Fix: Broadcom Netlink Gigabit Ethernet Driver Stops Working in Windows 10

Some users have been reporting a problem with the Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet Driver Network Adapter. As it turns out, whenever this issue occurs, the LAN connection will effectively stop functioning, momentarily, interrupting the network connection. While the network connection is interrupted, it will show as a connection with Limited access.

This particular issue seems to mainly occur with users that have recently made the upgrade from an older Windows version to Windows 10 and there have been cases where Realtek Network Adapters haven’t been detected either so it isn’t specific only to Gigabit Adapters. Most users affected by this issue have reported that the problem can be fixed by restarting the computer. However, this fix is only temporary, as the same issue can return in a matter of minutes after the next startup.

If you’re currently struggling with this error, the methods below will most likely help you to resolve the problem and restore your internet connection. The fixes below are confirmed to be working by users who found themselves in a similar situation. Please follow the methods below in order until you find a fix that manages to solve your problem.

Method 1: Manually installing the updated Ethernet adapter driver

As it turns out, the upgrading to Windows 10 process is not as smooth as advertised and in some cases, it doesn’t detect your Network Adapter. It seems like the upgrading wizard is failing to install the proper ethernet adapter driver for the NIC that you’re using – hence the internet connectivity problems.

However, some users that are using the Broadcom Netlink Gigabit Ethernet adapter driver have managed to get around this problem by installing the proper driver themselves. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Download the latest Broadcom network adapter from this official link (here) and extract it somewhere accessible.
  2. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run box. Then, type “ncpa.cpl” and hit Enter to open the Network Connections window.
  3. In the Network Connections window, right-click on the Local Area Connection (Ethernet) and click on Properties.
  4. Next, go to the Networking tab and click the Configure button, then go to the Drivers tab.
  5. In the next window, go to the Driver tab and click on Update Driver.
  6. Click on Browse My Computer for driver software, then click on Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
  7. Next, click the Have Disk button, locate the downloaded driver file (the one that ends with .inf) via the Browse button and hit OK.
  8. You should then see a long list of drivers. From that list, select Broadcom Netlink (TM) Gigabit Ethernet and hit the Next button.
  9. Once the driver has been successfully installed, reboot your computer and see wither your internet connection is functioning properly at the next restart.

If this method hasn’t managed to help you resolve the constant interrupting of your network connection, move down to Method 2.

Method 2: Using a dedicated NIC

Keep in mind that you might be experiencing this problem if your machine’s onboard internet controller is not compatible with Windows 10. If you burned through all the methods above without a result, your only hope is to try out a dedicated NIC (network interface card) and see whether it’s capable of handling your network connection.

If you don’t have a dedicated NIC laying around in the house, you can order one online. This one (here) only costs around $12 and is compatible with all the recent Windows versions (including Windows 10).

Just keep in mind that before you install the dedicated network interface card, you’ll need to enter your BIOS settings and disable the onboard Broadcom Netlink Gigabit Ethernet controller. On most motherboards, you will be able to disable the integrated network interface card under Onboard Devices (or a similar name).

Once the onboard NIC has been disabled, install the new dedicated network interface card in a free PCIe slot, connect your network LAN cable and reboot your computer again. At the initial startup screen, it will appear like you don’t have internet, but don’t worry. Once Windows 10 loads up fully the operating system will find it and install the driver for it. After a while, you will have a working network connection.

Method 3: Running the Network Troubleshooter

In some cases, the adapter might just be facing some glitches in its configuration. Running the Network Troubleshooter can sometimes fix this sort of glitches. In order to run it, we will have to execute the program from the Control Panel. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” buttons simultaneously to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “Control Panel” and press “Enter” to open it.
    Accessing the Classic Control Panel interface
  3. Click on the “Network and Internet” option and select the “Network and Sharing Center” button.
    Network and sharing center - Control panel
    Network and sharing center – Control panel
  4. Click on the “Troubleshoot Problems” button to let the Troubleshooter run.
  5. Check to see if the Troubleshooter has fixed your problem after completing the onscreen instructions.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Broadcom Netlink Gigabit Ethernet Driver Stops Working in Windows 10

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