Dec 122012
 

After reinstalling Windows you often need to download the latest drivers for your hardware. However, before you can access the internet, you may have to install a driver for your network adapter – without it you can’t get online.

This becomes a problem as you can’t get online yet so you can’t download the network driver – that is needed to get you online… 3DP Net can fix this problem – it’s an integrated network driver installer i.e. it automatically installs the newest network card driver for you, without needing an internet connection.

If it doesn’t have the newest driver it installs a generic one which should be enough to get you online – you can then download the correct (and most up to date) drivers.

3DP Net is free – download it from Softpedia here then run the installation file to extract the program to a directory of your choice – it takes some time as it has to extract thousands of possible drivers:

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Navigate to where you extracted the program and run the 3DP_Net program. If your network driver is already installed and you are connected to the internet you will see a message that you don’t need to use the program – click OK to finish:

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If not, the main program opens and lists any Ethernet card (LAN/Wireless/network adapter) found. If there is more than 1 card, clicking the green + box switches between them:

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To install a network driver, just click on the network card then follow the standard Windows ‘Device Driver Installation Wizard’ to install the drivers for it.

Once complete, you should see information on the success of the driver installation – there may be a list of older driver names with a status of ‘Not needed’ but one should say ‘Ready to Use’:

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Click Finish then close 3DP Net and check that you can get online using that network adapter – proceed to download and install the other driver updates for your hardware.

Tip: an alternative to 3DP Net might be to download DriverPacks for network adapters but they require a manual process to extract and install whereas 3DP is an automated program with a simple user interface.

Conclusion

3DP Net is a simple way to install a network driver automatically without the need for an internet connection. It is particularly helpful if you have no network driver after reinstalling Windows and are therefore unable to access the internet in order to download one.

It may also be useful if your current network driver becomes corrupt or stops working.