Windows 7 and ye olde PCs … woe unto thee …

In STT on December 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm

So I was pretty excited that Windows 7 installed and worked on some of the old laptops we have here at the NMRLS lab (circa 2004-06, see that post here).  But I’m now become disconsolate over the fact that I can’t get it work on some of my favorite ye olde desktop PCs … Well I can get it to actually work and boot up (which I was kinda of amazed at).  And for old geezer PCs, they’re impressively zippy, but I can’t get them on to the internet!

Turns out there are no approved Windows 7 drivers for the 3Com or Linksys Ethernet controllers these “ye olde”PCs use … and the Vista versions of theses drivers won’t work either … All the PCs are Dells  that date from way back in 2002.

The “ye olde” network adapters in question:

Dell Optiplex GX400 + Dell OptiPlex GX 240
Network controller is integrated into motherboard on both these models.

  • 3Com 3C905C integrated network card
    -Windows link
    -3Com link

Dell Dimension 4400
There is no integrated Ethernet or network card on this PC.  It uses an Ethernet to USB adapter for its network connection.

  • Linksys USB200M ver.2.0 Ethernet adapter
    -Windows link
    -Linksys Cisco link

So ironically I upgraded an old computer to a brand new version of Windows, it seemed to work just fine, but I just couldn’t get to the internet tubes!  So there’d be no updates to Windows, or any software, or even reading of this blog!  On the other hand the virus risk would be minimal 😉


Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
Download, install and run.  A full report with compatibility on hardware and software is the result, read it!

Windows 7 Compatibility Center
A listing of apparently every piece of hardware and software ever put into a PC(!) and site also lists whether Windows 7 will work with hardware or software in question. Compiling this must have been fun for the testers!

In case you’re wondering I didn’t blow away and reformat the Windows XP disks originally installed on these PCs.  I installed Windows 7 on another olde hard drive I had kickin’ around and swapped it out.  Since the Dimension 4400 uses PCI slots for peripheral cards, I may hunt around for a cheap Ethernet card and try to get Windows 7 going on this PC again.

oohhh … so close …

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