How to Reinstall Windows XP Ethernet Controllers

By Wolfram Donat

In a computer operating system, drivers---also known as controllers---allow the computer's central processing unit (CPU) to access and control all of the devices attached to the computer, including mice and other pointing devices, keyboards, modems and sound cards. If the controllers for the Ethernet/network card become corrupted, or if an attempted driver upgrade fails, they may need to be reinstalled.

Things You'll Need

  • Ethernet driver files
  • Computer administrative access

Step 1

Download the correct driver file for your network card. This can normally be found by visiting the "Drivers and downloads" page at your computer manufacturer's website (see "Resources"). Take note of where the file is saved.

Step 2

Right-click on My Computer, and select "Manage." Select "Device Manager" on the left of the Computer Management window.

Step 3

Click the plus sign next to Network adapters to expand the list. The adapter that needs to be installed should have a yellow question mark next to it.

Step 4

Right-click on the necessary adapter and select "Update driver."

Step 5

Select "No, not this time" in the Hardware Update Wizard and click Next.

Step 6

Select "Install from a list or specific location" and click Next.

Step 7

Click the "Browse" button and navigate to the folder where you saved the necessary driver file. Select the driver file and click "OK."

Step 8

Click install and allow the wizard to install the driver file. Close the wizard and the computer management window.

Step 9

Reboot the computer to update the registry and complete the install.

Tips & Warnings

  • In the Hardware Update Wizard, you may also allow Windows to search for the correct driver for your device, particularly if you have trouble locating the correct driver on the manufacturer's website. The search may take a while, however.