I've been having trouble getting internet access through an ethernet connection since doing a fresh install of windows XP.

It appears that I'm missing the driver for the ethernet controller.

Looking in 'device manager' under the network adapters section there's an apparently working '1394 Net Adaptor' but under unknown devices there's the question-marked ethernet controller, which I believe is what I want the driver for.

I found an old cd that contains the driver for it (Realtek 8139 or some 81xx). There's no setup tool, but only 3 files (a .cat file, .inf file and .sys file).

I've tried right-clicking on the .inf file and using 'install' and also tried just copying the .sys file into the system32/drivers folder but neither have got me anywhere after restarting. The ethernet controller is still listed in 'unknown devices'.

EDIT: I've also tried updating the driver in the device manager, pointing it at the folder containing the driver, but this hasn't worked either.

Any ideas?



In the device manager you should open the properties of this ethernet adapter with question mark and on a driver tab click a button Update driver. Then you should point the location where to search for a driver.

  • Sorry, I've tried this too but this hasn't worked either. I've updated the question to mention this. – user1488804 Sep 26 '12 at 21:03
  • that means that the driver is not suitable. On the last tab of this device properties find a string that describes its PCI Vendor & Device id, then google for this values to determine what model of adapter you really have – Serge Sep 26 '12 at 21:06
  • Ah ok. From googling that string I find that it's in fact a Realtek RTL8168 model, which doesn't seem to one of the models listed as supported by the driver. So I guess I'll have a look for a new driver online. – user1488804 Sep 26 '12 at 22:45
  • here is yours: realtek.com.tw/downloads/… – Serge Sep 26 '12 at 22:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.