How to update Realtek NIC drivers during Bare Metal Restore for Windows XP 32bit RRS feed

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  •      Lara Jones [MSFT] | Program Manager
    Community Support and Beta | Windows Home Server Team
    Windows Home Server Team Blog
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    Thank you for the information. Your procedure does not work but it allowed me to develop a way to allow the restore disk to work.

    The procedure you outlined does not work for the following Realtek NIC

    Here is what you must do.

    Download the Vista (WinServer 2008) Driver
    instead of the WinXP (WinServer 2003) Driver

    Here is how I modified your procedure so that it WORKS for any of the above Realtek NIC

    Using the Windows Home Server Dual Boot Computer Restore Disk (Release Date 7/16/2008), the NIC drivers for the Realtek  family of network cards will need to be manually updated using the Vista (WinServer 2008) Driver.
         The Windows Home Server restore CD will indicate the "NIC driver for the restore CD is present"; 
         however, this driver WILL not work and there will be no network connectivity.
         The solution is to download the drivers from the  Realtek site and install them during the restore using
          a USB key as outlined in the  process below.


    Note: Just passively placing the drivers in a folder on the USB key including the drivers from a previous backup as instructed in the Restore Disk User guide will not work as the existing drivers are already loaded.

      You must follow the steps below.


    1.       Download the network drivers from the Realtek Website:



    Download the Vista (WinServer 2008) Driver.

         Note: I actually downloaded all the Windows XP and Vista drivers (4 different sets) and deleted all the
         drivers marked 64 bit (64 bit drivers WILL not work)

    Extract all the zip files onto the ROOT of a USB flash without a folder and plug the USB flash into the client PC.


    3.      Then apply the downloaded NIC driver(s) with the Windows Home Server Restore CD


    a.       On the detect hardware screen, select the appropriate time/currency format and keyboard/input method


    b.      Detect hardware dialog will detect the Realtek network device RTL8168C/8111C Family PCI-E Gigibit ethernet NIC
    (NDIS 6.0 but it will not be usable because of hardware and driver incompatibility.


    c.       Manually update the driver from the USB flash

                                                                                     i.           Select the “Show Details…” button

                                                                                   ii.           Press the “Install Drivers…”

                                                                                  iii.          Push “Scan” button to scan for new/updated d rives

                                                                                   iv.        A dialogue box will pop up:

    "Drivers were found for your hardware.

    Click OK to see all detected hardware."

                                                                                 vi.            Select OK


    d.      Verify that you have updated the Network driver.

    You should now see your specific NIC hardware listed in the “Detect Hardware” dialog screen as
    Realtek PCIe GBE family Controller.

    Continue following the restore disk prompts

    Stew Gordon


    • Changed type Ken WarrenModerator Wednesday, July 8, 2009 3:03 PM not a question
    • Changed type thestewman Tuesday, December 8, 2009 10:48 PM Microsoft Info is Incorrect
    Wednesday, July 8, 2009 4:32 AM

All replies

  • This procedure works!!  Thanks so much for posting it. 

    If I had know what a pain Realtek was with their drivers I wouldn't have bought this Gigabyte motherboard. 

    Monday, March 29, 2010 4:12 PM
  • Just wanted to mention that the Vista/Win2008 32-bit drivers work for the Dell Inspiron Mini 1012 as well.
    Sunday, May 23, 2010 11:45 PM
  • Super, it works..thanks.
    Monday, August 2, 2010 7:48 AM
  • I just did my PC restore to migrate to a bigger SSD system drive and this was an invaluable piece of information.  Thank you for this post.
    Sunday, September 11, 2011 3:10 AM
  • Thank you!  I was about to give up because I had tried everything else I could possibly think of but never in a million years would I have tried using Vista/WinServer 2008 drivers. The only thing I would add is that it takes a while for the driver to load (minutes in my case), so for anyone that reads this they might want to keep that in mind.

    Thanks Again!

    Saturday, February 11, 2012 3:14 AM
  • Could somebody please advise if there is a way to install NIC driver software on window home server 2011 if you don't have a system backup to run restore process. I get stuck at the point where restore process starts looking for backup copy but I don't have any available. I would really appreciate any help on this.
    Friday, June 21, 2013 12:56 AM