Hey all, I'm a bit flustered at the moment... a lot of stuff out of my hands right now, let me give you a run down of the situation.
-I have a very stubborn father who lives 80 miles or so north of here, in an area where his only option for high speed is DSL... he ordered the DSL recently, and is taking a leap and bound away from dialup.
-I'm not able to get back and forth to my parent's place at a moment's notice. It takes planning, and with the news of an impending bad blizzard this week, it looks like I won't be going out there for another week or so... not sure.
-my father is an old timer and when he encounters new stuff that doesn't work, his mind is very hard to change. I spoke with him a couple days ago and he stated that he is thinking of just canceling his DSL, which is not in my best interest.
-He has a Gateway GT5220 Media Center edition PC, and the ethernet port on it, seems to have ceaesed to exist. It's detecting a 1394 firewire connection and that is all.
-I've tried troubleshooting through SEVERAL phone conversations with my father and sister, who lives with them. My sister is more savvy tech wise, but that isn't saying a lot as my dad is somewhat stuck in the stone age.
-I've been working with computers for 7 years now. His computer is fairly old, and he purchased it right before I would have been more sure of myself to build one for him.
-Gateway's support website isn't helpful at all in this situation... their support page for the GT5220 model, which comes preinstalled with XP Media center, has an ethernet driver for Vista installation only.
-As far as I can tell, the ethernet port is fried / broken somehow, as everything I've instructed my sister to do in the hardware manager has come up with no results to indicate there even is a Realtek network driver...
-There IS however, I should note, a Nvidia Nforce Network controller adapter of some such, but after a small amount of research I'm led to believe it is just the chipset firewall.
-Left with no options, I've just contacted Gateway support, who offered me tech support for about $100 for this out of warranty desktop.
So I'm sort of at a loss here... the Realtek XP driver which has been finally installed doesn't seem to do anything either...
Can someone out there confirm that the GT5220 Media Center model has a Realtek ethernet adapter and not some other such device, such as an Nvidia controller? It seems odd that the site would list a Vista drive for something that comes preloaded with XP...
and lastly, can someone hand me an advil and let me know what my best options are here...? I'm thinking of shipping a copy of Windows 7 (thank goodness I have one available), which should allow the Vista driver to install. I'm not sure how fruitful that would be however, since the XP driver did nothing...
Is there anything in the BIOS that would hide the ehternet driver on a model as such?
Well I've rambled long enough, time to rest my mind a little. Thanks for any help forthcoming!!