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I've got a Dell Optiplex GX240 running Windows XP, and am having network issues with it. I downloaded and installed updated drivers from DELL, but the issue is not resolved. Windows Device Manager insists that the device is fine and everything is in working order, but will not connect and gives the "Network cable is unplugged" message. Dell's diagnostic tool also claims that everything is in working order (except for no cable being connected). The cable is connected fine (the lights on the card are on), and I've tried a couple different cables (known to be good) and different ports on the router (also known to be good). None of these work. Should I replace the NIC, or could the problem be elsewhere?

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Have you ensured the pins in the RJ-45 NIC jack are OK and not bent, obstructed or missing? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 22 '11 at 21:40
That's where I thought the problem may be. At my first visual inspection, they seemed fine, but I will have to recheck. – yoozer8 Aug 23 '11 at 12:41
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I replaced the card, and now it works fine. Looks like the problem was the pins in the jack (or somewhere else between where the dell diagnostic can see and the cable), although all 8 ARE present and do appear to be intact. Can't get up to full speed because the replacement card only has 4/8 pins, but some speed is better than no speed.

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There are two standards used in cabling, crossover and straight. Your station is very old and the Network Interface Card probably doesn't support auto-sense. This means that it can have a proper connection with a router by using a straight cable only. Here is what a straight Ethernet cable looks like. Color scheme may vary but the point is that each pin number, from 1 to 8, has the same color on both ends of the cable.

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Very good possibility. All of my ethernet cables are newer than this machine, and all of my working machines are much newer. I will have to look into this tonight. – yoozer8 Aug 23 '11 at 12:42
Unfortunately, this did not work. I am thinking it's a bad connection. – yoozer8 Aug 23 '11 at 23:37

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