Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gateway FX530s Intel 975x Windows 7 64 bit Drivers

Reference: Gateway FX530s Intel 975 Windows 7 64-bit Driver notes.

Windows 7 Drivers for a Gateway FX530 desktop, which uses an Intel D975xBX2 (Intel 975 Motherboard). These instructions should work for any 975x. Once these drivers are installed, you will have a functional 975x computer, albeit with minor issues in the control panel, which are not causing problems.

Only use these instructions for Windows 7 64-bit
Do not use for Vista 64 or XP.


Compared to a laptop, Windows 7 desktop drivers should be easier to find and less work, but I was surprised in the amount of research it took. As you will see, this is less than perfect, with some unresolved driver issues. Your assistance in this is welcome.

Hardware
Intel D975xBX2 (Intel 975 Motherboard)
Install these first, in this order.

For reference, you can always search for the latest Intel drivers at this site: Intel DownloadCenter



Network:
Intel Pro/1000 PM Network
Windows 7 default install shows as an "Intel(R) Pro/1000 PM Network Connection" but in the Device Manager it reads as 'Microsoft 3/26/2009 version 9.12.4.10.' I recommend downloading this newer version:
Note: This link now takes you to a newer version on Intel's site, but as of 2009.12.25, the link is broken. This link should be fixed within a few days.

(accept the defaults during the install)
After it installs, the control panel shows version '9.13.16.0 2009.09.01 Intel,' even though the download shows version 14.7.



Video:
Several different video card options were offered with the machine.
In my case, I am using an NVidia GeForce 7600. If a generic Microsoft driver is being used, Device Manger, Video, will report "NVidia GeForce 7600 GS (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM)". If you see this, you should upgrade to the latest NVidia driver:


Other NVidia hardware: NVidia.com Downloads
Other ATI hardware: ATI Downloads

Note NVidia Video drivers differ from desktops to laptops and there are different versions for each. If selecting the download manually, choose carefully.

To properly install the Video, follow these steps:
a. In the Control Panel, Programs and Features (Add/Remove), Remove "NVidia Drivers".
b. Allow the computer to reboot, once de-installed. When the computer reboots, the default Microsoft drivers will install.
c. Install the new NVidia drivers


Audio:

IDT Sigmatel HD Audio Driver. Be aware Intel has this newer versions of the IDT driver, but they did not install on this machine. Link: Intel IDT
  • Gateway: Sigmatel (version 6.10.5939.0 2008.09.16)
With all Sigmatel/IDT drivers, install with these steps:

a. In the Windows Control Panel, Device Manager, Sound, Uninstall existing Sigmatel/IDT drivers. Check the box "Remove files". Do not reboot.

b. Install the IDT Sigmatel drivers. The install starts, takes several minutes, with no hourglass; give it time to install.

IDT drivers are the hardest drivers in the world to find. You will see other motherboards have newer versions, but the drivers may or may not install, with little rhyme or reason. The link above is the newest version that I have been able to find. If you are tired of chasing this driver, follow this link and write the vendor a letter (a real, honest-to-goodness paper letter); it might get their attention. I've done the hard work: IDT Sigmatel Letter


Other Hardware:

Intel says in this post, they are not providing Windows 7 Drivers for these discontinued motherboards, including the D975xBX2. Device Manager reports these three errors, which I have not resolved yet. Even with these errors, the machine works correctly, including USB devices:
  • IPMI Interface (hardware monitoring drivers; likely optional/unneeded)
  • PCI Serial Port
  • Unknown Device
Update: This is a possible solution for the missing drivers; unfortunately, the link in this article: Gateway Article on IPMI is no longer alive, but it did point the way: From a previous life, I know that AMT drivers are the key for two of the three drivers. However, Intel's current AMT drivers are not working... I am still researching this.


Related articles:
Windows 7: An Initial Look (this does not cover the run-of-the-mill features)
Windows 7 Drivers for Dell XPS M1530
Write Sigmatel IDT a letter
Streamline Windows 7 StartMenus

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