Windows XP on my wife’s Acer Aspire One finally died an ungraceful malware induced death and instead of re-installing I figured I’d give Vista a chance. First step was to get an external USB DVD drive. I booted a 32-bit Vista SP1 DVD from an ASUS DR-08D1S-U and the basic install went without a hitch.
Next the adventure of locating drivers. Out of the box Vista SP1 did not support the wireless NIC, onboard NIC, video, or sound. Not a big surprise. Unfortunately, Acer does not provide Vista drivers.
The first thing I usually try in the situation is the onboard NIC. It was listed as a “Realtek RTL8101 Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet NIC (NDIS 6.0)”. At the time of this post a driver is available from the Realtek driver download site. Followed the menus shown to get to PCI Express Software.
The driver that worked for me was version 6.225 dated 2009/7/17 in the file named Install_Vista_6225_0709.zip.
After installing the onboard NIC is listed as “Realtek PCIe FE Family Controller”.
Since I had a wired connection to the network I activated Vista and started Windows Update. Let that chug away downloading and installing for an hour or so. After all the updates the onboard wireless NIC, sound and video are working.