Nor did mine when I rebuilt my main rig on Sunday! I had been getting a few BSOD’s recently with my Netgear WG311T wifi card, saying that IRQ_NOT_LESS_EQUAL which is a little annoying as it seemed to be totally random. Well, at least since I moved to using a SpeedTouch modem/router on my new ISP rather than my old Netgear WGT624, which I left at home.
It got me thinking that having worked with the WG311T under Linux that the chipset is actually made by Atheros and they do in fact distribute their own Wifi drivers! Hazaa.. so after the fiasco with Netgears terrible drivers and the fact that during the age of WinXP64 they flatly denied that they would ever make 64 bit drivers they now are.
Just to put this into perspective of just how lame Netgear are at software, don’t get me wrong the hardware is pretty good. Just have a look at these examples.
WG311T Version 5.0
Fixes and New Features
* Added support for Windows Vista.
* 108 Mbps is not supported in Vista
..and as if that’s not bad enough..
WG311T Version 4.4
Fixes and New Features
* Fixed Blue Screen issues
* WHQL Certified version
..and then the crowning glory of the whole thing, (caution incoming geek joke) the driver installation instructions. http://kbserver.netgear.com/release_notes/D103110.asp. Yes really. They actually expect you to physically remove the card every single time you want to install or update the drivers, honestly some people. Anyway I digest.
My hunt for a working set of Atheros 64bit drivers sent me here after a quick google. http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=14833 , as you can see the WG311T is listed as one of the support chipsets, so yey! The strange thing happened when I right clicked on my computer and clicked Manage, to get into the Device Manager. When I tried updating the card’s drivers and pointed the new driver wizard at the folder into which I had extracted the shiny new Atheros drivers, nada, nothing zilch! Oh t3h no3s.. no drivers found.
Well that’s odd as it’s totally the right driver. Next thing, uninstall that sucker! So right clicked the network card and uninstalled it from the system. Next thing is to now manually add a device. So jump into the Add Hardware wizard and pick a Network Adapter. Then when you get to device selection, simply select “Have Disk” and point at the folder where you extracted the new Atheros drivers.
Now for some reason there is an athr.inf and an athrx.inf, now I have no idea what the difference is, but I used the one with an x in because it’s clearly EXTREME and so much cooler 😉 Then lo! Vista stops with a giant red warning that these might not be the correct drivers! Well.. Man 1:0 Vista tbqfh. So say okay and the device will install and you’ll then be able to connect to your preferred wifi network!
I have not had one single crash so far on these drivers, and that’s having left Steam running all day. Although as you might notice from my previous post it probably didn’t tax the network as much as it should have done 🙂