I have an Inspiron 8000 running Windows ME and I am having problems getting the ethernet to work.
It appears to be enabled in the BIOS but there is no device for it under Device Manager. I've tried searching for new hardware etc. but to no avail.
When I plug an ethernet cable in the Ethernet LED wont come on either.
Please help me, you are my only hope!
While this thread is old, I thought I'd toss in my 2-cents worth: If the Ethernet port was covered by a plug (as mine was), then you have a data/fax modem only. I think what's needed to make the Ethernet port work is to replace the modem with one that will accept the 2-pin connector (phone line) and the 14-pin connector (disconnected on my unit.) The modem slot is accessed from the bottom-left panel (battery/floppy slots toward you). My unit has an ActionTec MP560LHD1 modem, which I intend to replace. I'll post back here if I can find another card.
Confirmed: I bought a "New Dell 3Com Mini PCI 10/100 56K Card 6F553" off eBay for $2.95 + shipping ($6.09 total). As I indicated above, I removed the cover from the ethernet port and swapped the data/fax modem for the 3com, Installed XP SP3, and right now it's downloading updates from Microsoft Update via the ethernet cable.
However, I should point out here that you *DO* have another option: The Inspiron 8000 also has a built-in wifi antenna. I *know* there are mini-pci cards with data/fax + wifi that the Inspiron can accept, but I don't know if there are data/fax + ethernet + wifi cards. Since ethernet is usually faster than wifi, I opted for ethernet, myself. My final upgrade for this device, before committing it to life as a loaner-pc, will be to bump the SDRAM fro 128MHB to 512MB(max).