I recently just bought a usb gigabit ethernet adapter for my macbook pro. I got it from monoprice.com, the greatest place for anything cable/connector related.

It came with a driver disk which I promptly set aside expecting to throw away when I next walked by the trash can. I went onto the monoprice driver page and looked for the product I just bought, and clicled download:

PID 5345 USB 2.0 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter Drivers

I downloaded those and ran the installer for mac. Didn’t work. Mind you, I have the thing plugged in, with a cable running to it and I don’t see any link lights…so I’m a little worried it might be a dud.

Searching around, I find out that there’s really no such thing as “Device Manager” in mac because that would be to easy. Instead, you have to go to “About this Mac”, then click the “More Info” button, then another box opens that you click “System Report” which brings up a sysinfo looking thing that gives you pretty good insight into everything going on with your system.

However, it gives you no options to do anything with any of it. And doesn’t show you details like the drivers being used or if its enabled/disabled.

So….I eventually went to the site of the company that makes the main variant of this device and got the driver from them. Those didn’t work either.

By now, about 2 hours have gone by (I had to do a bunch of rebooting and crap, ohh, and they had multiple drivers for the same platform for which I tried every single one and rebooted)…and I have nothing to show for it. Im doing some searching on their site and I see their vendor and device id for the specific model I’m looking at. It says that other spinoffs of their product may have different id’s which means they will need different drivers.

Checking the magical crappy mac device manaager, I saw the ID’s were indeed different. So…I’m back to square one.

But wait!!! The driver Disk!%$#$^@%^@$#%&E$%#^&@%$^&

and yeah…it had a completely different set of drivers that worked perfectly.

Ohh and one other thing…the reason those link lights didn’t come on even without the drivers (you would think power would at least be passed) is because my mac didn’t know, without the drivers, how much power to pass so it doesn’t pass any at all.

So for anyone else that has to deal with some sort of dongle (will you fork mine?), try to actually use the driver disk even though it goes against every fiber of your being.

Mario Loria is a builder of diverse infrastructure with modern workloads on both bare-metal and cloud platforms. He's traversed roles in system administration, network engineering, and DevOps. You can learn more about him here.