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How Do I Reset a Network Adapter?

A wireless network adapter.
A network adapter.
Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 July 2014
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There are a few different ways to reset a network adapter, though the two most common ways include removing the adapter from the computer. This can be done by physically removing the card and restarting the computer, and then reinstalling the card. A software removal can also be done by uninstalling the drivers and software to reset a network adapter and then reinstalling the adapter. If you are having Internet connection issues, then you may also want to consider resetting your modem and router as well, since these devices can commonly cause such issues.

A network adapter is typically a piece of hardware installed on a computer that allows the computer to connect to a network. These can be wireless devices designed to allow a computer to connect to a wireless network or wired devices that allow connection to a wired network, typically through an Ethernet cable. To reset a network adapter typically requires some form of “removal” of the adapter from the computer and then reinstalling the device.

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The most direct way to reset a network adapter is to shut down a computer and then physically remove the device from the motherboard. This can be done to not only reset the device, but can also be done to test if issues may be arising from a problem with the port where the card connects to the motherboard. When you reset a network adapter in this way, you may try reconnecting the card to another port on the motherboard and restarting the computer to see if the card works properly. This can solve some problems and is worth testing before doing a software reset.

Resetting a network adapter without physically removing the card can be done by simply uninstalling any drivers and other software required for the card to work. The computer can then be restarted and the drivers and software reinstalled. This can be a good way to fix issues caused by the drivers or other programs becoming corrupted. Depending on the card, however, it may be required to combine the two methods and uninstall the software, physically remove the card, and then reinstall the software and card according to installation instructions for the adapter.

When you reset a network adapter, you may fix many of your networking problems, but it can often be easier to try resetting your modem or router first. This is done quite easily by simply unplugging those devices from the power source and waiting one minute before plugging them back in. You should unplug both a modem and router at the same time, and then plug them in one at a time going in the same direction as the signal would travel through your network. In other words, plug the modem back in first and once the signal is established then plug in the router; you may also need to restart your computer.

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