Ethernet Controller Drivers – How to Find Them?

This post is intended to help you find the drivers for your Ethernet Controller and to understand its role. Here are the subtopics:

Easiest and Safest Way to Find Your Ethernet Controller Drivers

Other Options for Finding Your Ethernet Controller Drivers

What is an Ethernet Controller?

Ethernet Controller Device Manager

There is a high chance that your Ethernet Controller is listed under Other Devices in Device Manager of your PC.

Easiest and Safest Way to Find Your Ethernet Controller Drivers

Looking for the correct drivers may become a very tedious task, and it’s mainly based on a trial and error approach. As a result of this, many PC users end up downloading and installing wrong drivers for their devices. This includes downloading Ethernet controller drivers for a wrong operating system (e.g. you needed Windows 7 64-bit OS type drivers, but you downloaded and installed Windows 7 32-bit OS type drivers). Also, it is very common that PC users download drivers for a wrong Ethernet controller (e.g an Ethernet controller with a slightly different model number).

So, it’s obvious that you need to know exact brand and model of your Ethernet controller, exact type of your OS, and carefully locate the correct drivers on its manufacturer’s website. This can become a very time consuming process, especially if you need up-to-date drivers for a few more devices.

If you would like to save your time and energy, you definitely want to consider using an automatic driver update/repair tool. A perfect example of such tool is Driver Detective. This sophisticated tool will automate the process of identifying all of your hardware devices, finding up-to-date drivers, and downloading all drivers you wish to install.

You can Run a Free Driver Scan and see Driver Detective first hand detecting your Ethernet controller and all other devices with missing, incompatible, and outdated drivers.

Below are pieces of screenshots of Driver Detective detecting, identifying, and downloading drivers for an Ethernet controller:

In this screenshot, we see pieces of the “Scan Results” window. It’s noteworthy that Driver Detective detected “Ethernet Controller,” and all other device and driver issues that have impact on PC performance.

Ethernet Controller Driver Found

In this screenshot, we see the driver download process for the Ethernet Controller:

Ethernet Controller Driver Download

At this stage, the Ethernet Controller drivers are ready to be installed, and we also see that the Ethernet controller is identified as the Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller:

Ethernet Controller Identified

If you would like to learn more about Driver Detective including benefits of automatically creating driver backup files for CD or USB stick, Click Here.


Other Options for Finding Your Ethernet Controller Drivers

Here are the other possible options for trying to find the drivers for your Ethernet Controller:

1. Using Windows Automatic Driver Search: Most likely, this option will not work for this problem, because the identity of the device (brand and model) is unknown. It’s worth a try, since it may offer a quick solution if Windows is able to locate the drivers on your PC.

  1. Right-click Ethernet Controller
  2. Click “Update Driver Software”
  3. Click “Search automatically for updated driver software”

2. Using Driver Backup CD: Many PCI cards, laptops, PC, and motherboards come with driver backup CDs. If you do have the backup CD, please make sure it supports you current Windows OS (you don’t want to install incompatible drivers and cause more headache). In this case, the steps will vary depending on the manufacturer and type of a backup CD.

If it’s a CD with the Driver Utility Software – normally driver files must be extracted first:

  1. Insert your CD into the CD/DVD Drive
  2. Right-click the Ethernet Controller
  3. Click “Update Driver Software”
  4. Click “Browse my computer for driver software”
  5. Browse your CD, then click Next and follow the on-screen instructions

If it’s a CD with the extracted driver files – this may be the case of a PCI card CD:

  1. Insert the CD into your CD/DVD Drive
  2. Once software loads, follow the on-screen instruction

3. Search Online: Warning: “If you pursue this course, you should only download drivers form the official website of the manufacturer to be safe that you don’t download drivers bundled with malware/viruses.” There are two cases here: “you know the brand and model of your Ethernet Controller,” and “you don’t know the brand and model of your Ethernet Controller.”

If you know the brand and model of your Ethernet controller, go to the manufacturer’s website and carefully locate and download its drivers. Remember to take a not of your Windows OS and its type, whether it is a 32-bit or 64-bit. You can obtain this form the System Information of your PC.

If you don’t know the brand and model of your Ethernet controller, one helpful website that may guide you to the manufacturer and exact model of your Ethernet Controller is www.PCIdatabase.com. On this website you can search for your devices using Vendor (Manufacturer) ID and Device ID. To obtain the IDs of your device do the following:

  1. Double-click the Ethernet Device (You should see the Properties under the General tab)
  2. Click on the Details tab
  3. From the “Property” drop-down list, select Device Instant Path
  4. You will be able to view the Value similar to this:  PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_4229……….
  5. Use these VEN and DEV values in your search on PCIdatabase.com
  6. If you are able to identify the manufacturer and the model of your Ethernet Controller, you are ready to visit its official website and locate the drivers


What is an Ethernet Controller?

Ethernet Controller is a network controller responsible for handling network communications. It is a hardware device enabling PC users to setup and use networking environment. By means of an Ethernet Controller, communication between computers in a network is possible, and local (LAN) accessibility or an Internet connectivity becomes available for PC users.

Here are just a few examples of devices that some PC users have seen listed as Ethernet Controllers under Other Devices in Device Manager:

  • Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller
  • Realtek Semiconductor RTL8169 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
  • PCI Device Intel 82801GB ICH7 – LAN Controller [A-1]
  • 3com 3C920 Integrated Fast Ethernet Controller (3C905C-TX Compatible)
  • Marvell Yukon 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller

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