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Background:

I have a custom built box that I like to setup with multi-boot using GRUB2 and having Windows 7 x64, latest Linux Mint x64, and couple other Linux/Unix distros.

I've had this setup working at several points but seem to have a reoccurring problem under Windows: at some point the Ethernet drivers always seem to crap out. I've tried this with both my integrated NIC (m/b is Gigabyte EP45-UD3R rev 1.1) and a separate NIC in my PCIe slot. BOTH NIC's work fine under either Ubuntu or Linux Mint (as, from what I understand, Linux uses a generic Ethernet driver). For the m/b integrated drivers, I have downloaded the latest and greatest from the Gigabyte site and tried these with a FRESH install of Win 7 x64. Still no luck.

I can probably get this working on my own in the short term by tinkering around in Device Manager or worst case, swapping in yet another NIC into another PCIe slot. But I'm more interested in the long-term... this really irks me because as I've said, the hardware works fine under Linux and the issue is only on the Windows side. And since it has happened multiple times, I fully expect Windows will screw the pooch with the drivers in the future.

Due to certain hardware/software, I -- unfortunately -- can't just ditch Windows. If all else fails, I can always upgrade to a different m/b but in that case I would still like to run this rig elsewhere on my network.

My question:

Are there any generic Ethernet drivers out there for Windows 7 x64? I would love it if someone had ported the Linux drivers back to Windows, but if its generic please still mention it. I prefer open-sourced so that I can be reasonably sure that I'm not getting a virus, but I'd still be interested in hearing about non-free options provided that a) it is actually relevant for my scenario and b) it is not blatant spam-vertising.

I've looked on Google and SU but no luck thus far.

Diagnostic Info:

For the integrated NIC: Gigabyte link for my m/b http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3013&dl=1#dl

I have installed the "Realtek PCIe LAN Driver" (didn't work) and "Realtek Ethernet Diagnostic Utility" (comes up with a blank screen under the "General" section. Only other option was "About". Gave it ~10 mins hoping it would load something, but it remained quite useless).

In Device Manager, I tried installing the same driver manually from the INF. That didn't work either. I think Windows had been reporting device didn't start or whatever error code 10 was.

For the PCIe NIC: According to my newegg history, its actually a dlink (maybe thats a separate issue lol): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127163

Update: Ok, I'm up and working again in Windows 7. So really I had 3 issues:

1) My on-board NIC in the Gigabyte mobo doesn't work whatsoever (in Windows) even using the latest drivers. In Linux Mint, I was able to pull up sites just fine while my cable was plugged into this port.

Anyway, now that my internet works in both Windows and Linux, I've pretty much lost interest in this question but I will still post my Linux output below for completeness (who knows maybe it'll help somebody else)... See output below.

2) When my cable was plugged into the Dlink, it worked fine under Linux but nada under Windows (initially).

Turns out that I was being a moron and trying to install Realtek drivers for my PCIe NIC (having forgotten it was a Dlink until I checked newegg and later verified on the actual card). For this part, Alex P.'s answer set me straight (thanks!) and I have downloaded the latest* x64 driver for Dlink DGE-560T and that works great now.

*Technically, I got v1.10 because it was the newest version for "Vista 64". Win 7 x64 wasn't listed anywhere, and the only newer version I saw (v11.11.17) only listed "Win7 32"

3) I was hoping to find a generic way of connecting to any working NIC hardware via Windows. I've used Linux on lots of boxes and never really had to do diddly for ethernet to work, it "just did"... guess I was hoping to port my experience lol.

Anyway, from Alex's answer and what I half-guessed before posting, it sounds like this probably doesn't exist -- or rather that's not the way things work. If somehow all that proves to be wrong or there's some clever little hack for it, please please add a comment and let us know. But for now I will assume that part to be done as well.

I will mention for the benefit of anyone looking for the same thing, that I remember some driver packs from my days of making automated Windows install discs (this was back with XP but I'm sure people have 'em for Win7 and later). Basically, the concept was you got these drivers packs and loaded them onto your customized install disc and then Windows would have a boatload more drivers to use (beyond what it already comes with). This isn't quite the same thing as I was asking about, and it wouldn't give you the latest and greatest but it may be a solution for somebody.

Linux Output: ok, so here is the output of hwinfo --network in Linux Mint 14 (off the live disc, since i just reformatted my system partition before my original post)

I should also note that there was a 3rd card plugged into the old school PCI slot. No clue what card it is or if it evens works. I threw it back in an anti-static bag as soon as the Dlink was good to go.

