I had a emachine T2862 in the shop today which needed a XP reinstall. The owner didn’t have the disks so I had to use a generic disc to install XP. This means that I have to go out on the net and find all the drivers for the box. This is generally fairly painless since most major PC manufacturers have fairly good driver download sites. This is not always the case though. In this situation I went to the Emachine website and grabbed the drivers for the correct model and all of them worked except for one. The LAN driver didn’t install and gave a error saying the device did not exist.
Now I was not sure but the box looked pretty stock with no modifications at all so I was a little annoyed that the drivers were incorrectly listed. The Emachine web site listed the box as having a Realtek driver and that was clearly not the case. So I needed to figure out what the card was. In all my years of messing with computers I have found no better tool than lspci on a linux live cd for determining hardware make and model. The disk I always use is called the Trinity Rescue disc and has a ton of cool tools for working on Windows Box’s including 4 AV scanners, password reset tools and a host of others. If you have never heard of it check it out here. I may actually do a whole separate post on using some of the features but that is beyond the scope of this article.
So I booted up the Trinity Rescue disc and ran the command lspci:
Now if you will look at the last line where the ethernet controller is defined you can see that it is not a Realtek controller at all but in fact it is a Intel controller. Kinda hard to find drivers for a computer if the Emachine web site cant even get it right. Once I knew the make and model of the card the rest was simple.
I went to the Intel download section to this page and selected the PRO2KXP.exe driver and downloaded and installed it in the regular fashion. Low and behold the card immediately started working and I was able to move on. Hope this little post can save someone a few minutes which I wasted trying to install Realtek drivers for a Intel network card. Thanks Emachines!