Question Dell not connecting to internet at all

Kyle_115

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Oct 27, 2016
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I recently acquired an old dell optiplex 790 for free. It had some minor problems with windows not loading properly. It had windows 7 pro 64 bit when i received the computer and i attempted some system restore stuff but it didn't fix the problem. So i formatted the computer and re-installed windows 7 pro 64 bit with a copy that i had laying around. While windows itself loads and works fine i am now missing the OEM drivers. And the intel ethernet drivers are missing, the onboard ethernet port doesn't work, nor will it recognize a USB wifi adapter. I have been trying to download drivers online and move em over with a thumb drive and so far nothing is working. Got any ideas?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I recently acquired an old dell optiplex 790 for free. It had some minor problems with windows not loading properly. It had windows 7 pro 64 bit when i received the computer and i attempted some system restore stuff but it didn't fix the problem. So i formatted the computer and re-installed windows 7 pro 64 bit with a copy that i had laying around. While windows itself loads and works fine i am now missing the OEM drivers. And the intel ethernet drivers are missing, the onboard ethernet port doesn't work, nor will it recognize a USB wifi adapter. I have been trying to download drivers online and move em over with a thumb drive and so far nothing is working. Got any ideas?
You probably need the motherboard chipset drivers first. According to the spec sheet that motherboard is a Q65 Express chipset
You should go to the Dell support page -- https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/product-support/product/optiplex-790/drivers And filter to chipset. The "Intel chipset driver" is listed.
THEN you should be able to install the USB3 and ethernet driver.
 

Kyle_115

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Oct 27, 2016
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I tried installing the drivers listed on there website but it always gave "kernel32" errors on almost all of them. But I did found an old driver CD I had laying around from a different computer. It was from a z68 Mobo but it worked though. And now it's able to connect to the internet but now I have a whole new set of problems to deal with. It needs updating but since MS stopped support in 2020 it won't update at all apparently and it's stuck in 2011 update wise. And I can't surf the internet properly due to outdated licenses nor can I install Firefox due to "unknown problems". Geez I was hoping for something easy but I guess not
 
Your best bet for old machines is to load one of the many linux variants on it. It supports extremely old stuff they just recently said they are thinking about stopping support for a 486 cpu.
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/linux-removes-486-cpu-support
Many things run fine under linux. Simple web browser stuff runs well and if you wanted to use it as some kind of server that has much better support than windows.

I guess it depends on what you intend to do with the machine.
 

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