I discovered four days ago that my local area connection was disabled. The wireless was working fine. Trying to enable it resulted in "Connection Failed". A call to Dell Tech Support resulted in using System Restore (Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore) to the earliest date (June 25th in my case) to get it fixed. This Wikipedia article has some good information on System Restore. I had 12 different candidate dates, and zero'ed in on the most recent checkpoint that works; 7/6 failed, but 7/4 worked. There was no 7/5 checkpoint. Apparently I didn't notice the connection had been disabled from 7/6 through 7/11.
I was happy to have the fast connection back on my local area network so that I could move a 12 GB zipped (using the superb open-source 7-zip utility) virtual machine over the wire in 30 minutes instead of 4 hours.
However, the restore clobbers some things, presented in the order in which I discovered them:
- GWD Text Editor recent files kept changing. I used this to track my System Restore progress, and it was interesting seeing which files I had open. My theory is that this data is stored in the registry which System Restore backs up. This was a benign side effect.
- My IE toolbar has no menu again. This was an irritating problem a few weeks ago, right after an Adobe Acrobat didn't finish its install. I wonder if that is what disabled the Local Connection. Alt-C in IE gives my favorites but steals a bunch of screen real which I'd prefer not to give up. Ctrl-W replaces Alt-F-C to close a tab. I think that when Adobe reinstalled, this problem went away.
- Outlook is a mess. I tried finding several emails which I knew I had sent recently, but they are not presented in my sent folder. Fortunately, Google Desktop found them. One was on July 9th. Outlook showed several others sent on 7/9, but not the one I needed. I suppose this could be a coincidence unrelated to the System Restore.
Great. As I write this, it again says connection failed. I am currently on the 65-Watt power supply. Let's see what happens when we switch to a full-power adapter. Ok, by going to a full-power adapter, the connection is enabled.