Reducing costs usually increases headaches

I just felt like sharing a small mishap that occurred during my last HTPC project. This one involved the Zotac H55ITX-A-E motherboard which, by all means, is a small powerhouse, worthy of attention from anyone looking into the mini ITX market. I won’t go into technical details as there are quite a few good reviews out there.

Basically what happened is that after installing and gluing together all components, I got inevitably to the driver installation. Chipset went well, video went well, Gigabit lan…not so well.

Running the Realtek driver package for Windows 7 was always throwing the “The RealTek Network Adapter/Controller was not found. If Deep Sleep Mode enabled Please Plug the Cable” error message. This was quite a deal-breaker for me since IĀ  heavily rely on the Gigabit LAN.

After doing some investigations in the Device Manager I concluded that there must be something wrong physically with the motherboard since Windows was also having trouble finding a suitable driver.

All this until, by chance, I looked on the driver CD that came with the board. Among other drivers and files there was this Intel Network.exe file that caught my eye. I didn’t notice it the first time since the Realtek Gb Lan Driver totally stole the spotlight when looking for the Ethernet card driver on the CD.

A few setup screens later, lo and behold, there was the shiny network icon in the system tray connected 1Gbps.

So my advice on anyone getting the Realtek treatment above, make sure you DO have a Realtek chip on board and not something else, like Intel in my case. Sometimes the board manufacturers are not very clear on which brand your chipset is, but throw lots of drivers on the CD that is shipped eventually with every component they make.

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