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Tips For Troubleshooting “Network Cable Unplugged” Error For Wired Microsoft Platform PC’s


If you have been working on computer networks – LAN or Internet for quite sometime now, then it’s highly probable that you would have experience the problem of “Network Cable Unplugged” on your PC or laptop or server. I have also seen this error so many times and have always successfully solved it too!

So, here I am writing this post to help you in solving the error of “Network Cable Unplugged” yourself! I am only considering the basic and average tips that are sufficient in finding most of the reasons behind this problem and taking the needed action. The environment that I am taking into account for this post is Microsoft Windows VISTA System Software and wired (non wireless) networks. These tips will definitely help you in solving the “Network Cable Unplugged” problem on other Microsoft Windows versions – XP, 2000, 98 and 95 etc. too as the logic and technology almost remains same in all the OS’s.

RJ 45 connector is used to connect the PC with a Network Interface Card (NIC) to a network – LAN or Internet (where the Internet Service Provider terminates the last mile connectivity at the NIC). As you know, some of the other technologies of providing the Internet connectivity are dialup (getting obsolete now) and wireless (using USB or data card).

When you get a Network Cable Unplugged error, some of the reasons behind this error could be:

- The RJ45 male connector of the wire is not making proper contact with the RJ45 female port. This can happen due to:

- Accumulation of dust at either of these connectors
- Film development
- Damage of connector
- Connector getting loose due to wear and tear

- The wires in the network cable are damaged. This can happen if the cable gets cut or has gotten too old (cracks etc.)

- Wrong cable connections . Straight network cable should be used between the NIC and the switch, hub or router and a cross cable should be used if two PC’s are connected directly with each other. In straight cable, the wires of one end go to wires at other end straight, i.e., Pin 1 to Pin 1, Pin 2 to Pin 2 and so on till Pin 8 to Pin 8. In cross cable, the TX (transmit) of one end goes to RX of other end, kindly check my other post titled “Transferring files between two PC’s using Network Cross Cable” that discusses the pin details of a cross cable at:

If you match the color of the wires inside the connectors of both the ends of the network cable, you can find out if the cable is straight or a cross one.

The network connector is connected at the wrong port - uplink or faulty port at the immediate remote end (switch or hub etc.). If the port is faulty, then you will not see a green LED at your NIC end. To check if the NIC is working fine (its hardware and TCP/IP protocol binding is ok), execute “ping″ (without quotes) at the run command window or at the MS DOS prompt. If the ping to the loop back address shows response, then your NIC is fine.

- The network port at your PC (local end) or the remote end is not having power. At your end, you can check if the NIC or the PCMCIA network card is seated properly in the respective slot. While, PCMCIA Card can be pulled and pushed in Power ON condition, make sure that the PC is switched off and the power cable to the CPU is taken out when checking and inserting the NIC properly in its slot.

- The network card driver at your PC is incorrect, i.e., not matching to the physical network card on your PC. The packing box of your NIC or the markings on the card should give you enough information to find out its make. If the network card driver is not available with you, download from the manufacturer site from some other Net connected PC (by searching by its chip number) and install it on your PC.

You should also check the status of the device (network card) in Device Manager to ensure that it is working properly and there are no IRQ (Interrupt Request) conflicts with some other device on the PC.

- The media connection settings of your RJ45 network port, i.e., its speed (100 Mbps, 10Mbps) and flow – full duplex/half duplex are not matching with the network port at the remote end. In such a case, the ideal strategy should be to change the network connection properties from Auto to the combination such as 100 Mbps full duplex, 100 Mbps half duplex etc. till the “Network Cable Unplugged” message is removed.

The procedure to change the network port connection speed in Microsoft’s Vista Business is:

- Right Click on Network Icon (showing two computers at the right bottom corner)
- Click on Network and Sharing Center
- Click on Manage network connections
- Right click on the Local Area Connection Network followed by the NIC model (under LAN or High-Speed Internet connection). Choose the right NIC in case there are more than one NIC’s and then click on its Properties.
- Click on Continue (the typical Vista permission box)
- Click on Configure at the top (below the NIC model)
- Click on Link Speed tab and choose another Speed and Duplex setting (from Auto or the existing one) and click on OK.

Check if the “Network Cable Unplugged” message is gone. If not, then follow the steps from 4 to 7 till you can find another setting that gets rid of the error.

- Check the power management settings to verify if there is any configuration that is disabling the power to the network card after a defined interval of time.

