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So I have this new Dell XPS M1530, with Windows 7 64-bit. Everything worked great until yesterday, when I innocently allowed Windows Update to update the drivers for the ethernet card (it's a Marvell Yukon 88E8040). Now it shows all signs of being dead--no lights when the cable is plugged in, Windows tells me "Network cable unplugged" even though it's not, and so on. And so that I wouldn't feel like an idiot when someone suggested, I tested the ethernet cable and the socket on the router on a different machine, and everything on that end checks out.
The weird part (imo) is that I ran the newfangled Windows Restore, picked a restore point that was well before the fateful update... and it's still dead. I also tried deleting the driver and installing a fresh one right from Marvell's web site, to no avail. So now I'm thinking maybe the card up and died? The machine is new enough that it makes sense, although I would have expected a bum card to have died back in mid-January when I bought it.
I know, down in my soul, that this is going to end with me on the phone with some hopeless Dell customer service rep. But if you have any other ideas for me before I take that step, I would be much appreciative.