This Sunday I rebuilt my HTPC. You know the yearly overhaul so I switched motherboard, and this time I bought one with everything included. I chose the Asus P5N7A-VM which comes with an Nvidia GeForce 9300 onboard, 8 channel sound, HDMI/Displayport output and more USB-ports than anyone could ever need.
To make a long story short, after getting everything into the chassie, and cutting my fingers on the razorsharp edges (it seems that the price of the chassie doesn’t matter since the edges just get sharper) I installed Windows 7 RTM x64 since there’s more than 4 GB of memory in the box. Configuring stuff I realize that everything is available for x64: 7-zip, XBMC, MKV-support (haali, ffdshow), irtrans and more. But NOT drivers for the Netgear WN111 which is a USB-stick for 802.11N WLAN.
According to Netgear:
Windows 64-bit Support
Almost all Windows XP users have the Home or Professional version. For information on compatibility with these Windows XP operating systems, see NETGEAR Windows XP Compatibility.
Windows XP 64-bit
This operating system’s greater number of bits allows it, for example, to make effective use of dual CPU computers, and to run (some) custom-built software faster
•Since there is a limited market for 64-bit drivers, and creating them is expensive, NETGEAR has no immediate plans to release 64 bit drivers for NETGEAR products. This would raise the cost of the products for all other customers. If you install the 64-bit operating system, all NETGEAR drivers and utilities on that computer may stop working! Of course, much other software and drivers will also stop working, so you should consider whether you want to go to the expense and risk of changing to this operating system.
Microsoft has a good, brief article on this subject Frequently asked questions about Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. In essence:
•They expect that some companies will chose not to release 64 bit drivers immediately, or ever, for older products.
•There is no “home” edition of the 64-bit XP for general use, because Microsoft targeted it toward high-end professional applications, software developers, and demanding gamers.
•As of January 2006, XP 64-bit runs with Athlon 64 and other selected AMD “64” processors, and Intel’s EM64T.
•The operating system will not work at all with older computers, and with some current computers. Examples are Centrino and Itanium computers.
Windows Vista is Microsoft’s upcoming operating system that will support 64-bit drivers. For suggestions about system requirements, see Microsoft’s Windows Vista Hardware.
I like the “Windows Vista is Microsoft’s upcoming operating system”. No, it’s actually Microsoft’s previous operatingsystem. And even XP was available in x64 to support larger memory addressing.
Microsoft Update Catalog:
See there, drivers! Wouldn’t be too hard for Netgear to actually post these on their site one would assume? Feel sorry for the people not knowing of the Microsoft Catalog, considering that a lot of hardware has drivers available there not available anywhere else.
The best part with getting the drivers from the Microsoft Catalog is that the annoying utility is left behind.
Netgear – Networking Solutions for Home and Business. Yeah right!
Now I’ll waste my energy on the good cause and leave the dark side behind.