My Dell computer all of sudden won't connect to the Internet via a wired connection. In fact, there isn't a network icon showing up in the task bar, If I go to the network connections page, I will be presented with a blank page (and the device manager page is blank, too). I tried to reinstall Windows but I can't find the option to do that on the setup/boot menu (the one accessable by pressing F8 before going to the Windows screen upon startup). What should I do? Thanks.
Malware will cause problems such as you describe. If your B110 has been hijacked for use as a "zombie" in a botnet, for example, your ability to make system changes, scan processes and the like may have been deliberately disabled.
If you're in the U.S., you can order the XP discs from Dell (if you're the original owner) or buy a set from eBay for a modest fee. Or, you can borrow a Windows XP disc of the same version (Home or Professional) from someone else, perform the install without activating, and then use the Microsoft product key changer to activate the new install with your Dell product key.
If you have not installed SP3, you have been courting trouble, as SP2 is a sought-after target of cyber-criminals due to its high level of vulnerabilities. To be safe, you should be installing updates and patches at least weekly. Even safer is updating to Windows 7, which has been significantly hardened against cybercrime vis à vis XP.
Try "System Restore" and restore the PC to an earlier date. System Restore can be accessed from Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools. System Restore will not delete any user data, e-mails, etc.
Depending on what happened the System Restore may take care of it.
The Dell recovery for Vista/Win 7 systems is F8 at Power On. At that same point you can press F12 for boot menu and for accessing the Dell hardware diagnostics (and it might be a good idea to run those since you are having problems).
If you are still having problems, post back and include the PC Model Number and OS. We can't give you specific help without that.
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It's a Dell B110 running XP.
I tried system restore but it did not work. After pressing F8, I didn't see anything that said Dell or Dell hardware diagnostics after pressing F12.
What is the status of the network hardware in Device Manager?
Can you connect to the Internet via wireless?
Nothing is listed in Device Manager. No network hardware, hard drives, nothing. It's just a blank page. I can't connect via wireless either.
Nothing has been recently upgraded nor installed.
Your problem could be due to malware. Or, the system files may be corrupted, in which case you may be able to restore them with the system file checker. (The command is SFC /scannow.)
If your problems are due to malware, it may be easier to perform a clean install of XP.
The system file checker did not fix it. If I do a clean install of XP, I will need a disc as Dell did not supply them with the B110 (and some other) systems.
I would need the full XP disc not the upgrade, right? I tried to reinstall with Windows 98 (it's the only OS that I have) but it won't let me (although I think it might be the upgrade disc).
It is basically the same system I bought in 2005. It has the same OS (preinstalled XP SP2), same hard drive, same DVD Rom drive, same network card (add on), same graphics card (intrergrated), processor and so forth. Sometimes I think there is a component in the system that is going faulty due to age.
Well, the Dell support discs worked. But now my monitor screen as a low resolution with 16 colors.
If you have integrated graphics, installing this (the Intel onboard graphics driver) should help.
I'm presuming you don't have a PCI video card installed.
Make sure to install the System Software (under System Utilities, if applicable), then the chipset before any other drivers. After the chipset, you should install the video drivers (and any other needed drivers). Since you didn't say what model computer you have or what OS you are working with, we can't give you detailed instructions or links, but you can get the drivers by going to support.dell.com, Drivers and Downloads, and select your model or enter your Service Tag.