Intel 82578DM NIC only Connects After Cold Boot
Intel's latest batch of NICs is atrocious on our networks in Windows 7. It will just sit there trying to get an IP address forever unless it has been cold booted. This gets a bunch more reliable when you upgrade the BIOS and use the very latest drivers from the Intel site but the issue still persists.
Looking in the drivers advanced properties I think that I have found the culprit. For some unknown reason Intel have decided that a good default value for their "Wait on AutoNeg Complete" setting would be auto which defaults to just reporting that the card is ready whether it is or not.
Setting this to on seems to have made these cards much more reliable. In our environment at least the setting is stored in a standard location in the registry:
I have attached the REG file that also resets the default option to on. Hopefully it can help someone else. (Fitting, the attachment is 666 bytes and it is an evil problem :))