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hardware configuration or driver issue on a laptop

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where i know that while installing windows 7 or other windows versions you can present a HDD to install prior to installation, I was wondering how to install drivers for hardware that isn't on the HDD or how to implement a larger scale (like a kickstart or something) driver installation before windows successfully boots? Perhaps in safe mode?

I ask because my laptop I bought a week or so ago (which I'm juggling returning) is either preprogrammed to shutoff if factory hardware is not inserted into its connections (i.e. ethernet or HDD) or boot is failing because the other hardware drivers are not installed on the HDD. I had thought to myself that Windows would recognize this new hardware during boot time though, and then proceed to install it once the OS is booted. This has not been the case.

I cannabalized an old laptop for a HDD and an ethernet card and the previous just shuts off once Windows tries to load and the former will present a message that says unauthorized ethernet card is installed, please ...blah blah blah.

Do I care? not particularly except that: I don't feel like reinstalling Windows onto the factory drive and then having to reinstall my preferred software. Essentially, I swapped the product key to a different drive for the PC which oinly presents an issue of whether or not I can get in trouble for it not being in the laptop (as the laptop will shutoff when I place it in either due to hardware or driver programming) which is where I would like the drive that has the Windows copy with the other laptops product key. A tongue twister I suppose, fruits of labor from bouncing back and forth trying to configure what the problem is with the PC shutting off based on hardware (or driver) configuration.

What I had done was isntalled a newer Linux distribution onto the drive, but the ethernet card it shipped with factory does not have a driver on Linux yet. I thought it had because I had downloaded one, but I haven't been able to find it again. That is according to the Intel website, which where it has an area which says drivers for linux, there is no download button just a link to developers notes. which is besides the point I'm really asking which is

how can i kickstart a multiple driver installation before windows boots OR
how can i configure my laptop to run hardware that isn't factory (as it doesn't seem to like said hardware)

Edited by Iconicmoronic, 21 April 2010 - 05:44 AM.

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