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Sometimes one of the laptop when attached to the dock would drop the ethernet connection. By constantly pinging the default gateway usually there are no packet drops but sometimes, it results in response as given below. This doesn't seem to be correlated to anything except that it is felt more when the system is doing a lot of things. Changing the dock as well as the cable did not make any change. One of the recommendation is that the ethernet card itself might be going bad. Is there a way to troubleshoot this before involving the hardware vendor for warranty (that doesn't go very well as they usually want to "reinstall" the Windows first)? The laptop is about 6 month old Dell Latitude windows 7 Enterprise SP1 (fully patched) on it. This doesn't happen always and the ping would go without any packet drops for several hrs. This makes it even more difficult to troubleshoot.

Reply from 10.xxx.0.254: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=255
Reply from 10.xxx.0.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=255
Request timed out.
General failure.
General failure.
General failure.
Request timed out.
Reply from 10.xxx.0.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=255
Reply from 10.xxx.0.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=255

Event Log

Log Name:      System
Source:        e1cexpress
Date:          1/25/2012 12:58:00 PM
Event ID:      27
Task Category: None
Level:         Warning
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Description:
Intel(R) 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection
 Network link is disconnected.

Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="e1cexpress" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="40964">27</EventID>
    <Level>3</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2012-01-25T20:58:00.632012400Z" />
    <EventRecordID>63900</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>System</Channel>
    <Computer>xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>
    </Data>
    <Data>Intel(R) 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection</Data>
    <Binary>0000040002003000000000001B0004A00000000000000000000000000</Binary>
  </EventData>
</Event>
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Downvoter, I understand that this site is not for individual computer support. But how come it would have been fine if this was asked by our desktop support engineer. How is it different when I am asking the very same question they might have asked and this is what troubleshooting they have done so far and recommending contacting the vendor but that involves the downtime for me and I don't want to go there unless I have done everything I can myself. This question doesn't seems to belong to SuperUser either but I am open to close it here and ask it there if that is what is recommended. –  amit_g Jan 26 '12 at 1:36
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closed as off topic by MDMarra, Shane Madden, MikeyB, Wesley, Iain Jan 26 '12 at 8:28

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1 Answer

Ping is not a valid way to troubleshoot. There are a thousand reasons a ping could have a general failure or request timed out, the more important question is do you suffer any actual faults with the card (such as downloads failing midway, drop outs, etc). One of the reasons you could see what you're seeing in ping is if you're going over a slow link and you could try using the -w switch to up that to see if it helps.

You can confirm this by going start -> run -> eventvwr and selecting Filter on the right. Filter on the following event ids:

4201, 3036, 50

These will tell you if the card is actually dropping link, if you don't have any of these events then I would place money that the card is perfectly fine and what you are seeing is regular ping behaviour. If you are seeing those, can you post the output of one them?

Obviously also try the basics like upgrading the driver.

EDIT: Another idea is to try pinging 127.0.0.1, this should hopefully rule out software level issues.

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It was noticed when all of a sudden RDP connection would fail, or a web page would not open up or SQL connection from SQLMS would drop out. By the time, usually the things are checked, the connection has been restored. That is why ping -t was run to demonstrate that the connection is dropped. This is on a corporate LAN and it certainly is not a slow link. What should be selected on the left pane (Windows logs-Application/System, Application and services logs-which one)? –  amit_g Jan 26 '12 at 1:29
    
You want the System log. If it is truly the network adapter dropping link you should be able to correlate the RDP dropouts with these events in your system log. I would also try going in to device manager and setting the link speed from auto-negotiation to it's actual speed to rule that out, as well. –  nullity Jan 26 '12 at 1:32
    
There is nothing in the System log for event ids 4201, 3036, 50 but while checking I noticed eventid 27 with description "Intel(R) 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection Network link is disconnected." Posted the log in the question. There are several such entries about the time when the issue was noticed. –  amit_g Jan 26 '12 at 1:44
    
Have you tried upgrading the motherboard BIOS and the network card drivers? –  nullity Jan 26 '12 at 4:06
    
Yes, driver is latest. Did not check the BIOS, will take a look. –  amit_g Jan 26 '12 at 17:08
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