Solved *MY* 'Network Connections Dropping' Problem

Not sure how helpful this might be to other users who might be having a similar problem but, for what it might be worth:

I have a WDTV Live on a WIRED Ethernet Home Network - ‘mostly’ Gigabit, but with a few 100MB devices (an HDTV and a couple of notebooks; the REST of my PCs (7 of them) are all ‘Desktops’ (I ‘heat my home’ with PCs during the winter…).

Anyway, I was able to successfully PLAY, across this network, videos (DVDs and high def) from ALL my PCs ‘save’ ONE: a quad-core Intel Q6600 on an ASUS P5N-D MB with an NVidia 750i chipset. (2 WinXP and 1 Win&32 tri-boot).

NOW: I’ve *always* had a FEW problems with/using the on-board Ethernet hardware on this MB: as long as I used the ‘original’ Ethernet drivers  that came with the MB Installation CD, things worked O.K. as far as *PC to PC networking* was concerned and the system would boot (WinXP) and come up with a 1GBPS Ethernet Connection established.

HOWVEVER: if I decided to try and ‘stay current’ and install Ethernet driver updates either via Windows Update or direct from nVidia, my system would ALWAYS insist on coming up (with these newer drivers) with only a 100MBPS connection, and the ONLY way I could get a 1GBPS connection would be to unplug the E-Net cable from the PC and then plug it back in (while ‘IN’ XP) at which time the connection would be ‘re-established’ at 1GBPS!!!

So, anyway, I wound up ‘living with’ this problem by ‘sticking with’ the Installation CD E-Net drivers.

NOW: THIS worked O.K. for *PC-to-PC networking* *but*, in the case of the WDTV-LMP, I could NEVER get a connection to NOT DROP (I COULD get it established *initially*) after 4-5 minutes of playing a video no matter WHAT E-Net drivers I used OR which OS I used/booted (WinXP OR Win7X86) .

After living with this problem for a long time, contenting myself with playing videos from any of the OTHER PCs I owned, I finally decided to TRY something:

After swapping cables and network swithes around with no success, I decided that successful PC-to-PC networking nothwithstanding, the dropped connection problem ‘must’ be related to the *on-board Ethernet* HW on the P5N-D, I dug out an old (2004!) Linksys EG-1032 v2 PCI NIC I had lying around, installed it (needed to DL XP drivers; Win7 ‘had them’) and ‘Voila’ (that’s French) - it WORKED!!!.

The connection with/to the WD-TV is now 100% reliable and I’ve played several movies back successfully without a single ‘hiccup’.

***Problems with Ethernet Networking seem to be quite common with a RANGE of MBs using nVidea Chipsets***, most notably in the 700 series; CAN’T SAY wherelse/which other nVidia series chipsets SO, the Moral of this Story, if ‘YOU’ might be experiencing dropped connections with wired Ethernet (and/or ANY other Ethernet), you might wish to TRY any other Ethernet NIC card/device you might have lying around (even 100MB) and see it the problem doesn’t go away…

Those dropped connections can be VERY annoying…