Dell Vostro 220 with Windows Vista Business

Posted at 3:40:09 PM in Recovery (43)

I really never liked Vista, but I realize the reason it got such a bad rap was because vendors were selling Vista on machines made for Windows XP. Dell would sell Vista licenses and install Windows XP for you which is one of the main reasons I buy from Dell.  However, Windows XP is getting past it's prime and installing it back on a scraped Dell machine is a problem without the media or a license key (product code). The certificate of authentication on the Dell box has the Windows Vista key and even though they "say" that Dell PCs are setup to automatically recognize and register with the correct key, I have run into instances where that didn't work. Since I deal with hundreds of PCs I think it's probably that I mixed up the actual CD that came with the computer with another CD even though it was the correct operating system. 

Nevertheless, this PC was at the customer location and he didn't have any media though I'm certain that I ordered it with Windows XP. I decided to go ahead with the install of Windows Vista since there was plenty of RAM in this machine. The install went really well (not) until I got to the network drivers. Vista recognized that the hardware was a Realtek RTL81XX  Gigabit network card built into the mother board. Funny thing though the driver on the Dell support site (here) doesn't work on the Vista machines. It pops up with a message saying the driver doesn't support Vista. How disappointing!

So, I tried downloading a driver from the Realtek site: here but when I tried to update the driver, it claimed that the driver I had was already up-to-date. So, back to the Dell site. I tried to download a previous version from the site, and found that no matter what driver you are downloading in that section, "previous version" just means some executable that remotely applies to this driver but was dated prior to the date of the driver you are downloading. If you look under previous versions, you will see a version 2.0.0.9, A03 and a 2.0.0.6, A02. The 0.9 A03 version is also listed on the front page as the diagnostic. I installed that only to find out that I wasn't even installing the correct software and figured out (apparently) the A## group similar drivers together. I was looking for 5.718, A01 the version that didn't work was 5.764, A01.

Before I got a chance to try the previous version, I found a link to HP's web site that had a Realtek RTL81XX Vista Driver (here) and decided to try that. It worked great. Problem solved no thanks to Dell. 

Written by Leonard Rogers on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | Comments (0)