Wednesday 29 September 2010

Installing the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard - avoid the driver disc or you might kill Windows Update

After the fun I had with a slow Windows 7 install due to legacy floppy disk support being enabled by default, there was one more issue before the system was working well.

I made the mistake of installing all the supplied drivers on the motherboard disc and it killed Windows 7 WindowsUpdate.

This might sound a little unusual, but things went like this:
  • Computer up and booted, but no LAN support
  • Insert motherboard disc
  • Click "Install All"
  • Reboot and continue with things like video support etc.
You would think at this point everything should be peachy. Not so!

WindowsUpdate refused to start. I tried the MS FixIt tool, I tried running the Windows 7 wizard. All failed to find faults and failed to fix the problem.

To fix it I had to:
  • Do a full re-install of Windows 7 (thankfully was just done)
  • Run the driver disc, but ONLY to install LAN driver
  • Run WindowsUpdate, allow it to fetch everything it could including drivers
  • Check Device Manager and add the missing Marvell 9xxx AHCI driver from the driver disc
My instincts were to do this in the beginning, but I thought against my better judgement that driver discs should be better now. I should have known better and thought something was amiss the moment I saw a browser configuration application in the list of programs being installed and then a "Do you wish to change your search engine?" appearing a few boots later.

Moral of the story: Motherboard driver discs are ONLY for bootstrapping and only if you can't get the driver you need from the relevant website on another machine (and then "sneakernet" it). Get the rest from the net!

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