How to Troubleshoot and Resolve any Wired network adapter issues with a Dell Latitude personal computer

Summary: This article is a guide to identifying and resolving problems with the Ethernet connection on a Dell Notebook personal computer.

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Table of Contents:


  1. Resolving an issue with the integrated network adapter
  2. Hardware Troubleshooting
  3. Software Troubleshooting


Resolving an issue with the integrated network adapter


This guide will take you through some general troubleshooting steps to identify and resolve any wired networking issues with your Notebook computer.

Common wired network faults break down into three different categories.

  • No connection.
  • Intermittent connection.
  • Slow connection.

However, some troubleshooting steps apply generally to all faults. 

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Hardware Troubleshooting



  1. Please confirm there is no damage to the network interface card (NIC) port or to the cable.
    • If there is damage, you will need to contact Dell Support. If your warranty does not include Complete Care - Accidental Damage Cover, you may be charged for any repairs.
    • If there is no damage, proceed to the next steps in this guide.
  2. Please make sure the network cable is firmly connected at both the back of the PC and at the router or network connection point.
    • If this resolves your issue, then it was caused by a loose physical connection.
    • If this does not resolve your issue, then proceed with the guide.
  3. If you have a docking station, please dock the system and use the NIC port on the docking station.
    • If this resolves your issue, then contact Dell Support to troubleshoot and report an issue with the NIC port on the system.
    • If this does not resolve your issue, or if you do not have a docking station available, then proceed with the guide.
  4. Boot the system into the BIOS (tap rapidly on the F2 key as the system starts up), and look at the NIC port on your system to determine whether the port's LED lights are on, off, or flashing. 
    • If the LEDs are on or flashing, then your system is picking up your network and a connection is in place. Go to step 6.
    • If the LEDs are off, then it is not detecting the network and no connection is in place. Confirm the NIC is enabled in the BIOS.
      1. If the NIC is already enabled, proceed to step 5.
      2. If NIC is disabled, try enabling it. This will either resolve your issue, or you will need to contact Dell Support to troubleshoot further.
  5. Attach one end of a working network cable to your PC and the other end take to another device capable of connecting to the network (like another PC). Determine whether the fault stays with your PC or follows the cable to the second device.

    • If the second device has connection issues, then the fault is with your router or network connection point.
    • If the second device connects to the network, then you should contact Dell Support to report a hardware fault.
  6. Rule out a loose NIC port by shaking the NIC cable while it is still connected at both ends. Determine whether your Personal Computer's NIC LEDs change when moving the cable.
    • If they do, and you know the cable is working fine, then you will need to contact Dell Support to report a hardware issue.
    • If they do not, then proceed to the next section.

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Software Troubleshooting


  1. The next step is to rule the Operating System (OS) out of the issue. You can do this by swapping out the Hard Drive in the same way we did the cable earlier and seeing if the fault follows the drive or stays with the unit. Alternatively, you can boot from an Ubuntu Live CD and see if the same issue appears.

    • If the fault is seen when booting from the live CD or from a known good working Hard Drive, then contact your support to take this further.

    • The fault is not seen on the live CD or works fine with a known good working Hard Drive installed. Proceed with the guide.

Note: I would advise checking the user manual for your system type, for instructions on removing and fitting parts. If you do not have an Ubuntu Live CD you can download an ISO from the link below. To boot from a CD tap rapidly on the <F12> key as it starts up and select the correct option from the Boot once menu.


  1. If the fault has been narrowed down to a software or configuration issue, then the first question to ask is whether it would be quicker to reinstall or reimage the PC than troubleshoot further. You know from the previous troubleshooting that a reinstall will definitely resolve the problem, but that can be a lot of work depending on what software and data is on the PC and how you have gone about backups.

    • If it is quicker for you, then reinstall or reimage the machine to resolve your issue.

    • If not then please proceed with the guide.

  2. The easiest first troubleshooting step is to reset your PC to the settings it had when the NIC last worked. I have linked to guides on how to do this for the various windows OS's. this will either resolve your issue or you need to proceed to the next step.

  3. Uninstall the NIC drive from Device Manager and install the latest driver from the support site for your system type. this will either resolve the issue or you need to proceed to the next step. Go to the run box and type mmc devmgmt.msc. Open up the network Controllers on the box that appears and right click on the integrated NIC and select uninstall.

  4. Compare your configuration to a working computer and see if there are any differences, if so change the settings to reflect those on the working computer. You can bring up a command prompt and there are several commands you can check. Go to the Run box and type cmd. A black window opens with a command prompt.

    ipconfig /all

    This command lists all the connections on your PC.

    ipconfig /release

    This command drops your IP address with your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

    ipconfig /renew

    This command picks up a new IP address.

    tracert *ip or tracert web URL*M

    This command shows you how many jumps and how long it takes for the DNS to resolve an address and get you to a particular page or site. The more jumps and the longer it takes, the more likely there is a DNS issue. Reset your DNS to resolve.

    ping *ip or ping web URL*

    this checks your connection to a site without bringing the site up or using anything that might be corrupted or disabled in your OS. It is a very basic check.

  5. If that did not work you can reset the TCP/IP Stack. If this does not resolve the issue proceed to the next step.

  6. The last suggestion I can give is you may have been infected with Malware that is stopping your NIC from connecting to prevent you from diagnosing and downloading removal software. I would advise running a scan with a third party application. There are various freeware programs such as Malwarebytes available. If one of these programs does not pick up any issues, then I am afraid you are left with reinstalling the system to resolve this.

If you need to log a call or go through further troubleshooting? You can contact us Online through Chat, Twitter, or Email. Alternatively, you can call in to your local support line. If you go to the support site, ensure it is set to your country or region, then click thecontact us link. It will give you the latest information on how to get in touch.

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Article Properties

Affected Product

Laptops, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS

Last Published Date

22 Feb 2021



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