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Can't get Gateway 200ARC notebook connected to internet (no ethernet cont. driver)

Discussion in 'Drivers' started by SMCorp, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. SMCorp

    SMCorp Techie7 New Member

    I have a Gateway 200ARC notebook (actually two of them) and can't get it connected to the internet.

    The brief history, got it 4 months ago with XP Pro, seemed to work, but bugged up soon, it either had a virus or got one because I hadn't yet installed AV. I partitioned, formatted, and installed XP Home and all the drivers. I think all the drivers came from Gateway, but I can't recall, I used a lot of tricks and workarounds to get it going. Upgraded to SP2, loaded lots of apps, AVG, used it a LOT for a month, failed to clone HD (huge mistake), took it on a business trip (which is why I bought it in the first place) and 8 days in, it blew up. While in use, it did blue screen text and restarted to "invalid system disk - press any key". Six days of data recovery work got all the files back I needed, then I went to do it all over again, partition, format, and install XP Home and all the drivers.

    This time, no luck. It won't get online with WiFi or a cable. I installed the Gateway-supplied drivers for the Intel chipset and the Intel-supplied Intel/PRO wireless 2100 drivers (because none of the FOUR NIC drivers at Gateway even say 2100 or 2200BG, all can be installed but still have the problem), but there is still a yellow question mark in the device manager next to "Ethernet controller". The Intel/PRO wireless 2100 appears above that, seemingly installed fine. But it doesn't connect to the internet any way.

    Any help forum post I found said to use Driver Agent or PC Wizard, which is dumb, both try to get online, can't, and thus tell me nothing.

    Today, I spent about 20 hours doing this alongside some other work, in all, I cleaned the hard drive and started over about four times.

    I can't recall how I made it work before. The trick that time was getting SP2 installed, it requires a browser newer than the IE in XP Home, and a newer browser requires SP2. I used a semi-old FF for that, I think. But the NIC was never an issue.

    Today, I have also been doing the same thing on another one just like it, except it has the Intel/PRO wireless 2200BG. Same results, won't connect.

    Also, the wireless screens icon appears in the tray, and seems to let me connect, then says it is disconnected, but the wired connection icon has never been seen.

    So, can anyone suggest a way to get this working? Thank you.
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    So, you have two identical Gateway notebooks, one works and the other does not, right? Or are both bad?

    How did you make your post above?

    Can you download SP3, drivers, etc. with the good notebook, burn the files to a disk or external drive, then install them on the bad machine?

    Note, "invalid system disk" if often a precursor to drive failure.
  3. SMCorp

    SMCorp Techie7 New Member

    Thanks for the reply Digerati.

    I have two that are the same except the WiFi module is Intel 2200BG on the first one and 2100 on the one I got a few months after the first (and never used until this week, it had no hard drive). I think the second one has good hardware, like the first. I got it as a backup.

    I made this post on my 98SE business box. My kitchen computer (a Shuttle XPC w/XP Home SP2) also just quit working, either the PSU or mobo started getting intermittent, then failed. Computer gremlins are coming to me in threes these days.

    I don't plan on getting SP3, it will slow these down to the point I wouldn't want to use them. I've made that mistake a few times before. I stop at SP2.

    I can put files on a CD or USB SD card reader/512mb SD card using this 98SE machine. Or set up another if I need. I have a few more computers.

    You know, when this happened to me in China, I figured the hard drive had failed, just stopped spinning forever. This actually happened 3 days before (just wouldn't turn on, invalid system disk), and after many failed attempts to start it, I flipped it over, removed the HD (40gb IDE Hitachi Death Star aka Travelstar) and the FPC cable, carefully put it all back in, and it worked perfectly for 3 days. Then blew up as noted above, and no matter how many times I pulled the drive out or tried to spin it to free imagined stiction, it would not start.

