Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Windows says "network cable unplugged", but works in ubuntu

..and I'm back on the Net! I'm going to travel to Guatemala soon, first time Atlantic-crosser and eager to do so! I won't be able to write for about 2 months, unless I find a good safe spot to write.
    Now to the main course. This was one of the worst problems I have ever faced in my life: "Network cable unplugged" but isn't. If you want the solution, scroll down to the last paragraph.

    I was cleaning up the appartment yesterday, and the PC was switched off during the day. I have a dual boot set up with Ubuntu as the main operating system. "It's been ages I didn't boot to Windows", I said to myself -- so the first thing I did was to boot up to Windows and try to check for some updates.
    Waiting for Windows 7 to boot up, I went out, bought some beverages from a store nearby and came back -- and no, it's not *that* slow, but why not take advantage of the waiting time? Anyway, when I came back I saw the tray network icon with a yellow triangle over it. "Hum, now what?". The error was: "Network cable unplugged". But the cable was plugged!
    These were the steps I took and none of them were faulty or broken: Router was working fine, all the LED lights showed that Internet was connected. Also the LED light for LAN network was green for the computer. I though of booting to Ubuntu.
    In Ubuntu, everything worked as expected. "Maybe it was a one-time error?" I mumbled while rebooting back to Windows. Nope -- the error "Network cable unplugged" remained.
    I used another cable, didn't work again. Another one, nada. "It can't be!!", I said, "Εvery cable is problematic?!". I booted to Ubuntu looking/googling for answers. After a couple of hours "researching" to figure out a solution, I decided to drop it. Since Ubuntu worked, why would I care?
    But it was eating me up inside. The day after (today) I tried another google search, pissed off about the whole thing. And I found the answer. It wasn't the cable, nor the router, nor the driver, it was Windows, simply and stereotypically.

1.) Shut dowm your PC.
2.) Unplug the power cord.
3.) If you have a laptop, remove the battery as well.
4.) Walk away from the problem for at least 30 minutes.
5.) When you return, reconnect battery and power cord.
5.) Start as usual.
6.) If this solves the problem, take 20 minutes and post this to all of those message boards that you didn't find the solution to.

Here's what I did:

- Shut down my PC.
- Switched off the router.
- Unplugged the ethernet cable.
- Switched off the extension cord. Unplugged the power cord.
- While it was unplugged, I pressed the power button once.
- I went to my neighbour and had a lovely 20-minute chat.
- Came back, connected the power cord and powered it on.
- Switched on the router.
- Plugged the ethernet cable.

That's it. As simple as it may be, it might save you from buying a new network ethernet card. :)


Lish said...


esovaromilas ? kai ego pou nomiza oti ta 7 epapsan na antimetopizoun tetiou idous tampou!
iparxi mia pollu wrea frasi gia tin microsoft an tin kseris, gia auto pou vioses vre! "ton arapi k'an ton plinis..."

Anonymous said...

I cannot thank you enough! This worked like a charm!

Anonymous said...


I had the same issue on my AMD computer. The only thing I needed to do is to turn off the power supply or disconnect AC power cable for a few minutes. Of course going to your neighbour for half an hour is also an option. My motherboard was ASUS M4A785D-M Pro and that one was probably to blame. It also had an issue with graphic cards. I switched from Nvidia to Ati and back and graphic cards would not work properly in Windows any more. Nvidia was completely dead and Ati was under windows only showing strange artefacts on screen. There is something strange about this board and it is not clear if it is related to drivers, hardware issue or something else. Strange problem, never seen on any other system.