Technical: Microsoft – Windows – 7 – Dell/Precision WorkStation 210 – Getting online
So here we go again trying to get my newly installed Windows 7 going. But, somehow it is not seeing any Network.
What is the Problem
Well it is an old school computer. Manufacture date is August 16th, 2010.
Goggled for Dell Precision 2010 and was so heartened to see that even Dell said that:
Currently, there is no online documentation for your selected product.
Not sure where to go with this. But, I really like the idea of Computer Driver Packs. Two of my favorites are:
- Driver Pack Solution
Basically, Driver Packs bundles all Drivers into a single overall package or bundled across functionality such as Network/Audio/Wireless LAN (WLAN).
Driver Pack Solution
Would have loved to try Driver Pack Solution, but there are a couple of roadblocks:
- No Network access and so I can not download it on that computer nor access it over the network
- Driver Pack Solution is a full DVD and though this computer has two drives; they are CDs and not DVDs
- The lone USB port is a beat bitten up. I have an external USB Port that has been useful as it allows access to an external USB DVD Drive, but the USB jack got a bit turned around post install
Soldiered to http://driverpacks.net/driverpacks/latest and wow everything is neatly arranged:
- Do you want “Windows 2000/XP/2003 (x86) DriverPacks” or new drivers for “Windows Vista/7 (x86) DriverPacks”
- What is your bitness – x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit)
Here is a screen shot for Windows Vista/Windows 7 x86 DriverPacks:
As I need LAN Drivers chose that one.
Nice, quite nice:
- It lists each manufacturer that is represented
- The file’s size (13 MB – zipped / 111.55 MB unzipped) – Not too big to fit on a CD
DriverPack.Net – Download
The only problem is for the puritan at heart and soul. These two packages are not straight downloads they are Bit Torrent files.
Ever since Shawn Fanning of Napster made Time Magazine (Oct 2, 2000) – [http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20001002,00.html], the Tech industry has been trying to see what they can do with File Sharing.
DriverPack.Net – Extract
The downloaded file comes in as .7z and so you need 7-Zip.
DriverPack.Net – Burn Drivers
Burn drivers unto a CD.
DriverPack.Net – Install Drivers
Here are the steps:
- Accessed Control Panel
- In Control Panel, accessed “System and Security” \ “System” \ “Device Manager”
- In Device Manager, transverse to Network adapters and confirmed that the NICs are not recognized
- Right clicked on one of the NICs
- From the drop-down menu, select “Update Driver Software”
- In the “Update Driver Software” window, select “Browse my computer for driver software”
- But, nothing found
How do you want to search for driver software?
Browse for driver software on your computer
But, came back with nothing!
Hardware – Hardware Id
One of the great unsung heroes of computer management is Hardware Ids. Once you have a device’s Hardware ID, you can really do something with it.
To get it:
- Launch Control Panel
- Launch Device Manger
- Transverse the tree to the device
- Right click on the Device and select properties
- Access the Details tab
- In the Property drop-down, select Hardware Ids
Here is our quick screen shot:
The Device ID is VEN_10B7&DEV_9055
Googled that ID and confirmed that it is 3-COM.
3-Com was founded by Robert Metcalfe and others. Yes, the father of Ethernet itself. He vigourously and victoriously fought off IBM as IBM tried to upstage it with Token-ring.
3-COM – 3c90x Driver
Does anyone have “3Com 3c90x” drivers for Windows 7?
- Drivers for Precision 210
- Drivers, Software and Firmware for Compaq Evo D510 Convertible Minitower
3Com 3C90x Fast EtherLink XL/EtherLink XL NIC Drivers
I am not sure if anyone has those drivers.
Review Manufacturer List
Went back to DriverPack Folder List; so as to review the manufacturers that it bundles drivers for:
See No 3-Com.
Off to local computer store
I have a fashion rehearsal to go anyways. Went there, used up a couple of hours, and drove back via the local computer store; in this case Fry’s Electronics.
@ Local computer store
The only thing I know is that I need a Network card (NIC) that works with a computer that is almost 14 years old.
Anyone will do as long as explicitly says that it supports Windows 7.
Settled for $15 PCI Card. I think they have one for $8, but D-Link is a slightly better known brand.
Had a tussle opening up the case. I know it is supposed to be screen driver free, but nothing about it being mind free.
Thank God for brothers as he came around un-announced.
He even cleaned out the inside, as my niece ran off for the dust and all the wormy stuff inside the computer.
Placed card in it. And, as there were so many open slots, did not need to remove the 3-com card.
Started computer back up
Plugged things back in and Windows confirmed the presence and detection a new device.
We are back online and once again feeling like Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life Again.
Struggled with whether this is worth talking about. But, it is 7:00 AM and needing to burn up 3 hours between now and Sunday worship.
Looked at the computer and saw that it says that a couple of NIC Cards are offline.
So that means that the 3-COM NIC Cards are now recognized.
Connected a new Network cable to one of them and fetched an IP Address.
Here is proof that we are running Windows 7 Ultimate and that both 3-COM NIC Cards are recognized. BTW, the 3-COM NIC Cards are:
- 3Com 3C918 Integrated Fast Ehernet Controller (3C905B-TX Compatible)
- 3COM EtherLink PCI TPC NIC (3C900B-TPC)
And, the new D-Link is DFE-530TX + PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter
We are done. End of Show. But, ever since Erik B. and Rakim made Paid in Full, you know you need a closer. And, I have one for you from the Fashion Show; courtesy of Greg.
Have a nice day of rest!