Testing PCMCIA cards

  Chegs ® 18:02 27 Aug 05

I have an IBM Thinkpad(380XD)I got no software with it(Mobo drivers,etc)and it was loaded with XP Pro.As this laptop is only 233Mhz CPU,and 64Mbs EDO RAM,I removed XP and loaded it with 98se.I spent hours faffing round with the Xircom modem/LAN card it came with before I opted to buy two new cards,56K modem and a "Connect" brand 10/100 LAN.I simply unplugged the Xircom and plugged in these new cards and was instantly able to access the net via the modem card,and my home network via the LAN card.Then I got all "Geeky" and tried various distros on the laptop,but each distro would fail to load at differing points and with an assortment of errors.I updated the BIOS on the laptop,and was able to install RedHat 9,but the LAN kept quiting after a few minutes.I'm not to clever at linux,so decided to return it to 98se.Several lockups and many hours later I finally got 98se back onto the laptop,but the LAN refuses to reinstall correctly.I ran Aida32 on the Lappy to find out a bit more info about the cards.Aida32 says the LAN cards an IBM Token-Ring Adapter,and I have tried it with each of the IBM drivers from 98se CD,but nothing seems to be the correct driver.Initially,there was an IRQ conflict between the LAN card and the mobo IRQ's,then the 98se CD started asking for "Disk 2" of the drivers,a "Token-Ring shared RAM Adapter driver" and numerous other cryptic error messages appeared.I finally plugged in my router via USB and went in pursuit of the 98se Updates.Now,many hours of restarting the laptop after each change of drivers later,I have run out of things to try so have reached the conclusion that the LAN card has maybe quit(in a similar fashion to the Xircom)but have no means to test the LAN card on another machine,so wondered if anyone with experience of laptops and their cards could perhaps offer any suggestions as to what to try next.

IBM ThinkPad 380XD




Connect 10/100 LAN

Trans-Global 56K PC Card modem(which works,but I'm now ADSL)

  woodchip 21:07 27 Aug 05

Have you tried turning Plug and Play off in BIOS

  Chegs ® 21:23 27 Aug 05

The BIOS is very limited in its Options,there is nothing to alter but the boot order and a hardware tester app,but this reported the previous Xircom card as healthy(even tho' it plainly wasn't)

I have d/l several different LAN testing apps,these are reporting the LAN as "FAIL:There are no LAN cards or their not installed correctly" (or very similar) The only app that takes a stab at identifying the card is Aida32.Belarc refuses to install at all,prefering to lock up the laptop completely requiring a reset to get it going again.

  woodchip 21:27 27 Aug 05

If you saved the old BIOS when you flashed it, try putting old one back. As I think that is the Problem

  Chegs ® 21:36 27 Aug 05

With the "old" BIOS(the BIOS is dated Feb 2000,and its previous BIOS was also Feb 2000,but wouldn't allow alterations to the boot order)the laptop was difficult to get any OS loaded,thats why I flashed the BIOS again.Since the BIOS swap,the CD-ROM recognises more CD's.

I'm presently loading XP Home onto it,once loaded I will have a look in Device Manager and see what drivers it has loaded for the Cards,see if I can d/l these from the net,then reload 98se and try the cards with these drivers.If the cards still Fail,then I'm intending adding wireless to my Router,so I will buy new wireless PCM cards when I do.

  woodchip 21:46 27 Aug 05

It may be the slot

  Chegs ® 21:52 27 Aug 05

No,the cards working fine with XP.I'm using the laptop to type this post. :-)

  Chegs ® 21:52 27 Aug 05

In XP the cards been picked up as a

Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC.

So,where does Aida32 get the "Token-Ring" guff from?

Now I know what driver to use,I can reinstall 98se and hopefully get things working as was.

  Chegs ® 21:53 27 Aug 05

Thanks for the suggestions Colin.

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