Today I fixed a failed network port on a laptop and here’s how I did it.
My client complained that his computer suddenly stopped detecting the Ethernet cable. The little network icon (it was a Windows machine), which is located in the lower right corner, stopped switching to the active mode when the cable plugged in.
To make sure it’s not a software related problem I went though the following troubleshooting steps:
1. I checked the device manager. The Ethernet adapter was listed properly and it wasn’t disabled. There were no errors.
2. I booted the computer and tested with a few different Ethernet cables but non of them worked. The network icon remained crossed out and it said “No connections are available”.
3. I created a new user profile and tested in there but it didn’t help either.
After all these troubleshooting steps I was sure this is a hardware related problem. I looked very closely into the network port and found it.
Two contacts inside the port were not seated properly, you can see them on the right side. They were positioned lower than other contacts.
Apparently, something got stuck on my client’s Ethernet cable connector and when he plugged it into the laptop it pushed two pins down.
I was able to lift up damaged contacts with a small flathead screwdriver. I found it’s easier to reshape the contacts when you manipulate with two screwdrivers.
Eventually the damaged contacts were back in place, on the same level with others.
To make sure they are clean I sprayed a couple of shots of DeoxIT cleaner inside.
After that I tested the laptop and boom! The network port works again!