Windows XP -  How/where to download and install drivers?

Posted on 2014-01-27
Last Modified: 2014-01-30
I have just fitted a new hard drive, and installed XP (sp3)

In Device Manage, "Other Devices", including Ethernet, etc… all have a big yellow question mark next to them.  

Without these drivers, I can't access the Internet - to download and install…  but..
I do have another old machine with Internet access.

My idea is to download the drivers from presumably Microsoft site, (or maybe they're on the Windows disk I intalled?)  and then transfer them, using maybe a USB stick to the machine I'm working on - i.e. the one with the new hard drive installed.

ARe there any sites with instructions to do this - and am I looking at the correct solution?

This happened before, and I took it into a shop - they fixed it in minutes… so it can't be THAT difficult ..  :-)


Question by:stokesydel
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39812290
You just need the chipset drivers for your make/model/motherboard

If you can post those details  I'm sure someone will find you a download link in minutes :)
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Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 39812296
you need to get the drivers from the manufacturer's site which is likely where the shop folks got it before

for example, if it is a dell system, you can go to and put in the service tag, select windows xp and go through the driver list that matches your hardware

and yes, you would download to a usb drive and connect to that machine to install from
highly unlikely the drivers are on the xp media - unless the system is 10+ years old :)

windows update does have some drivers (though a bit limited); though at a minimum you need to manually get the network driver going for internet access
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 39812446
As noted above, if it's a commercial system (Dell, HP, etc.) you should go to the manufacturer's website and download the drivers for that system.

If it's not from a major OEM, then you'll need the motherboard make/model -- and you can go to the motherboard maker's site and download the drivers.

In general, the two key drivers you need to install are the chipset and the network adapter.   Once those two drivers are installed, Windows Update will most likely find the rest for you (although you can also download and install those manually if they're readily accessible).

Note that in the (unlikely) event they aren't available, there ARE other fairly easy ways to find the specific drivers you need -- but first try the above ... it's fairly certain you'll find the drivers very easily like that.

If you need any help doing that, just post the make/model of your motherboard or the exact OEM model # if it's a Dell, HP, etc.
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Author Comment

ID: 39812940
Sounds good.. can I download on my Mac, and transfer from that machine, onto the USB key?


Author Comment

ID: 39813369
Ok, I've downloaded this to the iMac, put it on the USB key, put THAT in the Dell computer  - but how do I navigate to the drivers folder, or wherever it should be installed?

The Dell site reckoned there were 6 drivers could be missing.  

This is the appropriate driver, I think.

Broadcom 57XX Gigabit Integrated Controller, NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E ULD, NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E, v.v8.1.4, A02
(Diagnostics Utility) Recommended 6/17/2005 v8.1.4, A02
Previous Versions
Broadcom Advanced Control Suite Windows Diagnostic utility.


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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39813404
You should see a few Dell Icons on the USB sticks.  If you double-click on them they should try to unpack - confirming where they are going to be put - usually in C:\Dell choose the Unzip option rather than the Run WinUnzip button and once unpacked each installer should automatically launch.

Start with the Chipset drivers and then the Ethernet.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39813624
The only driver you really need is the network adapter => once you have internet access, you can download the remaining drivers directly on the Dell system.    In fact, Windows Update will likely "know" about everything else you need.

Doesn't hurt to get the chipset, audio, and video drivers while you're at it -- but I'd do that directly from the Dell after installing the network adapter.

As for what you've already downloaded ... You don't need the downloads for diagnostics or "utility" => you only need the DRIVER.

What's the model of your Dell ?
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Expert Comment

ID: 39814323
you posted 3 possible internet cards   - but you need only 1 as said.
Best post the model of your Dell, nicholette

here is how i solve this problem :
if you have  unknown devices in device manager, you can use this procedure to identify them :

1-visit the motherboard manufacturers support site, for downloading drivers
2- use windows update >optional updates to find them
if the lan is NOT running :
3-Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information.
Now select  "Components" and highlight "Problem Devices".
All hardware devices with a driver problem will be listed here.
Make a note of the first line of the PNP Device ID line of the entry. It will show a Vendor number and a Device number (VENxxxxDEVxxxx) both four digits long.
Look up those numbers here:

This will tell you the manufacturer and the chip number.  
Check the manufacturer's website first or google them - or post them here

If your LAN is running, you can also use windows update> optional drivers, or  use slimdrivers :

Author Comment

ID: 39814731
It's an Optiplex GX520, Nobus.

The numbers are Ven14e4 and Dev 1677

I've looked them up, and here's what I find..

Chip Number:      BCM5751
Chip Description:      NetXtreme Desktop/Mobile

Now, I've looked at the above address, and it's busy downloading a very large file…

How am I doing so far?

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Assisted Solution

nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 39814744
to me  - it looks like your doing fine
you can however, put in your ID tag here -  then it will say what you need :

the 3 drivers above seem to be integrated into one download :

Author Comment

ID: 39814800
Don't forget - I can't hook the Optiplex up to the internet… because there are no drivers… so putting my ID tag in from my other machine - will that not just refer to the drivers for my "other machine"?

It looks like I need my hand held here… when I look up,

It lists four sets of drivers.  ARe you saying I need the first three on the list?

LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 39815248
yes - that is after your lan is running.
you now put the downloaded driver on an usb stick, to transfer it to the pC -  then run it
then use the ID tag, or download s  i posted

you need the 3rd one  (the first 2 are for controllers
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 39815335
Since it's a Dell, you don't need to look up the devices on the PCI Database -- just go directly to the Dell site for an OptiPlex GX520 and download them.

The link in the post above works fine for that -- then you just select your OS and then download the drivers.    An interesting coincidence - I just reloaded a GX520 for someone last week, and have all the drivers in a folder.   The specific drivers from Dell's site you need are:

Chipset - R132539.exe
Network - R132254.exe
Video - R126542.exe
Audio - R97809.exe

I'd also suggest you download the latest BIOS - A11GX620.exe    You just run this directly from XP after it's installed and it will reboot and install it.    (Unless, of course, you're already running A11)

Note that none of these drivers are very large -- I would NOT install whatever it is you've downloaded from Lenovo's site.

Author Comment

ID: 39820802
Well, thanks to you all for persevering with me!  

Garycase - Thank you for defining the precise drivers - I found they unpacked and installed themselves ok.

Nobus  - Thank you for guiding me, and teaching me the process in general.

It was all worth it!

LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 39821093
tx for feedback

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