No LAN connect when laptop docked

Discussion in 'Dell' started by MikeH, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. MikeH

    MikeH Guest

    I just purchased a used DELL Inspiron 8200 laptop. I am able to connect to
    my LAN without problems when not docked and with the network cable going
    directly into the laptop. If I dock the laptop in the Advanced Port
    Replicator, with the network cable connected to the proper port on the APR,
    the network icon says that the network cable is disconnected. The lights on
    my router come on OK.

    In the device manager there is an item called "Ethernet Controller" under
    "other devices". This item does not appear in device manager when not
    docked. Anyway, it shows that the Ethernet Controller is not working because
    no driver is installed. I haven't found a driver in any of the distribution
    CDs. The only driver on the DELL web site that might be applicable is
    already installed on my laptop and is used by the 3-COM Network Adaptor
    card.

    Is an "Ethernet Controller" needed when connected via an APR? If so, where
    would I find a driver for it?
     
    MikeH, Aug 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. i suggest that you delete the 'ethernet controller' found under 'other
    devices' when docked and then restart... it sounds as if the first time it
    was docked it did not install properly. the driver for the nice in the apr
    is 'known' to windows xp so no driver should be required (just let windows
    search for what it 'thinks' is best)...
     
    Christopher Muto, Aug 28, 2005
    #2
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  3. MikeH

    MikeH Guest

    Thanks, I tried this. I un-installed the ethernet controller but when I
    re-boot and it finds new hardware it isn't able to locate a driver for it.
    I've tried both the Operating System CD and the Drivers and Utilities CD. I
    wonder where I'd find the correct driver for the NIC in the APR.
     
    MikeH, Aug 28, 2005
    #3
  4. do you have windows xp installed on this machine?
     
    Christopher Muto, Aug 28, 2005
    #4
  5. MikeH

    MikeH Guest

    Windows XP Pro, I checked bios and docking is enabled
     
    MikeH, Aug 28, 2005
    #5
  6. with windows xp pro there is no prerequisite software or drivers to install
    before connecting to the inspiron advanced port replicator (the on that the
    8200 slides back into to engage with the docking port and that has a lever
    on the left hand side to lock the system in place). there is however a
    verry similar looking apr that only works with lattitudes (but there is a
    work around for this). it strikes me that you don't really know if it ever
    worked or if it is a inspiron or a lattitude dock... the part number on the
    dock should give us a clue. furthermore, when docked you will see one
    'network cable is unplugged' icon as the laptop internal wired network card
    is indeed unplugged (the apr network card, if working properly would be a
    second network adapter and if it was unplugged then two 'network cable is
    unplugged' icons would appear in the tray. since this is a used computer i
    wonder how it was installed... when installed by dell the entire '\i386'
    folder found on the windows cd rom is copied to the root of the 'c' drive
    and there is a registry entry under
    hk_local_machine-software-microsoft-windows-windowsnt-currentversion-sourcepath
    that refers to this location so that you never have to insert the windows cd
    again... but even if you do you should be able to find the drive on the
    windows cd if you direct it to look at the \i386 folder. i wish i had some
    other suggestion for you on how to troubleshoot this, makes me wonder if the
    installation of windows was installed while the system was docked (which can
    create this problem). windows is supposed to be installed and completed
    before the first attempt at docking is done (a cold dock, that is to say
    docked while powered off the first time out). one thing that i wonder is if
    you have the ac adapter plugged into the apr or if you are running on
    batteries (which will not power the apr)... but that does not explain why
    you can't find a acceptable driver to load for the nic in the apr. who else
    has a suggestion??

    a couple of interesting links that you may like to know about...
    a 1.1mb pdf file with inspiron apr documentation:
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/acc/inspapr/8498ta03.pdf
    dell 8200 faq
    http://www.geocities.com/thebithead/I8200FAQ.htm
    support.dell.com documentation for the 8200
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins8200/
     
    Christopher Muto, Aug 28, 2005
    #6
  7. MikeH

    MikeH Guest

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful and thorough reply.

    I'm pretty sure I have the APR intended for this laptop. The manual is the
    same as the 8498ta03.pdf link.

    I see the unplugged icon and understand it refers to the internal NIC. I
    don't have a second icon in the Network Connections window.

    I have been operating with the AC adaptor connected (and powered). It is
    the correct model for the APR.

    I think there is a definite possibility this could have something to do with
    how the OS was setup. I found a procedure on the DELL site for re-doing
    this portion of the setup. It involves removing the hardware profile for
    docking (while undocked) and then restarting it when plugged into the APR.
    I haven't tried this yet. The previous owner has been helpful but says he
    used the laptop only with a wireless network.
     
