Ethernet Controller Drivers
Seen This In Your Device Manager?
Doesn't it suck to get your bran new install of Windows on your system only to not be able to acces the internet?
Then, you go into your device manager only to find the notorious exclamation point next to "Ethernet Controller". You find yourself asking "Which ethernet controller is it? Just give me a hint!!" Unfortunately, it never will. You'll have to figure out which one is installed in your system. Is it on the motherboard or is it a PCI card? If it's on the motherboard, that can make the task a little easier, yet still exasperating.
If it's a separate card that slides into the PCI slot, sometimes you can get lucky and pull it out and locate something related to the manufacturer and model. Sometimes, it's a generic company that may or may not be in business any longer.
What Is An Ethernet Controller?
It's the network card. I know what you're thinking.. "I'm not even on a network!".. Well, your access to the internet right now proves different. You're on a network of millions if not billions of computers :)
If we trim that down to our current conversation, your network controller card is the card that ties your computer to your broadband (DSL, Cable, Wireless) internet. It's the one plugged into the back with the little green or orange blinking lights.
So, if you want to access the internet via broadband and you don't have wireless card, or a USB to Ethernet device, you're pretty much going to have to get the driver going.
Locating Drivers For Network Card
This can be a very daunting task even for professionals. Basically, you'll have to try to locate some type of information on the card itself. Then become a "Driver Detective" on the search engines. If it's a really generic card, buy another one. They're about 20 bucks at your local electronics store and the time saver is definitely worth it.
If the network card is on-board (ie. part of the mother board), you can find the drivers for your motherboard and the internet network card will be part of those drivers. This should take some relatively simple searches on the motherboards manufacturer site unless it's archived because it's ancient!
This can still consume a relatively large amount of time right? Who wants to spend time searching the internet just so you can surf the internet?!
Driver Detective At Work
Make Life Simple - Automatic Driver Updates
Everything above was the "old" way. Now, with the help of some awesome driver utilities, you can find many of those drivers by just installing a simple driver scanning tool and letting it do the hard labor of searching.
These tools search through hundreds of thousands of drivers to find the exact, and most up-to-date driver for your system. Not only will it find some of those "hard to find" drivers, it will tell you all of the other out-of-date drivers on your system and get you completely up to date.
It's usable by the following Operating Systems:
- Windows 2000
- Windows XP Professional
- Windows XP Home
- Windows Vista
If you've got the right operating system, and don't feel like spending hours updating all those drivers, download this driver utility for a free scan of your system.