Code 31 error network adapter

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Jul 30, 2013
Hello, I've been having problems with my network adapter on my desktop

it is a DELL 540S Studio Slim

I tried opening the network adapter settings in the networking and nothing pops up. So i searched online and the solution they gave was to uninstall the network adapter driver and then scan for hardware changes so it re-installs it. But after trying to re-install it i get a code 31 error.

I've tried everything, including the manual download of the driver associated with my computer/motherboard (on the dell website), the same error happens and it downloads the same driver as the "scanning hardware option" in device manager.

I've also tried looking for the upper and lower filter values in the registry but it's not there.

I don't know what to do

i've tried updating the driver , disabling, uninstalling, restarting computer

i know i downloaded the correct driver for my PC, Windows 7 64 Bit network adapter driver

I went to the Dell website and found my PC along with its corresponding drivers with the right OS.

Somewhere along the way I've received a "The parameter is incorrect" error also. But i'm not sure what or when this happened. When i open device manager it has an exclamation point on the network adapter, when i double click it i get the error code 31

the motherboard for this computer is (Dell part Number) M017G

I've tried booting it in safe mode with networking, and in safe mode.
It has the same error

If i reformat my computer will it most likely be fixed? If reformatting doesn't work I "HAVE" to replace the network adapter right?
Is it possible to replace the network adapter for this type of computer?


Oct 20, 2014
I had Code 31 errors across all network adapters, and finally found a solution (uninstall/reinstall of drivers didn't work, buying and adding a new wireless adapter didn't work, sfc /verifyonly didn't find anything, etc). Although the following KB article ( is for a different problem, it worked for me. My steps (slightly different/abbreviated from the KB article):

1. Download and copy latest version of the network adapter driver to the machine. I used another machine to download onto USB thumb drive.

2. Run regedit. Remember, editing the registry is dangerous, and you could make things worse! Be paranoid and back things up before you do this.

3. Locate and then export the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network. Use File/Export... menu item to backup the key in case something goes wrong.

4. Delete the registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network\Config. The type of this subkey is REG_BINARY. It is the only subkey you need to delete. Don't delete the entire Network key, but if you do, you have a backup from step 3.

5. Run Device Manager, expand Network Adapters, right-click the network adapter that you want, and then click Uninstall. I chose to delete the driver also, but I don't think it was strictly necessary.

6. Restart the computer. If you deleted the driver in step 5, Windows will tell you that it failed to install the driver. This is ok (you'll install it in the next step).

7. Install the drivers that you copied to the machine in step 1. If you didn't delete the driver in step 5, then this shouldn't be necessary.
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