A "controller driver" (also called a "software driver" or a "device driver") is a small computer program that is integral to the way your computer operates. Every piece of hardware in your computer, including your Ethernet card, has a controller driver that is in constant communication with your operating system. This driver lets your operating system use the device, which in turn allows you to use the device as well. If you want to install an Ethernet controller driver on your Windows XP computer, you're going to need to know exactly which driver you need to download.
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Find out the make and model number of the Ethernet card inside your Windows XP computer. You can find this information by either looking in the original instruction manual that came with your computer, by looking at your computer's product website from the company you bought it from or by opening your computer case and looking at the Ethernet card.
Open your Web browser.
Go to the main website of the company that manufactured your computer's Ethernet card. For example, if your Ethernet card was manufactured by Dell you would go to Dell's website.
Locate the "Search" box on the manufacturer's website. Click once inside of it and then use your keyboard to type in the model number of your Ethernet card that you found in "Step 1."
Clicking "Search" will pull up the product website for your Windows XP computer's make and model of Ethernet card.
Scroll down to the "Downloads" section. Click on the link for the newest version of the controller driver for that device to download that particular file to your computer. Once the file is finished downloading you can exit out of your Web browser.
Right-click on the Ethernet controller driver file and click "Open." Click "Extract" from the utility that opens on screen. This will install your Ethernet controller driver in your Windows XP computer. Restart your computer and your Ethernet device will now be operational.
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