So, since I found it so difficult to find a solution to an issue I had with my computer the other day, I thought I’d make a post about it.
The crux of my problem: my desktop’s network adapter would not connect to my router except at 10mbps. If you’re just looking for the solution, please feel free to scroll to the bottom of this post. Or, frankly, to the top.
This problem began in January (about 4 months ago) when I had an issue with Windows 8 on my desktop. I had purchased a copy, and nuked my hard drive. I began to make a fresh install and when it came to activate my copy, I was subsequently notified that my key was only good for an upgrade, not a fresh install. I contacted Windows Customer Service, since I didn’t really feel like installing Windows 7 and then 8 again.
As a side note, if you have an upgrade copy of Windows 8, you can install ANY version of Windows on your computer beforehand and install Windows 8 over top of it. So if you have a computer without an OS and you want Windows 8, get the upgrade and install a copy of Windows you might have lying around (or a friend has). You don’t even need to have the original version of Windows activated.
The customer service rep had to remote log in to my computer, and subsequently installed some network drivers (I assume having to do with a VPN or something). The issue was eventually resolved with some registry and command line magic (which I documented) and I was on my merry way.
Shortly after I ran into an issue in which my network icon on my taskbar repeatedly alternated between “Network Cable Unplugged” with a red X and “Identifying…” with a yellow exclamation point. After some searching I found that manually setting the speed to 10mbps was the only thing that allowed me to connect to the internet.
Now, generally one’s internet connection probably doesn’t get up to 10mbps, so it shouldn’t be a problem. And it wasn’t particularly a problem for me either. Recently, however, I noticed issues when streaming video from my desktop to my PS3. I’m not sure why my bandwidth usage got bigger (if it did at all, maybe I had just ignored the video stuttering) but it became a bigger problem recently.
So I began troubleshooting. First I thought it might be the ethernet chord, so I tried THREE others. Next, the router, so I tried a second router I happen to have, as well as a wireless access point I use on my Xbox 360. Still, nothing.
Then, once again, I contacted Windows Customer Service. After some questions, they referred me to my ISP, which didn’t make any sense, so I just decided to give up on that avenue.
Then, after hours of searching, and dozens of forums and blog posts read, I stumbled upon a forum post where someone suggested the OP to turn their computer off and unplug it, for a few minutes and turn it back on.
Surely it couldn’t be that easy. I had to have shut off my computer in the last four months. But, still, I shut off my computer, turned off my power supply, and unplugged it for a few minutes.
And when I turned it back on… It worked! My connection was at a great 100mbps. I couldn’t believe it. How unbelievably aggravating to do all of that work only to find that the first lesson in Help Desk 101 was my solution all along.
All that and I had just finished watching The I.T. Crowd on Netflix!