How to Troubleshoot a Network Interface Card


A Network Interface Card, commonly referred to as a "NIC," is needed in order to connect to broadband high speed Internet service. If your card is not functioning properly, you will experience problems connecting to the Internet. An indicator that there is a problem with your Network Interface Card is a flashing NIC or "Link" light on your broadband modem. If your light is flashing, there are some basic troubleshooting steps that you can perform on your own in an attempt to resolve the issue.

  • Check your cables that connect from your broadband modem to your computer to ensure that they have not accidentally been unplugged. The cables should be snug in their respective ports.

  • Check the light that is on your Network Interface Card to ensure that it is green. A green light on a card indicates that it is functioning properly. To check the NIC light, look on the back of your computer tower. If you are using a laptop computer, it is unlikely to have a NIC light.

  • Check the Network Interface Card in the device manager to see if there are problems with the card. In order to do this you must open your "Control Panel" and select the "Device Manager."

    Locate your NIC in the "Network Adapters" section. If there is a red "x" or a yellow "exclamation point" that is an indication that there is a problem with your card.

  • Look to see if you have more than one Network Interface Card inside of your device manager. If you have more than one, try disabling one of them since it is possible that they could be conflicting with one another. In order to disable the extra NIC, right click on it in the device manager and select the option to "disable."

  • Disable your active NIC and re-enable it to see if that fixes the problem. In order to disable the active NIC, right click on it in the device manager and select the option to "disable."

    After disabling the active NIC, reboot your computer while it is still disabled. Once your computer boots up, open your device manager again. Right click on the NIC and select the option to "enable."

  • Update the drivers for your Network Interface Card. To update the drivers, right click on the card inside of the device manager and select the option to "Update Drivers." This is an automatic process. If there are no driver updates for your card, you will receive a notification prompt.

  • Reinstall the NIC card if none of the above options have resolved the problem. In order to reinstall the NIC, right click on the NIC in the device manager and select "Uninstall."

    You will receive a warning prompt advising you that you are about to uninstall the card. Select the option to also uninstall the drivers for the card and click "OK."

  • Reboot your computer. After your computer reboots, you will receive a prompt indicating that new hardware has been found on your computer. Select the option to install the "Drivers" for the new hardware to complete the re-installation process for your NIC.

  • Contact your computer manufacturer if you performed all of the previous steps and your NIC is still not working. It is very likely that your computer needs a new NIC card, which may be covered under your warranty.

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