Aug 132009

Almost everything I’ve thrown at Windows 7 over the past 8 or 9 months of testing first the Beta then the RC has worked – hardware and software alike. The sole exception in the hardware realm has been the Linksys Wireless PCI Card (WMP54G v4.0) in my son’s computer.

The trouble is that Linksys has been very bad about supporting 64-bit Windows (Vista and Windows 7) for some of their slightly older products.

Neither Linksys nor Microsoft have drivers available for many models of these cards. But, I finally got the v4.0 card to work in Windows 7 64-bit. Here’s how:

  1. Download this Ralink driver (the card is based on a Ralink chipset): Linksys Wireless G (RT2500) (direct link to download).

NOTE: This driver is hosted on Dan Wendorf’s site and is just the Windows 64-bit drivers. You can also download the full driver set from Ralink’s site, but the download is quite big (lots of unnecessary programs and drivers for other versions) and the site is unbearably slow.

  1. Unzip the .rar file. You can use WinZip or WinRar to do this.
  2. In Device Manager (click Start, right-click My Computer, click Manage, then select Device Manager in the management window), locate the network controller. It may be an unidentified device or a mislabeled device depending on whether you’ve already tried to install a driver for it.
  3. After selecting the device, click the Uninstall button on the toolbar to remove the device.
  4. On the toolbar, click the Scan for hardware changes button.
  5. When windows find the new device and asks for a driver, point it to the folder you unzipped.
  6. If you get a notice saying the driver is unsigned, go ahead and allow it.

Windows should now install the driver and you’ll have wireless access before you know it. It’s sad this has to be so complicated. A company like Linksys should really get on the ball with 64-bit support.

I’ve been using the driver for quite some time now and it seems perfectly stable. Hope this helps some of you avoid the frustration I went through.

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