Background: Dude wheres my driver?

The situation.  If you're like me you've probably just organized a socket 1150 budget xeon box for a tight SMB customer and have suddenly learnt there are no drivers for the intel i218v Ethernet adaptor.

You probably brought it like me thinking, "well it's intel based, should have solid compatibility."

Nice way to screw your rep Intel.

The intel i218-v(Desktop) and i218-lm(Server) are the same chip but intel decided to change the driver files so they had server drivers and desktop drivers.  I guess making xeon processors that can run on mid range desktop motherboards was too good to be true and intel are keen to stuff that up.

There are a number of people that have figured out fixes for this level of studpity. and the comments go into detail of playing with inf files for the i217 chip.

I've had to do this twice now and it's taken over an hour of stuffing around to get the inf file to work, fortunately today when I did it, I saved the inf file and developed a method to get around it in the future.

So for those who want to save themselves an hour or so of stuffing around with inf files to get a working windows 2008 r2/2012 (64bit) driver, here it is and he's the steps to install...

How to install the driver

Download the modified inf drivers here (Sorry all we've had to remove the link because it's hammering our bandwidth, if someone else would like to host it please contact us).


Once downloaded, extract all the files, and run NicEnabler.exe, select browse and browse to the directory with autorun.exe inside then hit ok, wait a few moments then browse to autorun.exe and run the installation as Administrator.

nicenabler image

The inf files have already been re-configured for the i218v so the Intel installation ill work with NicEnabler.exe,

NicEnabler.exe will force the install message to come up, you will get a warning with a red box saying these drivers aren't windows certified and it'll ask you to install anyway, you'll need to click this box about 8 times (for each file it needs to install for the driver).

windows cannot verify driver image

Once completed hit finished and you'll be good to go, you might need a restart, but in most cases it's worked for me straight away.

From one tech to another, Hope this saves you some valuable time.


Ben Smith

Senior Tech


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