Solved: Better to solve internet connection- XP or Vista- from overseas...

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mgoblue424

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Hi, this site was helpful a few years ago when I bought a new PC, and I hope it can help me with an internet question from overseas!

I've been in Korea a few years now, and when I returned to the USA for a visit, I bought a Dell laptop, from the XPS line. I had a problem with the OS, and had it serviced by Dell-Korea. The first service replaced the video card, but after a few weeks, it refused to boot. When it was returned repaired (two weeks later, only after I contacted them again- but thats another story!), it had "Windows XP- business" opn it- I bought it with "Vista-Home-Premium" installed.

sorry for the backstory- but now I cant get on the internet at home. I contacted Dell-USA about another problem (another story, pt. 2!), and someone there emailed me I shouldnt have XP on it.

I have the reinstall CD for Vista- and Vista had been able to get me connected when I had a similar problem with getting online in the past. I could have someone arrange for a technician to come up and get the settings for the "XP Business" set for the computer, but given the length of time it took, and my other worries about all this, I think just reinstalling Vista is my fastest solution to everything.

I gues I have a lot of questions, and think reinstalling is the fastest solution to everything. I definitely plan on shipping it off to Dell American Warranty service when I'm back again for a few weeks.

OK, if I've confused anyone, I'm sorry- just looking for opinions on what I've thought to do, and if anyone has a better idea, I'm all ears!
 

TerryNet

Terry
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I don't know what "XP- business" is, but a good possibility is that the jerks who installed the wrong system on your PC didn't install all the drivers. Check in Device Manager to see if you have drivers missing (warnings, errors, 'other' or 'unknown' devices). Then check Dell's web site--use your Service Tag for easier searching on their Support section--to see if the XP drivers even exist for your model. If so, download and install the chipset, then networking, and then any other drivers needed.

Unless you are one of the people who "hate" Vista and have decided they'll never get used to it your best bet is probably to install your Vista. If XP drivers do not exist, you really don't have a choice.
 

mgoblue424

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Dec 15, 2005
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31
thank you. it's XP-professional- sorry.

and no, I'm not natively against Vista. I bit the bullet and tried to install it last night. A screen came up saying I could only install Vista-Business. I tried to get around this, and it let me click a few more, but then it asked for drivers to be installed, and those are on another DVD. I ejected the Vista DVD, inserted one for drivers, and the computer decided to shut down.

It starts up just fine, with my same problems as before. At this point I plan on just putting the ball back on Dell to come up with a solution. And maybe get a wireless router. I had a router here before, and got it to work through dumb-luck. Hopefully lightning strikies twice. or I can get someone else to hook it up for me!
 

TerryNet

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Do you have a Vista install disk or a Recovery disk?

Do you boot from the disk and then get that mysterious message about "only install Vista-Business"?
 

mgoblue424

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Dec 15, 2005
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I have the disc they gave when they sent it! Sorry, but I dont know the differences between exact terminology.

actually, I tried it again overnight, and it actually reinstalled! So maybe I just clicked something wrong earlier. But whatever the problem was at first, it didnt reappear. anyway, I got Vista reinstalled without a problem.

Anyway, this leads me to another question- is there a way to test your connection? I insert the ethernet cable into the port on my laptop, but the computer doesnt recognize it. I ran the "Diagnose problem" through Vista, but all it does is tell me that there is no Wireless network available (I tuened off the wireless switch). And I dont see anything that shows me the status of the ethernet port, or anything about it really.

Is there a way to test the link to the internet, so I at least know if the problem is with the computer, or the highspeed line?
 

TerryNet

Terry
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There is no single test that will tell you that a problem exists in your computer vs. the cable vs. the modem vs. your ISP vs. something else. Depending on your general networking knowledge and "feel" for your problem there are shortcuts you can take, but you still have to trouble shoot the problem.

Check in Device Manager to see what's listed under Network Adapters. My educated guess is that you will not find your ethernet adapter there or else it will have some warning or error.

If my guess is correct the fix is to get and install the chipset and networking drivers (in that order) for your model from Dell's web site, support section. Use your Service Tag for easier searching. Then get and install any other drivers that you are missing (video, sound, ...). And, yes, you use another computer to download the chipset and networking drivers and use removable media (USB flash drive, CD, etc.) to copy them to your Dell. If you have a Dell Drivers or Resource/Drivers CD you can use that instead, but it's always good to get the latest drivers.

Side note: if you have just a modem (no router; not a modem/router combo) when you switch the computer connected to it you have to power cycle (unplug for 30 seconds) the modem.
 

mgoblue424

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Dec 15, 2005
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thanks for the advice! I made the cardinal mistake of just assuming the driver for the Ethernet jack was on the recovery dvd Dell provides. finding the driver and downloading it solved all my problems.

Thank you for the help though! Much appreciated!
 

TerryNet

Terry
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You're welcome. Glad you're back in business now. I like my 2 Dell PCs and think their web site for drivers and support is good, but you certainly seemed to have nothing but bad experience with their personal support. I have had rotten luck with their email support and have never listened to their recorded babble long enough to sample their phone support. :(

Stick with Dell's web site and the Tech Guy site and you and your Dell PC will be fine. :)

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