|Computer Gripes||documenting the down side of computer stuff|
|HomeSearchMerchandiseAboutMichael HorowitzMy Computerworld Blog|
|Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ALL|
This is a PCMCIA Network Interface Card.
February 27, 2003. I installed this card in a Windows 98 (not SE) laptop computer. The current driver was downloaded from the Linksys web site today and running it unzips 87 files. When Windows 98 detected the new hardware, I pointed it to the just unpacked driver files, as per the Linksys instructions.
There was a version conflict. It said "A file being copied is older than the file currently on your computer. It is recommended that you keep your existing file". I did. The file was iphlpapi.dll, described as the IP Helper API. My version was 5.00.1952.1.
Then another version conflict with file snmpapi.dll the SNMP Utility Library. My version was 5.00.2195.5513. I opted to keep the file as recommended.
Then another version conflict with file vdhcp.386, the DHCP VxD driver. My version was 4.10.2014. I opted to keep the file as recommended.
There were two more version conflicts, I got tired of tracking them all. Then it required a reboot.
A very different experience from the prior installation on the other Windows 98 computer. The reboot this time did not hang and there was no request for file pc100v2.sys.
February 16, 2001. I installed this NIC card in a computer running Windows 2000 SP1. The Quick Installation notes for Windows 2000 agree with the user guide section on installing this card in Windows 2000. The driver floppy disk however, has a readme file that tells a very different story about installing this NIC card. My experience did not match either.
Linksys says basically just insert the card and Windows 2000 will automatically find it and configure a driver for it. This did not happen for me. When I inserted the card, it started up the New Hardware Found Wizard. I pointed it to the driver floppy, but Windows 2000 found two drivers on the floppy that it was willing to use. One was from Linksys, so I chose it. The other potential driver was from Novell. Although there was a directory on the floppy disk called "Windows 2000" neither driver was located there.
Windows 2000 uses signed drivers as means of quality control. Linksys does not use signed drivers. Windows 2000 warns you that this means the driver might not work. Eventually, everything worked fine.
December 8, 2000. I tried to use a Linksys 10/100 Plug and Play Etherfast pc card in an IBM ThinkPad running Windows 98 Second Edition. The NIC card model number is PCMPC100 v2.
Installing the driver, as usual and as per the Linksys instructions, resulted in Windows98 asking to be pointed to the location of the driver and my telling it to use the floppy disk drive. The installation started, files were being copied, the floppy disk drive was read. But then it then wanted another file (pc100v2.sys) as show below.
Never mind the ridiculous Microsoft message that the file can not be found on the Windows98 CD-ROM and that the user should insert the Windows 98 CD-ROM. Never mind that Windows 98 does not know the difference between a CD-ROM and a hard disk (it tries to get files first from the hard disk as indicated by the fact that it defaults to looking in options/cabs directory in C:\WINDOWS). The real problem here was that after telling Windows to look on the floppy disk with the drivers and its also looking in the copy of the Windows 98 cab files on the hard disk (c:\windows\options\cabs), it still could not find this file.
Using a real Windows 98 CD-ROM was out of the question because the laptop, like many computers, did not come with a Windows 98 CD-ROM (that's a separate gripe with Microsoft). What to do?
I looked at three different readme files on the driver floppy disk. They all said the same thing, supply the Windows 98 CD-ROM. Linksys is not up on the fact that most computers no longer ship with Windows 98 CD-ROMs. I looked with Windows Explorer to see if the file was on the floppy disk and it did not show up.
I guessed that the file might be on the driver floppy disk and told Windows to look at the A disk. Sure enough, the file was there and the software installation completed. It did not show up in Windows Explorer because it was configured to not show system files, as per the defaults set by IBM.
Later I looked at the Quick Installation instructions for Windows 98 that came with the NIC card. It is not clear on this problem. First it says that if Windows 98 asks for the original CD-ROM to supply it. Then it says if Windows ask you to supply a driver containing the letter "pc100" to direct it to the floppy disk.
After installing the driver, you have to re-boot. Windows 98 would not shut down, but hung instead. I could not even turn off the computer, the on/off switch did nothing. I had to remove the battery from the ThinkPad to reset it. Of course, Scandisk got invoked at the next boot.
Next, I tried to use Network Neighborhood to see other computers on the LAN and it didn't work. The error message is shown below.
The problem was that the NETBEUI protocol was not installed. The computer came with only TCP/IP installed. This is more an FYI than a gripe.
Of course, when you add NETBEUI it gets bound to both the NIC card and the Dial-Up Adapter automatically. It should not be bound to the Dial-Up Adapter for security reasons, a common Windows gripe.
Eventually, I got everything working.
The Read Me First page included with the NIC card says:
"If you are using an operating system other that Windows 95, find out what kind of socket and card services your computer uses. Also find out if your computer has an available interrupt (IRQ) and memory I/O address setting available..."
This was never updated for Windows 98. Considering this NIC card was purchased around September 2000 and is new, this is disgraceful. Other product documentation discusses Windows 98.
FYI: A reader wrote about problems trying to get a Linksys PC Card and Symantec Ghost to work together. Specifically, neither company provides a way to create a network boot disk for a PC card NIC. The reader has been unable to get a Linksys Etherfast 10/100 Integrated PC card to work from a bootable floppy. March 31, 2003.
|Page last updated: March 31, 2003|