It’s always exciting to have a hardware failure, isn’t it? I was working away on the HP desktop yesterday afternoon when suddenly my connection to the internet just died without even a whimper. Poof, gone.
I futzed around with the cable modem and the router for a while with no success, and I kept getting the same alarm. “There may be a problem with the Network Adapter.” “Um, fine,” I thought.
Then I tried the HP system check utility and got a little more info, and this was almost useful.
There may be a problem with the driver for the “Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller” adapter. Windows did not automatically bind the IP protocol stack to the network adapter.
Well. Okay then. I’ll try to find the driver for that thing and download it to Mom’s MacBook Pro, then copy it to the HP hard drive and reinstall.
Ah, but then…I upgraded to Windows 10 a while back. Should I download the Win 10 version of the Realtek driver or the Win 8 version?
I tried the Win 10 version and copied it to a flash drive and then from there to the HP hard drive. I ran it and it told me it had successfully installed, but not so, grasshopper! It had not installed over the old drivers and the HP still couldn’t talk to the internet. I copied the Win 8 version and got the same result.
Now what? I looked on the net for some kind of solution and found a dongle that the reviews implied would do the job for me. I went down to the local Best Buy to see if it had one of these on offer, and it did. I bought it ($9 more than Amazon, but no shipping time required), brought it home, ran the install software, plugged it into a USB port, plugged the Ethernet cable into its other end, and…
nuthin’. It didn’t work at all. Now the diagnostics say “There may be a problem with the Ethernet adapter.”
Sigh. Back to Best Buy in the morning to return the dongle and see if there’s a Network Interface Card on its racks. Then I’ll have to dust off my computer tech skills and open up the HP’s case and carefully pull the failed card and insert the new one. I haven’t done this since the 1980s.