How come my laptop tells me it is looking for an IP address and to contact the system administrator?

by on February 18, 2010

Q: I purchased a used Dell laptop and I cannot assess the Internet. It is looking for an IP address and wants me to contact the system administrator. How do I fix this?


One Response to “How come my laptop tells me it is looking for an IP address and to contact the system administrator?”
  1.  

    Since this is a used PC you’ve never used before, it could be a ton of things from a messed up windows setting to defective hardware. Your first option is of course to just save yourself the headache and just return the laptop. If you’d dead set on keeping it, your next step should be to wipe the harddrive and do a windows reinstallation. There is no telling what is on this harddrive from the prior user from malware to messed up internet settings. A fresh windows installation will give you a clean slate and probably take care of the problem.

    If you’re torn between returning it and wiping the drive you can also make yourself a bootable operating system DVD ( http://www.knoppix.net/ )
    You can download a disk image there and burn it, and then boot your computer from the DVD. This will run linux straight off the DVD and ignore the contents of the harddrive. If you’re still unable to get on-line with knoppix then you’ve probably got some kind of a hardware problem (or you forgot to plug in the laptop).