- Power cycle your ADSL router that connects your PC/PC’s to the Internet. Power cycling means:

- Shutting down all the computers connected to the router and then turning the power off of the router also.
- Waiting for at least 30 seconds.
- Powering On the router and letting it complete startup and boot procedure to become ready.
- Turning on the PC and waiting till it becomes ready (desktop appearance)

Now, possibly after the power cycling, the “Network Cable Unplugged” problem should be solved.

I hope that the above tips would definitely help you in sorting out “Network Cable Unplugged” problem. If the problem still continues, seek my help or take assistance of an experienced Network Engineer/Technician (if it is an urgency).

Sometimes relaxing and thinking over the last changes (software, hardware, network setup etc.) done in your PC after which the “Network Cable Unplugged” error immediately started coming can quickly lead you to the right solution.

Let me know if these tips helped you in any way? Feel free to let me know your feedback too about this topic!

Take care,


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Tags: reasons for netowrk cable unplugged, reasons for network cable unplugged error, Solutions to "Network Cable Unplugged" problem, solve "Network Cable Unplugged" problem, tips to remove "Network Cable Unplugged" message, troubleshoot n/w cable unplugged error

This entry was posted on Friday, September 12th, 2008 at 1:36 pm and is filed under Internet, MS Windows Vista, MS Windows XP, Networking, Troubleshooting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Tips For Troubleshooting “Network Cable Unplugged” Error For Wired Microsoft Platform PC’s”

Sundeep November 23rd, 2008 at 10:43 am

Thanks. I had the same problem and did no end of trouble-shooting before landing up at this page. The problem was that my router had 10Mbps mode and the Auto setting on my card was causing the problem. Everything is working now! Thanks once again.

rajeshmago November 23rd, 2008 at 12:31 pm

@Sundeep: I am very happy to know that this post helped you in successfully troubleshooting the “Network Cable Unplugged” message at your computer.

Thanks for trying, explanation of what exactly solved the issue and your feedback too!

Sarah December 2nd, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Well, I quite wish that there was one word of information regarding wireLESS connections on this tips and tricks website. The search continues…

rajeshmago December 4th, 2008 at 7:55 pm

@Sarah: This post was meant for wired networks only and there is no post on my blog presently for “Troubleshooting the N/W cable unplugged error for wireless networks”. I will try to help you through email and would write a post for wireless networks too. Thanks for giving me an idea for one more useful post :)

khalid June 28th, 2009 at 1:36 am

thanks rajesh ur tips r very useful for us and i hope u will help us some others problems ,how we remove low conectivety there r lot off reason plz mention us the basic ones and what we will have to do to erase this problem from our networks

flashrob August 26th, 2009 at 7:17 pm

I had this problem with a winxp system with a realtek nic card, hardwired.

A temp solution was using a wireless g, which gave me 54mbs, instead of 100mbs over the cable.

This problem would occur just occasionally, but it annoyed me…I checked most of the ideas…the router, cable, ports, nic…etc.

i didn’t want to have to replace the nic…as I just had a hunch that the problem was some “glitchy” software issue with either winxp or the realtek card software…


I saw someone said to check the “bios” settings…you press like F2 on startup…to get into bios…

under the peripherals there were two references to my network card…one was lan setup WHICH WAS ENABLED…and one was “rom boot of network card” WHICH WAS DISABLED…SINCE I HAD NEVER TAMPERED WITH THESE SETTINGS…I assumed they were correct and that the “rom boot of the card” was some kind of manual overide…which you SHOULDN’T NORMALLY HAVE TO ENABLE.

…anyway I enabled the “rom boot of the card” also…restarted, disconnected the wireless and SURPRISE I HAD ACCESS TO THE NETWORK…one thing…I had to go into the “local network connection properties” and reckeck the box so the “network icon” would appear again on the taskbar”…that being done ALL WORKED, etc.

Now, I restarted went back in and “disabled” the “rom boot of the network card”…I did this because the boot process was stalled as a setup screen appeared querying you about the “rom setup” …just hitting the “escape key” got you thru this setup program…but I didn’t want to have to keep going thru this delay on startup…

…when I restarted the NETWORK CARD WAS STILL WORKING WITH THE ICON IN THE TASKBAR showing all was fine…

so, you should try this before buying a network card again…or spending time checking cables…do this first it just takes a few minutes…and then do the other stuff…

I think ultimately…some changes the “Normal network card setup” either xp or the card software…or both, or some other software impacting them…in any event…

if I have this problem again…I’ll just go into the bios and ENABLE THE ROM BOOT OF THE CARD…get the network working…and go back in an disable the “rom manual network card forced setup.”

hope that helps…and my thanks to the person who in one line suggested checking the “bios” which I probably never would have….



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