I've got a XFX 680i motherboard that is about 2 years old now. You'll see it has 2 on-board gigabit ethernet ports.

Starting maybe a week or so ago, my internet connection would go down, and I'd have to Disable and Enable the network connection in the Network Properties page of Windows 7 to get it to come back up again. Then some random time span would pass, and I'd have to do it again. Could be minutes, could be hours or days.

This section of the story is probably unrelated, but, yesterday my hard drive crashed. Eh, hard drive was a couple years old, fine. That's life. So I get a new drive, pop it in, reinstall, yada yada.

Now the network is going down every few minutes, on both ports. My laptop, when plugged into the same router ports with the same ethernet cables, is rock solid.

OK, must be the ports, I reason to myself....

So I go out, buy a new Gbit ethernet PCI card and install it.... (don't even get me started on Linksys not putting out Vista / Win 7 drivers for the EG1032... bastids). So yeah, no drivers for Windows 7. Luckily the Windows 7 Realtek drivers work for it. So I get those installed and get the network up.

Rock solid network, no more issues.

So, it's pretty clearly narrowed down to the ethernet ports themselves on the motherboard have gone bad. Well, to be more precise, whatever it is that's controlling both ports has gone bad.

I've tried installing and uninstalling the nForce ethernet drivers. No change. Nvidia's Network Access Manager was causing problems with certain application's ability to connect to the internet, however.

Anyway, what exactly is my question...

What is it on the motherboard that controls the ethernet ports, and why might it start failing in this way (works for a little bit, then requires a Disable / Enable cycle to reconnect)?

edit - oh, and my mouse scroll wheel went out too! ... what a monday...


Both network ports on the same board going odd at the same time is not unexpected - they will both be running from the same controller chip.

It could be that the controller chip on the motherboard is on the way out, but I doubt it as that chip will be controlling much else at the same time and you are not seeing problems with other devices. I could be wrong there, of course. My suspect would be a driver issue rather than a hardware one, especially since resetting the network devices without a power cycle does the trick (at least temporarily).

  • thats what i was thinking as well.. i guess i could boot an ubuntu live cd and see if it still did it.... – Ian Aug 18 '09 at 3:03
  • The same thing happened for me on an Asus motherboard. It's the chipset, not the ports. – alex Aug 25 '09 at 11:13

It might be unrelated, but I had a similar type of problem when using the Windows 7 Beta on my laptop, where both my wireless and ethernet connections would stop working. The only way to get it working again was to reboot - even disabling and re-enabling didn't solve the problem. Eventually I gave up with the beta because of it, but I've been using the RC for a while now and that's been fine.

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