Tag Archives: “Gigabit Ethernet Controller”

Intel Network Adapter Diagnostics May Wrongly Report that the Network Cable is over 100 Metres Long

When you run a Cable diagnostic using the Intel PROSet Network Adapter Diagnostics you may find that the utility incorrectly reports that your network cable is over 100 Metres and/or that the Cable is faulty/poor.

This issue can occur if you have a network switch that implements “power Saving” or “Green Ethernet” this feature is meant to reduce the power to a network port that is supporting a device with a short network cable run.

This “power saving” or “Green Ethernet” feature can cause the diagnostics to fail and can sometimes contribute to network drops and/or poor network throughput.  If you have a managed/smart switch then you can normally login via a browser and “Disable” this feature to correct the issue.

Sage Accounts and Sage Payroll – Crashing or Poor Performance

Sage Accounts and Sage Payroll are two very popular accounting products and in general work nicely on a well configured computer/network.

The most common issues that affect Sage Accounts and Payroll are listed below

  • Verify that your computer at least meets the minimum requirements to run your version of Sage Payroll or Sage Accounts (You cannot expect optimum performance from a machine that only just meets these basic requirements or that is below the outlined specs.  You might be able to upgrade the Memory in your existing machine to improve its performance or it may be time to consider a new machine)
  • Consumer Oriented Anti-Virus Products (These are usually bloated and will consume a large percentage of the system resources, the inbuilt software firewall may disrupt or interfere with the accessing of Sage Data files on other machines.  If you have a network strongly consider a corporate anti-virus product that does not bog down your machine and can be centrally configured rather than relying on each user to add exceptions for specific Sage files)
  • Accessing your Sage Data via a Wireless or VPN Connection (Both these type of connection only offer limited throughput and are prone to unexpected disconnections due to external factors, losing connection to your Sage Data whilst you are using it can result in a crash or worse still corruption. Consider having network data cabling installed or if this is not possible in your building/home then Ethernet Over the Mains may offer a suitable alternative)
  • Outdated Network Adapter Drivers (Your network adapter may have drivers installed that date back to 2005 or 2006 when you first purchased your computer, even most new computers do not have the very latest network adapter drivers installed.  Please take a look at my previous article for information on how you can find out if your network adapter driver is upto date and performing optimally)
  • Old Data Cabling and Network Hubs (Consider upgrading your internal cabling to Cat 5e or Cat 6, these both support speeds up to 1000Mbps or 1Gbps, this offers a significant boost over older 10Mbps networks.  You may also find that if your cabling is already suitable that your Network Hub or Switch is only capable of these slower speeds.  The best performance can be achieved by using a Managed Gigabit Switch, this will offer 1000Mbps to any computer/server/laptop that has a suitable network adapter installed or at least 100Mbps to those machines with older network adapters)
  • Unpatched Machine (Your desktop or server may be missing important Service Packs or updates that improve the overall responsiveness of the system or correct issues related to poor network or disk throughput.)
  • Operating System Hotfixes (Sometimes if an issue is not widely acknowledged Microsoft will release a requestable Hotfix rather than post the update to all users, this Hotfix may make it into a subsequent Service Pack but until this is released you may need to request appropriate hotfixes from Microsoft via http://support.microsoft.com )
  • Data Corruption or Repair may be required (If your data has been damaged in the past then a repair may be required to make it consistent, it is also possible that your Sage Data could be compacted to reduce the overall size and thus improve performance when accessing the data)

Hopefully you find this information useful, it does not cover all possible issues but should generally aid most Sage users.  Please always make several backups of your Sage Data before making any changes to your system or Sage.  Ideally you should make sure that at least one of these backups is to external media (USB pen, DVD/CD, External Hard Disk).

How to update Network Adapter and Wireless Adapter Drivers within Windows

You may be finding that your network or internet connection is slow or unreliable, you may also find that your computer responds far more slowly whilst you are using network resources because your network adapter drivers are not fully optimised. Wireless network adapter users may find that they cannot connect to some wireless points and/or that wireless range is not what they expect.

Any of these issues could be related to using outdated network adapter drivers so update them.

The primary types of network adapter that you will find in use today are PCI, PCI-Express or USB.  Even wireless and cabled network adapters that are integrated into a laptop or computer will still use one of these fundamental bus types.  Despite who you bought your laptop or computer from (i.e. Dell, HP, Acer, Sony) you will most likely find that a thrd party supplied the network adapter module or chip.  This is actually a good thing because it means that you are not restricted to the often outdated drivers that your system manufacturer will issues when your machine is first produced but then subsequently forget about and never update.

The process to update the drivers usually involves downloading and extracting the zipped/compressed driver file and then using Device Manager to verify and update the drivers are compatible and will install.  You will usually find that the extracted drivers folder includes an “inf” file and various “dll” files.

Once you have the drivers downloaded and extracted on your machine its time to launch Device Manager and find the network adapter that you wish to update the drivers for. On my example machine we want to update the Realtek PCIe Gigabit Adapter so we will double click on it and verify the current driver version.

Here we can see the driver version is “7.23.623.2010 and the date the drivers were released is “23/06/2010”.

Now we want to click “Update Driver” and select the location of the new drivers that we downloaded earlier. To do this we need to click “Browse my computer for driver software” and then selecte the location of the extracted driver files.

Once we have carried out the update the new version will show along with the updated driver release date.

You will usually find that the network adapter in your computer or laptop is manufactured by one of the companies listed below, next to each manufacturer is also a link to the official driver download/support page.

Intel           http://downloadcenter.intel.com
Realtek      http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/
Broadcom http://www.broadcom.com/support/ethernet_nic/downloaddrivers.php
Nvidia        http://www.nvidia.co.uk/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-uk
Marvell      http://www.marvell.com/support/downloads/search.do
Ralink        http://www.ralinktech.com/en/04_support/support.php?sn=500
D-Link       http://www.d-link.co.uk/support
Netgear      http://support.netgear.com/app/
Linksys       http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-eu/support/linksys
Belkin         http://www.belkin.com/uk/support/