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nForce4 Ethernet network driver for Windows 7 64-bit

Update 12/3/2009: My brother used his PC without problems for a couple days, but as soon as he tried installing PC games and patches, he ran into multiple errors. I tried reinstalling a couple times to no avail. I even tried the 32-bit version, but it didn't help.

The final solution was to go into the BIOS and reset everything to default, then reinstall Windows 7. I had him install a few apps, and when we were convinced that it was working, I changed a few BIOS settings back. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time (or desire) to figure out exactly which setting was causing trouble. It's interesting that this wasn't a problem with the RC, only the final RTM build.

When I tried installing Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on my brother's PC, the files copied and expanded properly, but it always stopped at a black screen after the first reboot. Each time it pointed to a different file that was supposedly missing or corrupt. This happened even trying to reboot in Safe Mode. The PC has the AMD version of the ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard with the nForce4 chipset.

I tried unplugging everything except the mouse, keyboard, and monitor, and finally the installation completed successfully! Windows 7 detected the network card, but wouldn't get an address. On another PC, I dug around on the nVidia site until I found the nForce4 Driver Archive. At this page, I downloaded the driver for nForce4/500 Series AMD - Windows Vista 64-Bit. I ran this from a USB drive on my brother's PC, chose to install only the Ethernet driver, then rebooted. That did the trick, and everything's working great now. Curiously, Windows Update found and installed a new driver, but I forgot to check the manufacturer or version of that one.

Here's the step-by-step:
  1. Download the nForce4/500 Series AMD - Windows Vista 64-Bit driver and save it to a USB drive.
  2. Unplug the Ethernet cable from the network card of the PC you're installing Windows 7 on.
  3. Run the Windows 7 installer (preferably from DVD).
  4. Boot into Windows.
  5. Connect the Ethernet cable.
  6. Run the installer you downloaded. At the component selection screen, install only the Ethernet driver.
  7. Reboot.
  8. Windows Update may find a newer network driver; this is OK to install.


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