Don’t you hate when this happens?

Yeah, tell me this never happened to you:

You go the My Network Places or Network Neighborhood. You’re looking for that shared folder on your other computer. You know — the one with the mp3s that you want to burn onto a CD that you have cued up on this computer.

You can’t see the folder. You can’t even see the computer.

Dang.

You type in the UNC path name in the Run box. No luck. You go to the other computer. Network Neighborhood only shows one computer: the one you’re sitting at.

What …. ?

You check everything — Device Manager shows the card is working fine. You check the name of the computer — no duplicates on the network. You check the Workgroup name — same as all the others.

Protocols are installed and configured just fine.

Then you look in the back where the cable should be plugged in to the network adapter. You guessed it — not plugged in. D’oh! Plug it in, everything is fine.

This is what we politely call “a problem at the physical layer.”

If we’re feeling particularly wicked, we call it an “ID10T” error or a PEBCAK error — “Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard.”

Check the simple stuff first. It only takes a few seconds, and/but it could make your day.

I’m just saying.

P.S. BTW, just because the cable is plugged in at one end does not guarantee that it is plugged in at the other. So pay attention!

And another thing — if your computer is plugged in to a router or a hub, make sure the router/hub is turned on (or plugged into a power source).

The green link light on your network card is your friend: it will tell you what you need to know. What this means is that if both ends of the network cable are proplerly plugged in and the devices at both ends are powered up, then you’ll see a green light shining next to where the cables are plugged in.

If no green light appears — you have a problem, Houston.

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