    MikeH, Aug 28, 2005
    #7
  8. MikeH

    RRR_News Guest

    Mike,
    Before removing profile, I wonder if your router is confusing the MAC address in the docking station Ethernet connection, and the MAC address of the notebook connection, when it assigns IP addresses for it. So from another PC, go into the router's settings and remove the notebook's settings listed there.

    Then with the notebook attached to the dock, connect the combo to the router. So that the router can assign an IP address to the combo. Then undock the notebook, connect it to the router, so that the router assigns a separate IP address for the stand-alone notebook.
    --

    Rich/rerat

    (RRR News) <message rule>
    <<Previous Text Snipped to Save Bandwidth When Appropriate>>


    Thanks so much for your thoughtful and thorough reply.

    I'm pretty sure I have the APR intended for this laptop. The manual is the
    same as the 8498ta03.pdf link.

    I see the unplugged icon and understand it refers to the internal NIC. I
    don't have a second icon in the Network Connections window.

    I have been operating with the AC adaptor connected (and powered). It is
    the correct model for the APR.

    I think there is a definite possibility this could have something to do with
    how the OS was setup. I found a procedure on the DELL site for re-doing
    this portion of the setup. It involves removing the hardware profile for
    docking (while undocked) and then restarting it when plugged into the APR.
    I haven't tried this yet. The previous owner has been helpful but says he
    used the laptop only with a wireless network.
     
    RRR_News, Aug 28, 2005
    #8
  9. MikeH

    MikeH Guest

    I'm looking for a way to drop the LAN DHCP for the laptop in my router and
    haven't found it yet although I doubt that router confusion is going to
    make the connection appear to be non-existent. There is not even a
    connection icon for the APR in the Network Connections window on the laptop.
    I'm finally figuring out that the unplugged status refers to LAN port on the
    laptop itself which is unused when plugged into the APR.

    Mike,
    Before removing profile, I wonder if your router is confusing the MAC
    address in the docking station Ethernet connection, and the MAC address of
    the notebook connection, when it assigns IP addresses for it. So from
    another PC, go into the router's settings and remove the notebook's settings
    listed there.

    Then with the notebook attached to the dock, connect the combo to the
    router. So that the router can assign an IP address to the combo. Then
    undock the notebook, connect it to the router, so that the router assigns a
    separate IP address for the stand-alone notebook.
    --
     
    MikeH, Aug 28, 2005
    #9
  10. i tried to explain the 'network cable unplugged' message earlier... when
    docked (and with the apr network card working and connected) there will
    still be a network 'cable unplugged message' since the internal laptop
    network card is indeed unplugged.

    the suggestion about investigating the router is not relevant as you first
    have to resolve why you can not get windows to properly install the network
    card found in the apr.

    i have not seen the dell instructions on how to correct a bad profile. if
    you provide a link i would be glad to look at those instructions and
    comment.
     
    Christopher Muto, Aug 28, 2005
    #10
  11. MikeH

    MikeH Guest

    I found a procedure, I think on the Dell site, a couple of days ago but had
    to break away. Then I couldn't find it again in my history. It may not
    have fully applied to XP as I find plenty of references for other OS.

    Mystery: I looked in CMOS and NONE of the available network adaptors were
    enabled (even though the on-board one works fine). So I enabled the APR
    adaptor and moved it to first in the boot sequence. Made no difference.

    Went into the device manager and uninstalled the 3com driver under Network
    Adaptors and rebooted. It reinstalled the driver but still didn't find a
    driver for "Ethernet Controller" (which I have been assuming has to be the
    APR NIC).
     
    MikeH, Aug 29, 2005
    #11
  12. It could be broken, and reporting the wrong ID, or failing to load the
    drivers because of a hardware failure during configuration. Given
    that it's used equipment (and the seller disclaims any knowledge of
    it's functionality beforehand) I'd write it off, try another one, or
    stuff a PCMCIA ethernet card into it when docked.
     
    William P. N. Smith, Aug 29, 2005
    #12
  13. MikeH

    MikeH Guest

    Well, for now I just plug the network cable directly into the laptop and it
    works fine. I just found out the speaker output of the APR is inoperative
    also. I greatly suspect a setup problem at this point. The only peripheral
    that works is the USB plug the mouse connects through. Unless an easy
    solution presents itself I'm going to just plug everything into the laptop
    and set the APR aside.
     
    MikeH, Aug 29, 2005
    #13
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