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PCMCIA Controller Problem

kalvenes asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
I have a laptop from Wedge Technologies (Pentium 133 MHz, PCI bus) with a VADEM VG 469 PCMCIA Controller Card.  I have tried to install two different PC Cards without success.  These cards are:

Megahertz XJEM3288 (Ethernet/Modem combo)
3Com Etherlink III LAN PC Card, model 3C589D (Ethernet)

Both cards are supported by Windows NT 4.0.  I have tried the drivers included with NT, as well as the latest drivers provided by the PC Card manufacturers.  Nothing seems to work.

The symptom of the problems is that the PC Card adapters are crossed over in red in the PC Card (PCMCIA) window on the NT Control Panel.

Both cards have been used with the very same laptop under MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Linux.  If I load DOS, both cards still function.  Hardware failure can therefore be ruled out.

I have checked VADEM's home page.  They give instructions for how to verify that the PC Card controller is working properly.  This entails to check the status of the controller in the PC Card (PCMCIA) window on the NT Control Panel.  The controller is recognized as Intel Compatible, which according to VADEM is a sign that the controller is operating properly.  VADEM does not provide an NT driver for their controller (they rely on Microsoft).

VADEM, 3Com and Megahertz (U.S. Robotics) all claim that the problem must lie with someone else.  Wedge Technologies (the laptop reseller) does not have any competency in Windows NT.
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The solution is very simple, first you need to remove the red X over the pcmcia controler. Chances are the controler is in conflict with another device. NT is NOT plug and play and will require you to find a free resource. Generaly the irq used for the pcmcia controller is 15 unless you have a cd rom built-in. Again you need to find a free irq and change the pcmcia controler to that setting. If you can find out the manufacturer of the controler, if is not Intel that could also be the issue.CheersDaniel



Thanks for your answer.  However, it does not seem to solve the
problem.  The reasons are as follows:

1. It is not the PC Card controller that is crossed over (not
   recognized), it is any of the PC cards that are inserted
   into a PC Card slot.

2. There is no way of changing the interrupt for the PC Card
   controller (i.e. there is no change button on the PC Card -
   Controller - Resource settings menu) that I am aware of
   and you have not provided a description of how to do it
   (when the controller appears to be functioning).

3. On the PC Card - Socket Status - Properties tab, the following
   information is provided (for any inserted card):

   Device Type:  SCSI PC Card
   Manufacturer: Not Available
   Device Map:   Not Available

   Device Status
   1) No database entry for this card.

Please note that the inserted cards are supported by Windows NT
4.0 (Megahertz XJEM 3288 Ethernet/Modem combo, and 3Com
Etherlink III LAN PC Card 3C589D-TP).

Please try again.

I am trying to understand what your issue is exactly. Your reply sounds like you know what your doing but from your points raised you seem to have very little understanding of what you are doing. Both of the cards are supported by NT and it is a very simple procedure to configure, but as I mentioned before NT is not Plug and Play. You need to know how to set up the operating system including the resources for each device. Also if you want help please provide the whole picture not just a little bit of the puzzle. I like to help, but what you are looking for may require someone to sit down in front of your computer and set it up for you. CheersDaniel



Thanks for your response.  I am not trying to make life miserable for the people who try to help me.  To the contrary, it is in my interest to give you as much information as I can so that you can be of greatest possible aid.  However, I do try to find out more about the problem myself and the added information reflects my new discoveries.  Below, I will try to make the picture complete:

The PC Card controller is manufactured by VADEM and is model VG 469.  The controller is not crossed over in red -- it is detected and listed as Intel compatible.  According to VADEM's Web site, this indicates that the controller is working properly (although I suspect that this is not the case).  VADEM does not provide any drivers for their PC Card controllers, they refer their customers to Microsoft, which has included a driver for VG 469 in Windows NT 4.0.

The laptop has a CD ROM drive which uses interrupt 15.  The default interrupt for the PC Card controller is 10 (which is an unused interrupt on my laptop).

I think the key point is that neither of the PC Cards (the 3Com and the Megahertz cards) have a database entry according to Control Panel - PC Card - Socket Status - Properties.  The same is stated in the Event Log at bootup: There is no configuration information for the PCCARD "\".

However, when I run regedit and follow the path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE - System - CurrentControlSet - Services - PCMCIA - DataBase - 3Com Corporation
the PC Card 3C589D (which is one of the cards I have) is listed with driver name elpc3r

When I configure the PC Cards in the Network setup, I have the opportunity to specify an IRQ and I have tried several different ones that are not listed in Windows NT Diagnostics - Resources, e.g. IRQ 7, 11 and 13.

Please note, too, that PCMCIA does not appear at all in Windows NT Diagnostics - Services.  I have no idea whether or not it should, I just know that it does not.

I have configured the very same computer with the very same PC Cards in Linux, which (like NT) is not a Plug and Play operating system.  In Linux, I am able to make things work due to the very precise and detailed help files that are available (a significant difference from the NT support).  I think I know what the issues are in configuration of a non-Plug and Play system.  However, I do not know how to go about it in Windows NT 4.0.  It is fully possible, as you state, that the problem I am dealing with is trivial (or has a trivial solution).  However, my experience relative to the effort I have spent so far seems to indicate the opposite.  I hope you can prove me wrong in that respect.

I regret that my initial problem description was incomplete and that this may have caused you to spend time and effort on a problem that is different from what you expected.  But, I hope that the picture now is more detailed (and precise) and that I can benefit from your expertise in this area.


Thank you for the clarifications, first of all forget about using the megahertz combo card to start. Then go to 3com's site and download the driver and update the driver. I think the issue is actually now a lack of system resources ie irq's. The megahertz combo card uses two IRQ's which now is in direct conflict with the 3com card. So as a start remove it and configure the 3com on its own. The only configuration is when you first install the card it will ask for the i/o and irq. Bellow is a known working solution. I/O=340, IRQ=10.
Download driver version 5.30 dated Dec. 23/96 from http://www.3com.com.CheersDaniel



Thanks for your suggestions.  Before I posted the question, I downloaded the latest driver from 3Com (as indicated in my initial problem description) and I tried a variety of I/O and IRQ combinations.  Nothing worked at that time and it did not work now when I tried the configuration you suggested (I/O=340, IRQ=10) again.  I do not have any other card driver than the 3Com card driver installed.

As I indicated in my previous comment, I think the issue is more involved than finding the proper combination of I/O and IRQ.  The PC Card controller does not find my card (3Com) driver although it is listed in the PC Card database, as described in my previous comment.  For one reason or another, my PC Card controller does not recognize that the inserted PC Card is indeed a 3Com card and, therefore, it does not know to look for the 3Com driver in the PC Card database.



Adjusted points to 250


Adjusted points to 330


Adjusted points to 340
I has a similar problem, first you have to delete the red crossed devices then install the Plug & Play support in NT 4.0 that is not installed once you install NT, you have to do it manually, then when you are prompted for the driver of the cards select the latest drivers that you have to previously installed in a temporary directory, and that's it.

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Unfortunately, your response does not solve the problem.  I finally managed to get to a knowledgeable support person at Microsoft.  She could tell me that Windows NT 4.0 *no longer* supports the VADEM chipset.  It does not matter how you try to install it, the VADEM controller will not work under NT 4.0 (although it did under NT 3.51).

That leaves two options: Writing a driver for the VADEM chipset or returning Windows NT 4.0 for a refund.

Sorry to provide you with a question that does not have an answer.  I did not know until a few days ago.

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