how to connect to the internet without drivers

how to connect to the internet without drivers

So you did a clean install of Microsoft Windows on your Laptop or Desktop computer, you then suddenly realize, that you don’t have drivers to connect your Laptop or Desktop to the Internet?  Today I’d like to share some of my tips on how to get connected to the internet without drivers.


how to connect to the internet without drivers

After reinstalling Windows, it can be a daunting task to getting back on the internet, you have no access to drivers and you have a big yellow asterisk on your Ethernet Controller Driver.

Unfortunately with some of the older hardware, Microsoft’s Operating System does not provide Network Drivers, as it does with newer hardware. It can be very frustrating and troublesome, to get these drivers for your Laptop and computer, without internet access.

There are some very important tools that I always have on hand in this case, down below are some of my suggestions to getting back online.

Getting Started

Option 1:

  • Get a USB Ethernet Device or Wireless USB Adapter

This may not be a quick fix solution, but if you’re not in a hurry to get back online, you could buy a USB Ethernet Adapter or a Wireless USB Ethernet adapter for your toolkit.

** Note that if you go for the wireless option, ensure that your router has a wireless feature.

Fortunately, when you purchase a Wireless Ethernet Adapter, an Installation CD will always come with your adapter, some adapters will also not require a CD and you can just install Driver software to connect you to the internet, however always make sure that you keep your driver CD on hand and you should be OK,  Also some Ethernet Adapter devices are plug and play so If your Laptop or Desktop PC does not have a DVD Drive, you don’t need to worry about using a CD to install the Drivers.  Otherwise another alternative will be just go to the manufactures website for the Ethernet Adapter and download the driver that way.

 Option 2:

  • Use your Smartphone and Micro SD Card to connect your PC to the Internet

If you are reading this blog from your smartphone, you can use your smartphone to download your drivers and then install your drivers on to your Laptop or Desktop computer, using a MicroSD Card, however you will need to ensure that you’re Laptop Comes with a SD Card reader or Micro SD card reader, and that the drivers will work otherwise you will need to get an external Micro SD Card reader and then install the drivers when you plugin in the device to your computer.

Top Tip:  Please consult your smartphone to ensure that your phone is compatible first.**


Option 3:

  • Get your drivers from another PC to connect to the Internet

If you are unable to go to a friend’s house, maybe you are lucky enough to have access to another computer in the house; you can use your USB media to Transfer files between the two computers, when hunting down for your Ethernet Network Driver; otherwise you could make a trip to your local library or internet café.


Where to Get your Network Drivers to Connect to the Internet and how do you know which one to choose?

  1. Check on the manufactures website for the Latest Ethernet network drivers.
  2. Try online tools such as


How to tell which driver you need to download

Go To Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manger and then Click on the one that says Network Adapter search for Ethernet Driver that you need, then right click that and go to Properties. Then go to the Details tab and under Hardware IDs and write down the for characters after it says ven which follow DEV for Device.  Google the codes and you should be able to find the right driver for your Ethernet adapter. For more information on this, check out my previous blog on how to find device drivers



Final Thoughts

I know that it can be very frustrating not being able to connect to the internet again after doing a fresh install of Windows.  I hope I have given you a couple of options to choose from when you need to connect to the internet again after Reinstalling Windows Operating System.  Another Top Tip I can recommend is that check your BIOS settings when your computer starts, and check that the Ethernet LAN feature is enabled .  If you need any help in getting your drives please get back to me and I will be happy to assist you, in the best way I can.  If you have found this article to be useful please like and share a like.  What are your experiences? Have your say by leaving your comments below.

Print Friendly
Anthony Rousek


Technology Enthusiast, blogger and Microsoft Certified Professional

Anthony Rousek
Technology Enthusiast, blogger and Microsoft Certified Professional