With cable plugged into on-board (Realtek) NIC:

39: None 00.0: 10700 Loopback
  [Created at net.124]
  Unique ID: TdCS.GCNx2L1xPRA
  SysFS ID: /class/net/lo
  Hardware Class: network interface
  Model: "Loopback network interface"
  Device File: lo
  Link detected: yes
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown

40: None 00.0: 10701 Ethernet
  [Created at net.124]
  Unique ID: usDW.ndpeucax6V1
  Parent ID: rBgc.z_h3jY4K2D0
  SysFS ID: /class/net/eth0
  SysFS Device Link: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.0/0000:02:00.0
  Hardware Class: network interface
  Model: "Ethernet network interface"
  Driver: "sky2"
  Driver Modules: "sky2"
  Device File: eth0
  HW Address: 00:18:5a:b1:73:4e
  Link detected: no
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #23 (Ethernet controller)

41: None 01.0: 10701 Ethernet
  [Created at net.124]
  Unique ID: L3Up.nXozuCaz5s1
  Parent ID: JNkJ.1Z6M++B8ak4
  SysFS ID: /class/net/eth1
  SysFS Device Link: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.4/0000:05:00.0
  Hardware Class: network interface
  Model: "Ethernet network interface"
  Driver: "r8169"
  Driver Modules: "r8169"
  Device File: eth1
  HW Address: 00:1e:d4:c2:a3:ad
  Link detected: yes
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #27 (Ethernet controller)

With cable plugged into Dlink NIC:

38: None 00.0: 10700 Loopback
  [Created at net.124]
  Unique ID: TdCS.GCNx2L1xPRA
  SysFS ID: /class/net/lo
  Hardware Class: network interface
  Model: "Loopback network interface"
  Device File: lo
  Link detected: yes
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown

39: None 00.0: 10701 Ethernet
  [Created at net.124]
  Unique ID: usDW.nXozuCaz5s1
  Parent ID: rBgc.z_h3jY4K2D0
  SysFS ID: /class/net/eth0
  SysFS Device Link: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.0/0000:02:00.0
  Hardware Class: network interface
  Model: "Ethernet network interface"
  Driver: "sky2"
  Driver Modules: "sky2"
  Device File: eth0
  HW Address: 00:18:5a:b1:73:4e
  Link detected: yes
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #23 (Ethernet controller)
share|improve this question
    
On Ubuntu, what is the output of hwinfo --network? –  jaume Mar 18 '13 at 14:31
    
ok wouldn't fit here, so I added it to my original post. –  zpangwin Mar 21 '13 at 0:43
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1 Answer 1

There is no such thing as "generic" or "universal" Ethernet driver. Your motherboard has Realtek 8111C Ethernet controller. Try installing the following driver

ftp://WebUser:wK9xBuD5@207.232.93.28/cn/nic/Driver_Win7_7067_01222013.zip

Realtek chips have their share of problems and personally I would rather get a PCIe NIC based on Intel/Broadcom/Marvell chipset. But you should be able to get your Realtek NIC working as well. The most likely reason that linux drivers (even when provided by the same vendor) are more stable - they have less features implemented. I would start (after installing the latest version from the realtek website) with disabling all Power Management/Saving features in the driver.

The D-Link DGE-560T is using Marvell 88E8052 chipset. The version of the latest driver for it is 11.45.4.3.

share|improve this answer
    
I understand that my m/b uses Realtek. As does my PCIe card. I understand that the convention under Windows is to use manufacturer-specific drivers. :) My question isn't what driver to use... I'm asking if there is a way to use something generic (or whatever Linux is using) under Windows instead of the Realtek drivers, which seem to always fail under Windows. –  zpangwin Mar 18 '13 at 14:35
    
my point was that Gigabyte offers v7.049 from its website. And the latest version from realtek is v7.067 - this might make a difference –  Alex P. Mar 18 '13 at 14:38
    
hmm... updated my original post. I was using "Realtek PCIe LAN Driver" which they list as v5.792.1208.2011 according to the page for my board. Are you getting the version # directly from the driver then? –  zpangwin Mar 18 '13 at 14:48
    
make sure that you are looking at the Windows7 64 bit driver. –  Alex P. Mar 18 '13 at 14:58
    
correction: PCIe NIC is actually a dlink. added link in my original post. for the realtek, it had both in the unzipped content. i just ran the setup.exe the first time and i made sure to use the 64 folder when trying it manually. Will try again when i get home. also, when you speak of disabling features... do you think that would be via the bios or just device manager? i'll try to look at the readme when i get back too, just curious if you knew where to turn them off –  zpangwin Mar 18 '13 at 15:10
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