Martin's technology blog – September 09, 2008

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ASUS NX1101 跟Vista六十四bit不能用

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:08

"ASUS Networks - Built to connect ..." Well, temporarily.

When I buy a network card there's one thing, above all, that I want it to do: connect and stay connected. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently it is when you buy an ASUS NX1101 and try to run it on a 64-bit Windows Vista.

It all started so well. After being scared off by the prices of PCIe network cards I decided to go with a good old PCI one. I bought it and headed home. After a quick search on Windows Update Vista automatically downloaded and installed the drivers. That's how it should be.

The next time I my computer wakes up from hibernation the first surprise. No network. Been there, done that, so I restart the Corega wireless/Ethernet router (necessary about two to three times per week even with the latest firmware) and try again. Nothing. Even pinging the router doesn't work. Only disabling the network and reenabling it brings the connection back to life.

Unfortunately it's not a one time thing, it's reproducible every single time, but not on XP 32-bit. So I start looking for an updated driver and, of course, I find one on their website. Actually, I find two of them - only ASUS knows why, - so I take the newer one because the older one is identical to the one that Windows downloaded automatically.

In an optimistic mood I start installing it but after a while Windows complains the driver is not intended for my platform. I double check that I have the right driver but the folder name says 64-bit and the INF file looks okay. Awesome.

More or less by accident I notice something:


That's right. The driver binary is 0 bytes in size. Either this is just the slimmest driver ever or somebody at ASUS' quality assurance lab must have a very sound sleep. And some other people too given that the "driver" has been online for about four months.

Being a driver developer myself I'm pretty understanding when it comes to power management bugs, but putting up a zero byte driver is far from excusable. Especially if the support form and live chats don't work.

Today I brought my card back to the store and got a new D-Link one (DGE-530T). So far it works like a charm, even after hibernating.

There's an upside to the story though: Apparently my Chinese, limited as it is, is now good enough to get a broken network card exchanged and buy a new one. By the amount my confidence in ASUS has shrunk my self-conficence has grown. That's not half bad. :-)