Sunday, July 30, 2006

Gateway 7210gx

If you have a Gateway 7210gx laptop, and you need to reinstall Windows on it here are some helpful pointers for you.


1.) Download the drivers from Gateway's support website before you reformat. A fresh install of Windows will not have drivers for either network card. So if you don't do this first you will have to download them on another computer and burn a CD of them.

2.) The Gateway support website doesn't have a driver for the fast Ethernet card. It is a Broadcom 4401. You can download the driver directly from Broadcom.

3.) When installing the wireless network card, if you are using Windows XP, I do not recommend running the setup utility. It installs some additional applications that just seem to get in the way of Windows. It's just easier to use the built-in support. If you are using Windows XP Service Pack 1, upgrade to Service Pack 2 first.

All you really need to do is go to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware (Tab) -> Device Manager. Right click on the unconfigured wireless device, select "Update Driver". Click "No not this time". Click "install from specific location (advanced)". Click "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install.". Click "Have Disk". Navigate to the files you downloaded from the Broadcom website. Select the 'inf' file. Finish the Wizard. You should be all set.

4.) To install the Ethernet card, just do the same thing as above. Device Manager, Have Disk, etc...

5.) There are some drivers for the keyboard from the Gateway site that you can install, I did and it didn't really seem to do much.

6.) There is a software package for the touch pad. This is not required to use the touch pad, it just installs some software that lets you tweak some of the settings on the touch pad.

7.) I had some problems with installing the display card / video card. I downloaded the driver from Gateway's support page, unpacked the driver, and ran the setup. However instead of installing ok, I got this message.

"Setup was unable to find components that can be installed on your current hardware or software configuration. Please make sure you have the required hardware or software."

In addition if I tried to just install the driver, which has a separate installer. I got an error "INF Error", "Video driver not found".

I had to go through the procedure above to install the video driver. Device Manager, Have Disk, etc... There is a large list of drivers to install, I choose the first one for Radeon 9600 / 9700 Series. It seems to work well.

After a reboot, I then installed the ATI control panel which is a separate installer that the driver. Now everything seems normal with the display driver.