Every idea is appreciated.
The battery is completely dead and prompting to replace it at every start, so I removed it and am using only A/C.
What tells the NIC to start with the PC? There is no setting in BIOS I can see. Would it be in a started state if there is no OS on the HD, wired directly from the PSU via its switch?
What I'm getting at is whether there is a setting or service between the LAN hardware starting - perhaps from BIOS setting or on its own directly from PSU via LAN switch - and the OS telling it to always connect to the preferred network as it's set to do? I'm looking for that now.