Howto install Atheros AR8171/AR8175/AR8172/AR8176/AR8178 ethernet NIC in Windows 7

For some reason, Atheros (now Qualcomm Atheros) is not distributing Windows 7 drivers for its newest network cards.
Luckily, the NICs AR817x can be used with the L1C driver, so there’s a way to make it work.

Step by step.
1. Download «PCIe AR813X/AR815X» drivers from here:
2. Extract them
3. Open the INF for your platform (32 or 64 bits): l1c62x32.inf or l1c62x64.inf
4. Add these lines after just before the line [L1C.ndi]:

%ATHR.L1H% = L1F.ndi, PCI\VEN_1969&DEV_10A1
%ATHR.L2H% = L2F.ndi, PCI\VEN_1969&DEV_10A0

5. Add this after the [Strings] line

ATHR.L1H = «Atheros AR8171/8175 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet»
ATHR.L2H = «Atheros AR8172/8176/8178 PCI-E Fast Ethernet»

Now you can install the driver through «Device manager» 🙂
It will give an error about driver signing, just accept it. It’s expected as we’ve modified the INF file.

This was used to solve a Windows 7 in a Lenovo G500.

Posted in