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Serial ports problem

Posted on 1998-02-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
Testing the serial ports on my computer with Dos diagnostic
programs (TuffTest, Norton Utilites, others) my serial ports
pass with flying colors (internal and external with loopback plug). But dos and windows refuse to acknowledge the existance of any device (several mice and one external modem
-all "known good") attached to the serial ports (1,2 on the board and 3,4 with a known good I?O card).  It's a Tyan tomcat I with a Cyrix 86 Plus 166 processor.
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Question by:jenoch
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11 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:alandc
ID: 1127247
Nothing comes directly to mind but a few question and answers might stir someone:
1) What are your UARTs?
2) What kind of ports are they set as Bi-Dir, ECP, EEP, Standard?
3) Do you currently use or a have a PS-2 mouse port?
4) Do you have any other internal serial products such as an internal modem?
5) Do you have unique or overlapping IRQs? (Standard or Non-standard?)

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Author Comment

by:jenoch
ID: 1127248
1) These are 1650 (?) UARTS. Both the onboard ones, the extra
I/O card ones, and the internal modem ones.  

2) Standard serial ports

3) I have an on board PS/2 port but never got the special connector required to connect a PS/2 mouse.

4) I tried an internal modem - as mentioned above - but it was not detected.

5)Com1-IRQ4 (shared with com3 when I have the I/O card in)
  Com2-IRQ3 (shared with com4 when the I/o card is in)


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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:JBURGHARDT
ID: 1127249
did you try add new hardware in control panel check now when windows ask you if you want windows to search for new hardware then next then ports then communication ports to add modem if is not pnp then click on modems also check in device menager for yellow question mark delete it if you see one.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1127250
jenoch,
Are the built-in ports enabled in your CMOS setup?  Does the banner screen list any serial ports as computer boots up? If so, does it show the port addresses?
 
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1127251
What BIOS version do you have?

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Author Comment

by:jenoch
ID: 1127252
Ok, it's me again.  Lot's of good questins but no answers.  Here is more (probably irelevant) in formation: the computer is not enclosed in a case.  It is spread all over the table.  with the exception of a small speaker, nothing is connected to the connectors which would normally connect from the front panel led's  - hdd led, keylock led, power on (power supplay has it's own switch), reset button etc.  Only a speaker (from an old XT) is connected so that I can hear the friendly diagnostic beeps during POST (I hear only one - of course).  So, really bizzarre - everything except fo serial ports functions fine, and even those test out great with diagnostic software.  this has nothing to do with windows - all this occurs on a basic DOS level.  I fwould blame the motherboard or processor, but why do the diagnostics say all is fine?


jenoch
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1127253
jenoch,
It is possible to have perfectly functioning serial ports operating at non-standard addresses.  Your diagnostic software may find them and determine that they are fine.  If they don't exist at the address that other sofware expects to find them, then it may appear that there is some kind of error or conflict.
Once again, does your BIOS tell you the addresses?  Or the boot-up banner screen?
My next suggestion would be to remove the add-in i/o card until you get the on-board ports operating properly.
regards,
Ralph

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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1127254
WHAT BIOS VERSION DO YOU HAVE?
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Author Comment

by:jenoch
ID: 1127255
jrhelgelson,
It's an Award Bios for the Tyan Tomcat I version 2.12.

rmarotta,

I only added the extra i/o card after all the frustration with the on board serial ports.  All the addresses of the serial ports are standard.  Bios (using the cmos setup) shows these addresses and they also show up on the boot up banner.

I really appreciate your efforts guys,

Jack
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

by:
jrhelgeson earned 400 total points
ID: 1127256
Your bios MUST be version 4.xx or later to support the Cyrix CPU. That is your problem
You can download your bios update from the following address:

ftp://ftp.tyan.com/BIOS/tomcat/awd/4.xx/s56aw401.zip

You must also have the flash utility:
ftp://ftp.tyan.com/BIOS/vx/awd/awdflash.exe

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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1127257
Sorry about the yelling, last night I had my car broken into and I'm a bit pissy right now.

:<
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