My built in network port seemed to have died on one of my PC’s. It just didn’t stop working, it disappeared and could not be detected anymore. I tried a system restore just in case an auto update had messed it up, but no luck there.
Anyway, I had a spare wireless USB stick doing nothing, so I downloaded the driver, and plugged it on. The new hardware was immediately detected, and Windows started to install. Unfortunately, the options were get the latest drivers from the Internet, load from a CD or quit.
Why give me the choice of the Internet, I was loading a network device therefore had no access to the Internet. As I had downloaded the drivers, they were sitting on my disk drive. There was no choice to load from a disk location. I had to click CD, the installation could not find them so it just bombed out.
The conclusion is that plug and play doesn’t work, it requires all system to be working. The fact that I am playing with hardware means something is broken!