Installing and Configuring a Network Adapter

On most systems, you don't need to take any special configuration steps to set up a network adapter, regardless of whether it's for an Ethernet, wireless, HomePNA, or power-line adapter The Plug and Play code in Windows handles all the work of installing drivers If you install an internal adapter and Windows includes a signed driver for that adapter, the driver should be installed automatically when Windows detects the adapter. (If Windows cannot find a built-in driver, you'll be prompted to supply the location of the driver files.) For an external adapter connected to a USB or IEEE 1394 port, the driver installs in the same way as one for an internal adapter, and thereafter it loads and unloads dynamically when you attach or remove the adapter.

For more details about installing hardware, see "Installing a New Plug and Play Device" on page 855.

As with all hardware devices, you can inspect the properties of a network adapter from Devices And Printers or from the Device Manager console. (See "Changing Settings for an Installed Device" on page 878 for details .) Alternatively, you can view an adapter's properties from Network And Sharing Center, but it takes a few more clicks to get there. Most network adapters include an Advanced tab in the properties dialog box, from which you can configure specialized hardware settings. These settings are invariably hardware-specific, and they can vary dramatically. In general, you should accept the default settings on the Advanced tab of the network adapter's properties dialog box except when you're certain a change is required

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