results of my try.

Tim Chase blinux.list at
Thu Jan 29 03:57:22 UTC 2015

On January 27, 2015, Karen Lewellen wrote:
> I typed /sbin/ifconfig eth0 as instructed the message we got was:
> eth0: error fetching interface information: Device not Found

That's very strange.  It's almost as if it can't find the network
card.  A couple possibilities occur to me:

1) the network card got unseated and just needs to be firmly pushed
back into its socket (this might happen if it was a PCI/ISA card and
it came loose during shipment).  If it's built into the motherboard
as many are now, that's not really a consideration.  An easy way to
test/check would just be to jiggle the location where the network
cable goes into the PC and if it feels loose, re-seat it (or have
someone pop the case and do it for you).

2) the network card is physically attached, but it's an unsupported
card.  This is pretty rare as Linux tends to have excellent support
for all manner of networking hardware from ancient to bleeding-edge.
This may be the hardest to track down.  Saving the output from
"lspci" might help indicate whether it's even showing up on the PCI

3) the network card might be disabled in the BIOS.  Unfortunately, on
most PCs, the BIOS is inaccessible, so you'd have to get some sighted
help to determine what the magic key is upon startup that lets you
into the BIOS configuration.  Just on the handful of computers I've
got here, it's "escape" on one, "F2" on another, and "0" on yet
another.  When the machine is first powered-on, it usually flashes a
"press {some key} to enter setup" message.  Then your extra eyes
would have to poke around for something that would read like
"disable/enable internal NIC" and make sure that it's not disabled.

4) There's a freak possibility that the ethernet card(s) failed to
start at "0" when numbering.  If that's the case, you can remove
the "eth0" from the original command that I gave you to check the
output of

  /sbin/ifconfig | grep -i '^[a-z]'

which should list all the known network adapters that it can see.

> let me add that typing shutdown -h  also produced an error,

Most systems require root privileges to shut down, so you might have
had to use either "sudo shutdown -h", "sudo halt", or "su -l -c halt"
to do so.  That said...

> so I simply turned off the machine after restoring speakup.

as discussed in the previous thread, this shouldn't harm anything.

So unfortunately, diagnosing hardware (particularly BIOS) issues may
require additional sighted assistance.  But, it sounds like there's no
major rush.


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