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Ever since I switched to Verizon FIOS from Verizon DSL a year or so ago, I've had an intermittent problem on my Windows 7 desktop machine where the system boots with no internet access and the ncsi icon in the taskbar showing a caution sign. The same system never exhibited this problem with the old DSL router. The computer is connected via ethernet (not wireless). The problem seems to occur on about 10% of system reboots.

Some googling has come up with the solution to disable and then immediately re-enable the network connection, which does seem to do the job. However, I don't want to have to keep doing this. More searching came up with this solution, but this states that it is for Vista only and Win 7 should not have the same problem. I made the change anyway, and have not had the problem since, but I just did it yesterday.

Any ideas how to troubleshoot and fix this issue?

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Does the internet work even when you have the caution sign? – uSlackr Feb 2 '12 at 21:23
No. No internet access when the caution sign is displayed. – PIntag Feb 2 '12 at 21:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

BTW, FYI, that exclamation point and internet connectivity test only indicate whether or not your computer is able to download a specific text file from a specific microsoft internet server. Have you checked if you actually do not have internet while you have that exclamation point? It's a good indicator but not a 100% proof by any means.

I'd wait a bit to see if it is fixed before proceeding with further troubleshooting. But if it doesn't work...

Download the latest drivers for your network card, delete your network adapter from the device manager and reinstall it using the new drivers.

Check for any firmware updates to your Verizon FiOS modem and router (if you have one in your network) and install them.

If these steps do not resolve the issue you should probably contact Verizon support and let them know exactly what you've told us above as well as the steps you've taken. They probably have some testing or tweaking they can do on their end.

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Every time the problem occurs, there is no internet access. I will update my NIC drivers and check on firmware updates for the FIOS modem/router. I really don't want to contact Verizon support because of the intermittent nature of the problem -- it will likely lead to tons of wasted time. – PIntag Feb 3 '12 at 19:07
Yea, dealing with support on an intermittent issue is a pain. – music2myear Feb 3 '12 at 19:16
My Verizon FIOS router already had the latest firmware. The NIC had a recent update so I installed it. I haven't seen the problem since the registry "fix" provided in the link in my original post. Hopefully, all is good now -- I'll update the comments in a few weeks if I haven't seen the problem again. – PIntag Feb 7 '12 at 3:43
Made it through one week without having the issue resurface. I think I'll remove the registry entry solution that is linked above and see if the NIC driver update alone fixed the issue. – PIntag Feb 14 '12 at 17:44
Okay - I'm declaring victory over this problem. To summarize, the problem can be described as an incompatibility between my Verizon FIOS router and my Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 motherboard's original Realtek LAN driver. The result of the incompatibility resulted in intermittent occurrence of Win 7 booting with an unassigned IP address leading to no internet access. Updating to the 7.048.0823.2011 version of the LAN driver solved the problem. – PIntag Feb 28 '12 at 21:04

It sounds like you are getting a self-assigned IP address which prevents real internet access. As @music2myear suggests, ensure you have the latest NIC drivers from the manufacturer.

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If it is indeed a self-assigned IP address, can I confirm that by looking at the ipconfig output? – PIntag Feb 3 '12 at 1:47
Yes, what address is assigned to the network card. I think the self assigned addresses start with 169.x.x.x – uSlackr Feb 3 '12 at 12:08
Yes, I believe that's what I was seeing - a 169.x.x.x ip address when the problem occurred. I'm not familiar with the concept of "self-assigned ip addresses". Can you explain a little more about what that means? – PIntag Feb 3 '12 at 19:01
Also, there is an updated NIC driver available for my motherboard. Is there any reason to believe that this would actually solve the problem? – PIntag Feb 3 '12 at 19:03
One more thing. At one point, I even configured my system to have a fixed IP address and not use DHCP, yet the problem still occurred. I'm not sure if this info helps figure the problem out, but I thought I'd mention it. – PIntag Feb 3 '12 at 19:26

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