread because it's one of the most complete threads
I've seen on any forum on this connectivity issue with all the links
included.

Seth, thanks again for the lead!
I owe you one!

This is a great example of teamwork.

---pete---:cheer2:

Seth
07-22-2007, 06:02 PM
Cool!

If I remember correctly, the link mentions reducing the speed to 10Mbps.

PeteF
07-23-2007, 11:35 AM
Cool!

If I remember correctly, the link mentions reducing the speed to 10Mbps.

That's true Seth, however, once I appled that patch and saw the
connectivity connecting and disconnecting in a continious cycle
it reminded me of a USB Ethernet adapter I once had that did
the exact same thing at the higher 100 BPS speed and would
only connect at the lower 10 BPS speed. So I knew what to do.

Thanks again!

---pete---