This should be a simple issue, but is causing
surprisingly often a problem:
When installing a network card, Windows needs to install the basic Network Components
(like: Client and protocol ) from the
While the first version of Windows95 was still available on
floppy disks, later versions of
Windows (like: 98/ME/NT4/2000) are only available on CD-ROM.
But where are these floppies or where is this CD-ROM
? Lost it ? Never got it ?
Check, whether you need the original Windows floppies or CD-ROM:
Some PC's came pre-loaded with Windows on the disk and the
installation started to run,
when the PC was powered on the first time. On newer versions of
Windows (like: Win98SE or ME),
the installation procedure copies all setup-files from CD-ROM to
Some people (like myself) reconfigure their systems very often
and are tired to play the disk-jokey:
to swap in and out the Windows CD-ROM, so they copied manually
all setup-files from the
Windows CD-ROM - directory WIN95, WIN98, WIN9X ( or I386 in case
of Windows NT4,
Windows 2000 or Windows XP ) to an equally named directory on the
Note : If your system was installed from a Recovery CD-ROM, there
is a high chance that the
installation files are already on your disk.
Windows 95/98/ME :
Check your system by selecting
from the "Start"-menu: "Find"
/ "Files or Folders" and
search for *.cab :
does it find "WINsomething.CAB"
files ? These are your Windows setup-files.
For example, this are my Windows98SE-setup-files, stored in
2000 , Windows XP :
||Check, whether you have on the disk
the folder I386.
It will contain all installation files from the Windows
|If you ONLY have such setup files
on your harddisk, but no CD-ROM, I strongly advise you to
make a backup to be protected in case your harddisk
crashes and you need to reinstall Windows !
In addition, Windows must know the location of
these setup-files. This is set properly by the
Windows setup-procedure, but if you copied the Windows-files
yourself, you need to tell
Windows this location :
The Registry entry is identical for Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP :
||Select from your Windows
(click on the Start-button) the entry "Run",
enter "regedit" and then click on
to open the Windows Registry Editor.
||Locate the entry
and click on the "+" in front of it to display
the values on the new level, the sub-keys.
click on the "+" in front of "Software".
||On the next sub-level, click on the
front of "Microsoft",
then on the next
sub-levels on the "+" of:
and just click on "Setup":
The Registry entry of a Windows 2000/XP system :
With clicking on
all these "+", you have selected the Registry key:
In the right-plane, search now for the name: "SourcePath",
showing the location of your
Windows Setup-files, either on disk or on the CD-ROM (to change
the location, double-Click
on "SourcePath" and enter the
Note: On Windows 95/98/ME, the Registy entry "SourcePath"
points to the location of the CAB-files.
On Windows 2000 / XP, the Registry entry "SourcePath"
points to the location of the I386-folder, not to the
installation files itselves !
We have now our Windows Setup-files (either on
CD-ROM, floppies or harddisk),
now we need the drivers for the specific network card to be
installed in the next step:
Check, whether your version of Windows knows already about your
type of network-card:
||In the "Control-Panel",
start the applet for "Network".
On a system configure for Internet connection,
you will have on the tab: "Configuration"
The "Client for Microsoft Networks",
the "Dial-Up Adapter"
for your modem and
the "TCP/IP" -
Click on the button "Add",
select in the next
window "Adapter" and the button "Add"
display the list of network adapters:
||In this example, I have a
look at the
first "Manufacturer" in the list
(3COM) and the list of
"Network Adapters" :
(above the list of Windows98-SE,
on the left the much smaller list of the
original Aug.95- Windows95 ).
The driver has to match the network
card. And just as an example:
when now purchasing a 3COM
Fast-Ethernet 3C905-TX card, you
will get most probably the C-version:
3C905C-TX, so even Windows98SE
does not have the proper driver for it.
||You will most
probably need a floppy
disk or CD-ROM, which is delivered
with your network card and which
contains the network driver.
Before installing the network card,
have a look to this floppy / CD-ROM
and locate for your version of
Windows (Win95 works also for
Windows98) the INF-file, which
contains the Setup-Information.
Please, note down the location of
this INF-file, you will need it on
rebooting your PC after the
installation of the network card.
although you can use in the Network- Configuration the
button "Add" to view the list of network
card drivers, you can NOT install it at this time , if
you have a modern PCI-card !
(Drivers for PCI-cards will ONLY be installed
when Windows detects them automatically
during a system start-up ).