Friday, May 22, 2015

Unsupported Ethernet Driver

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This story comes from a couple of years ago while I was working on the 70-640 exam.  When I work on a cert, I go all in.  So during this time I had Windows Server 2008 (32-bit in hopes that it would use just a little less memory since my motherboard couldn't handle more than 2GB) installed on my main workstation at home and was using it pretty much exclusively for all my day to day computer usage. While I don't think Intel 82550 drivers are going to be a problem today with a more recent OS, the technique used here can be applied to other driver installers.
I had my computer open for another task, so I figured I'd get around to putting in the two Ethernet NIC's that have been sitting on my desk forever.  I planned to use these extra NIC's when labbing with GNS3.  One was recognized and configured automatically right off the bat (I believe it was a Realtek), the other wasn't because Server 2008 did not have drivers.  Strange, I've had this card in my box of old computer parts for years so it's not like it was released well after 2008 came out.

First, I used Unknown Device Identifier 8.00 to determine that the card is based on the Intel 82550 series of Ethernet controllers, and it's a TrendNet made card FWIW.  I downloaded the Intel driver bundle marked for Vista, but naturally the installer complained that supported Ethernet card was installed and quit.  So here's what I did to make it work.

I used 7zip to open the installer (ProWIN32.exe) and extracted all of the files to c:\temp.  I then opened device manager and found the Ethernet controller, right clicked on it and selected Update Driver Software.  I selected Browse my computer for software and pointed it to c:\temp.  It complained that the driver wasn't signed, but I told it to install the driver anyway and it did without issue.  Then I navigated to c:\temp\APPS\PROSETDX\Win32 and ran DxSysChk.exe which then installed all of the additional Intel utilities included in this package without issue.

The driver and associated tools have been installed, but I never got around to fully testing it all out, though I did confirm basic connectivity. I don't remember if upgrading to Server 2008R2 when the exams updated made this all a moot point, or I just never used the NIC. But I've long since upgraded my computer with a motherboard that can accommodate a lot more than 2GB of RAM, has two very well supported Gigabit NICs on board, and I'm back to running OpenSUSE which supports hardware much better out of the box.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully the need for this is finally behind us. Every Windows 8.1 driver that I've attempted to use with Server 2012R2 has installed without complaint.


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