IBM Thinkpad LAN Network Card Missing
By Erik Rodriguez
This article describes the problem I had with my IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad z60m and T60. All of the sudden the network card is missing from the network connections in Windows XP. Keep reading...
IBM is my favorite tech company. All of the products they produce are rock solid. They are innovative, reliable, and stylish. However, they are a little expensive. Although, I'm a firm believer in "you get what you pay for." So true, especially when you're talking labor.
Network Card Problem
I've experienced this with several IBM thinkpads, so I know it wasn't just mine. At the time of this writing, I own a z60m. It's worked great for 6 months, and then all the sudden the network card stopped working. The wireless card has always worked, but I don't depend on that as much as the wired network card. It DOES NOT show up in the connections section where all my VPN, wifi, and bluetooth connections are. At this point, it still worked. I couldn't set any static IP information, but connections with DHCP still worked.
This problem got progressively worse. When I would leave the office I would just close the lid, and put it in my bag. The next day, I would open her up, plug in my CAT5 cable, only to realize my network connection wasn't working. I tried an ipconfig /release and /renew, that worked a few times, but most of the time I would have to reboot it.
The last straw: my LT froze opening WS_FTP. I did a hard reboot, and the network card never worked after that. I tried doing a system restore several times, which wasn't successful for some reason. I tried 5 different restore points, and they all returned saying "a system restore cannot be completed." I love Windows...
As I mentioned above, I had the same problem with a T60 right out of the box. One of the following solutions will fix your problem:
1. Go into the BIOS [F1] key, and change the network card status to "Hidden." Boot into Windows once. Immediately perform a clean shutdown. Go back into the BOIS, change the network card back to present. Boot into Windows, you should see it now.
2. If that didn't work, try updating the driver. Lenovo has released a new driver for that card. I think it's the same card for both the z60m and T60, but I'm not sure. My z60m has a Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet connection.
3. If all else fails, go into the device manager. Find the Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ehternet Controller and choose "Uninstall." Reboot the machine and it should be detected and your lost network card and you're back in business.
Despite running into this rather annoying problem, I still stand by IBM/Lenovo. Personally, when I find something I like, I stick with it:
1. IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad
2. AMG Mercedes-Benz
3. Red Hat Enterprise Linux