    Once home, still bad, I put that drive in a 44-pin IDE 2.5" to 3.5" adapter, put it in an inClose drive carrier, then put it into two of my desktops (XP and 98). Both could see it in the BIOS and Windows, but not read it at all. So that surprised me to see the drive was still there. BTW, it is formatted for FAT32 so I can copy material from my business box better.

    I spent six days of my life downloading, installing, and trying about 15 different hard drive data recovery programs, starting of course with the freeware and trial versions. This is something I knew nothing about, and in the process I found out that things like Recuva are stupid, they only see files that Windows can see! Others were telling me they could not work because the boot sector could not be read, presumably due to corruption. Others seemed to be baiting me to pay the upgrade fee by "finding" thousands of my files, only without showing me any of MY file names and while showing me a whole lot of file types I don't have (MP3s and movies) and few Wordpad files when I actually have 10,000 of them.

    Finally, one program, the trial of EaseUS FAT recovery, showed me ALL my lost stuff, with my real file names (though strangely without most nested folder names, they were DIR760, DIR761, etc., making it take a LONG time to locate my lost files), and the free version let me have 1gb or up to 100mb/day up to 1gb in all, bogus because it can't ever get a 150mb file then, but I worked around it and took 168mb and that did it. I copied that to an SD card and put that data back on my business box. That was a few photos and a lot of lengthy Wordpad files I'd written without backing up, so this was a huge relief.

    The real eye-opener there was that almost any crap freeware can see thousands of files I deleted years ago, telling me I need to start PGP-wiping my freespace.

    I should also note a possible culprit here is OpenOffice, an absolute pig of a 179mb download that uses tons of memory and CPU just to read/edit/save my Wordpad files, but I needed it because XP can't open Wordpad files from 98 after SP2 has been installed. It did the trick, but I think the fact that all my .doc files are PGP encrypted before and after use confused it, because every day it was "recovering" from errors with files, maybe because it couldn't see them while encrypted. Anyhow, after 5 days of "fixing" 10 files a day (after having had only one corrupt 98 Wordpad file in 14 years of use), the computer blew up and was unbootable.

    After putting my data back, I partitioned and formatted this 40gb drive, and ran a Scandisk surface scan that showed no errors whatsoever. So it is hard for me to conclude that the HD is bad. This episode also reminded me of 20-30 times in the last 10 years when XP drives suddenly become un-bootable and say "invalid system disk", "NTLDR is missing", something about kernel 386, or other XP greatest hits. That has never, ever happened with a 98SE disk. Ever. Also, with 98SE, if the Windows ever seems to have problems (common in the early days but not the last 8 years), I can just reinstall 98SE from the CD. It leaves ALL my user data intact. Doing this with XP destroys all data, even if you put it in the same partition, etc.. So that's part of why I have entrusted my data to 98 and only occasionally let it travel to an XP box (when the computer has no 98 drivers available, which is the case with pretty much any notebook with WiFi, USB 2.0, and anything else you'd expect to have now).

    What do you think?
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Then you have something else wrong because that is not right. And on top of that, it is a mistake sticking with SP2 as your systems are woefully out of date with security updates, and continue to fall behind as Microsoft stopped Support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 years ago! You put yourself and other users of your network and the Internet at risk by not keeping your systems current.

    Ummm, no, that is not true. Recuva is one of the better "un-delete" programs but no recovery program is perfect. And if a drive is used at all before the recovery program, there is a significant chance the lost data will be overwritten with new data, and lost forever.

    :( Yeah, those scare tactics will force me to drop the program in half a heartbeat.

    Have you seen Office? And note OpenOffice is free.

    Frankly, I think you need to get with the times. XP was designed over 12 years ago to support legacy software and hardware from the DOS era, another 10 years back. Plus, hard drives, being electromechanical devices, simply wear out - and you have signs that is happening.

    I commend you (sincerely!) for carrying XP and those old systems along successfully for so long, but electronics wear out, and thanks to badguys, consumers have been forced to harden our data and safe computing discipline to today's standards.