How do I find a driver for my ethernet controller?

Posted on 2007-10-09
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
My hard drive failed so I installed a new one and reloaded the Win XP Pro OS.  I used the original Dell Resource CD to reload the drivers--all except for the Ethernet controller drivers.  I'm guessing that the Ethernet controller drivers are not present on the CD or they are not loading for some reason.  The network adaptor driver did load okay.  How do I get the Ethernet controllers working?  Does the Ethernet controller have anything to do with the Intel chip set drivers?  I have re-loaded the chip set drivers several times but no luck.
Everything else seems to be normal.  Ethernet controllers show a yellow exclamation point in device manager.  I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the Ethernet controller--system finds them each time and asks me to direct it towards the driver.

Thanks for looking this over.
Question by:branchm
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    What exactly is the name of your ethernet card?  You can search for the required driver here :

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    go to the device manager, deleted the ethernet card and run a hardware scan.  The scan should find the controller.  That should give you some indication as to the ethernet card type.  

    Then go to Dell's site and find the driver in their support section.  Alternatively you should be able to go to Dell support site and look up your model of PC or Laptop and find the drivers that are available for that model.  There may be occasions when there is more then one driver.  In those cases I pull them all down (typically 2 or 3) and run them until I find the one I am looking for.

    One final thing you can do is take the card out of the system and read the model on the card and look it up at the ethernet manufacutre's site.  If you have a PC that is easy enough but a laptop may present a more challenging removal.

    I hope that helps
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    I've pretty much worked with these Dimension 8250 systems a lot before and from my experience, there are only two ethernet controllers available, Intel and Broadcom, unless you have installed your own network card. Try downloading both drivers and see which one will install the ethernet drivers:

    After installing both and still having a question mark in the device manager, you have to manually install the drivers. Refer to this document:

    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    If still cannot, you can have a try with ............ There got unlimited driver for you to search for free after you become the member ......... Hope this help ........
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    Two ways to identify your hardware:
    1. Use a hardware diagnostic. These hardware diagnostics are all free:
    If you have problems downloading, use the System Indformation proceedure to find out the manufacturer of the driverless chips...

    2. System Information.
    Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-System Information. Click on "components" and highlight "problem devices". Any hardware device with a driver problem will be listed here. Make a note of the PNP Device ID line of the entry. It will contain a Vendor number and a Device number (VEN. . . . DEV. . . .)
    both four digits long.
    Look up those numbers here:

    This will tell you the manufacturer and the chip number.  First port of call is the manufacturer's website.  If no joy there, try a driver database like Driverguide:

    Good luck!!!
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    Go to Dell's support site:

    Enter your Service Tag number and it will bring up a list of all the most current drivers for your unit.

    Author Comment


    Links to the two possible drivers and link to manual installation very helpful but did I ended up having to use the Hardware Update Wizard through Device Manager.  Once I slected the right piece of hardware from the list I was able to load the driver and my e controller started working.

    Thanks much for pushing me in the right direction.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Thanks branchm. AFAIK, for Dell systems, most drivers needed to be installed manually, as stated in the last link I post. Glad you were able to use the wizard. Good luck!

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