Network card drivers

I’m trying to reinstall a ThinkPad X41 tablet at the moment, after a bad hard disk crash. Unfortunately, we forgot to make a backup image of this machine’s clean install (like we usually do), so I’m installing Windows by hand. And there’s no network card driver.

It constantly frustrates me that network cards can’t Just Work the same way that keyboards and screens do. No matter what fancy new feature nVidia or ATI put into their latest graphics card, you can be 100% sure it talks to the VGA-compatible driver on your 5-year-old install disk so you can at least see what you’re doing. Why don’t network cards have a basic compatibility mode like this? The marginal costs would surely be cents at the most, and all we need it for is to download the proper driver from Windows Update (and all the other drivers while we’re at it), but it would save a hell of a lot of frustration. How many man-hours are wasted downloading network card drivers by hand?

And something similar would be useful for SATA host controllers too – Acronis 9.1d doesn’t recognise the disk in our new T61s, which has just killed our new laptop rollout plan. Never had that problem with IDE…

Come on, lads.

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