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Reformated... how do I drivers?

CorakCorak Registered User
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
TL;DR version: How can I figure out exactly what drivers I need, when I don't know what the hardware is?

So here's the scoop:

My wife owns an Acer Aspire 5100 laptop. At least, that's what it says on the bottom of the computer. This model doesn't seem to exist on the Acer website, and even when I google it, I get references to different specs than this one seems to have. This one came with Vista and 1 GB of RAM, for example, and I see a lot of references to XP and 512 of RAM.

The problem begins with the computer dying. It's not a great machine anyway, and in fact it doesn't even run at 1 GB of RAM because the onboard graphics card uses some of it, so Vista lumbers like a beast, things have been getting slow, crashing, etc.

"No problem!" says I. "I know computers! Also, I will install a better OS on your computer!"

So... I manage to install Windows XP SP 3. Lovely... except I forgot about drivers. Now, I had a lot of trouble getting stuff installed, so in this process, I have totally reformatted the HD a few times. There is nothing there if there once was some sort of backup partition. I even installed Ubuntu briefly, which actually worked fine, but my wife didn't like it, so now XP is on there.

XP installed fine at this point. It runs fine. It just doesn't recognize a lot of my hardware. Namely, the graphics card and my wireless card. The problem is... I have no idea what they are. There's no receipt, no sales record, and nothing to be found on the website. I have truly no idea what sort of wireless card, what sort of (I think) onboard graphics, what sort of anything. If I did, I could hunt for drivers... now I'm kinda stuck, and XP doesn't think this computer is capable of wireless.

Strangely, Ubuntu had none of these problems. It got online instantly.

I live!
Corak on

Posts

  • EpiEpi Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Plug in an ethernet cable, get online and go to the windows update site. Under the optional installs there should be a whole slew of drivers for your computer's components. Just installed a new hard drive in my old dead laptop and it's working like a charm now.

    Edit: Alternatively, you could just jump into Device Manager (In control panel), find all the make and model info of your components there, and hunt down the individual drivers for each

    Epi on
  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Epi wrote: »
    Edit: Alternatively, you could just jump into Device Manager (In control panel), find all the make and model info of your components there, and hunt down the individual drivers for each

    Except it doesn't know the make/model of the component if you don't have the driver installed to identify it.

    For me, if I go to the Acer (US) website, I click Service & Support -> Driver download and eventually get down to an Aspire 5100. Typically, for similiar models, they all use the same driver. For example, any 5xxx will take the same driver. Try getting them from there, and if they don't identify after install, try a different one. This is a big problem for me as well as because in Canada, models are usually have just a slightly name (5101 or 5100a) due to different import laws but the base driver works.

    Gilbert0 on
  • Count FunkulaCount Funkula Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I had no trouble finding the drivers on Acers website.

    http://support.acer.com/

    Just clicked on Driver Downloads, Notebook, Aspire, Aspire 5100. Click the drop-down box to select your operating system and download away.

    One thing to note is to install the chipset driver first. Then, install everything else.

    Count Funkula on
  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Gilbert0 wrote: »
    Epi wrote: »
    Edit: Alternatively, you could just jump into Device Manager (In control panel), find all the make and model info of your components there, and hunt down the individual drivers for each

    Except it doesn't know the make/model of the component if you don't have the driver installed to identify it.

    For me, if I go to the Acer (US) website, I click Service & Support -> Driver download and eventually get down to an Aspire 5100. Typically, for similiar models, they all use the same driver. For example, any 5xxx will take the same driver. Try getting them from there, and if they don't identify after install, try a different one. This is a big problem for me as well as because in Canada, models are usually have just a slightly name (5101 or 5100a) due to different import laws but the base driver works.

    It can get the model/make from something, because all but the most obscure devices I've done this with in the past successfully.

    eternalbl on
    eternalbl.png
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Count Funkula's link should do it (plus you'd get to say that someone named Count Funkula helped you fix a computer, which just sounds great), but if you get stumped on a particular device you can look it up using the embedded device ID. For example, the Acer site lists two different cameras and two different wireless LAN drivers for the Aspire 5100. It's likely they had different hardware revisions that used different embedded hardware for those parts, and the device ID lookup can help you figure out which you have.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    eternalbl wrote: »

    It can get the model/make from something, because all but the most obscure devices I've done this with in the past successfully.

    Good to know it's gotten better. The last time I had problems was years ago and it didn't work and remebering doing something similiar to that embedded device id (a stupid wireless card that apparently only went in Canadian Dell's if I remember correctly).

    Back on-topic, what everyone else said.

    Gilbert0 on
  • CorakCorak Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Okay well... I feel dumb. In my defense, THIS is the link I went to, on the main Acer site, which truly does not list the model. I shall update and report back.

    Corak on
    I live!
  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Ahh. Products pages typically only list the current gen offerings. Things you can buy now. I've made that mistake before.

    Gilbert0 on
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