I sorted out the Aspire One problem a while ago, thanks to this post on the Microsoft WHS forums, which pointed me to a suitable generic driver on the Realtek website. For the Intel DX48BT2 board in my main desktop PC, it was a little easier, but still a nuisance. And when I built my new media PC with a brand new DH55TC motherboard and onboard Intel Gigagibt NIC, I thought it would surely be supported. Nope.
The problem with Intel NIC drivers is that they are bundled in an installer package, so you can't just download a few versions and try them out. Luckily, the team at DriverPacks.net does this for you, collecting thousands of drivers for every conceivable device. The idea is to use the driver packs for slipstreaming Windows installs, or just to keep everything up to date. I got the latest LAN driver pack, extracted all the Intel driver directories onto a USB key and tried it - success! So if you have a WHS client using this board, here's the step-by-step procedure :
- Download the latest Windows Vista (x86) driver pack for LAN drivers
- Using 7Zip, open the downloaded file and navigate to the x86/L/Intel directory.
- Copy the entire contents of the Intel directory to a USB key or CD
- Boot from the WHS Client Restore CD, and when it doesn't find any network drivers, click 'Install Drivers'
- Put the USB key into the PC, then click Scan. After a few moments it should say 'Drivers found...'. Click OK and you should now see that it has detected the Intel Gigabit NIC. Now continue the restore as usual.
Update: As Windows Server 'Vail' (the new version of WHS based on Windows Server 2008) uses a very similar restore procedure, this same procedure should work there too. I tried it successfully with my Aspire One netbook)