The builders and electrician who set up my new flat made some very creative wiring choices which have left me with half as many plugs as I need, all in awkward places, and a hugely inconvenient landline socket into which my ADSL broadband router is plugged – nowhere near my desk and my desktop PC.
Luckily I had access to a free Wi-Fi networking card from an old Dell Vostro desktop that didn’t need wireless, so I popped it into the non-Dell desktop, established that it was an Atholos 1525 Mini-PCI card, downloaded the drivers from Dell and tried to install them. No joy, the installer just pops up a dialogue stating “The installer can not run on this platform. Please select package for your operating system.” – Dell appear to have customised the installer exe to only run on their own hardware, even though the card itself can run on any Windows PC.
There doesn’t seem to be a non-Dell driver for this card, at least not one I could find that worked, but a little lateral thought solved the problem. Rarher than run the installer exe, jump into the Windows Control Panel, go to Device Manager, find the “broken” hardware entry under “Network adapters”, double click on it and then opt to install a driver from the local hard drive. Point the installer at the folder your Dell drivers were unpacked to (eg. C:\dell\drivers\P12345678 – the download will have asked you to specify a folder), and it’ll do the rest.