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Need a Mac driver for DEC 21040/21041 NIC.

I need a Mac driver for a PCI DEC 21040/21041 network interface card.  Under PC Red Hat Linux the NE2000 driver works (ne2k-pci) just fine for this, so I *assume* that a generic NE2000 compatible driver would also work for this on the Mac.

The question is: how do I obtain such a driver. Drivers seem to be easy to get hold of for Linux, but not for the Mac.

I have a Motorola StarMax Macintosh 3000/200 clone and wish to use this spare DEC PCI network card in that to network to a PC.

Thanks in advance.


1 Solution
Linux is an open-source project with thousands of programmers contributing to the cause; the Mac platform is not quite that way. I would be very surprised if drivers for the Mac exist for that particular piece of hardware.


Bad news... after scouring the Compaq web site (they own DEC) I could only find DOS drivers for the card you listed. If you can get your hands on a DE450 or a DE500 (both are PCI) you can download MAC drivers for either.

Good Luck
this is a no-brainer, but have you tried using the NIC with the standard Apple ethernet drivers?  In my experience, a wide number of variant NICs work adequately with Apple's drivers.  You may not be able to access the advanced features of the hardware, but you should be able to use them on the network.  It's not the most elegant solution (I prefer supported drivers myself) but it is something I figured I'd bring up.

Also, you can get a generic NIC for $9 or less. . . that will solve this problem as most NICs these days ship with Mac drivers on diskette, if not CD-ROM.
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dbennAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses so far.

postpress: While I agree that Linux and MacOS have different devotees I guess it's a little surprising to me that an NE2000 driver is not available for MacOS. Even Windoze has one.

CyberGreg: Thanks, but I really would like to make use of the NIC I have lying around.

echodarius: Good point. I've installed all the ethernet drivers I have from my MacOS 8.5 CD, but none seem to work. I have tried enabling each in turn (one at a time of course) via the Extensions Manager control panel and restarting. Is there anything else I need to do to enable such an ethernet driver (extension)? After enabling the right one, should I then see Ethernet as an option in the TCP/IP control panel along with PPP etc?

Assuming that it recognized the hardware,  you would see something like "Ethernet" in your TCP/IP control panel, yes.  

If you've tried enabling them all separately and it hasn't worked for you, I guess that Apple doesn't ship support for this NIC (something we could probably have assumed anyhow).  I suppose that it was worth a try.  The difficulty here is that it's so hard to get down to the details of drivers with a Mac. . . :(

Try enabling all of them at once.  NuBus Macs sometimes needed more than one extension to make a card work.    ;)

The fallback here is get a $9 NIC at your local computer vendor (not CompUSA but the kind of vendor that sells motherboards and empty cases.  Best of luck.  The Starmax is a nice computer, it's too bad that clones were killed by Steve Jobs.

dbennAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments. I tried enabling all at once, but to no avail.

If I get some spare time, I may attempt to write a Mac driver for this card (!). I've downloaded the PCI DDK from Apple, but we'll see how I fare...

In the meantime, I'll also continue trying to get the card working under LinuxPPC to ensure that it is okay. I compiled the code for a ne2k-pci driver from a PC RedHat 6.0 distribution. ifconfig recognises the card, but nothing seems to get to or from the card via the network.

Yes, in the short term I will probably just get a NIC for which I know a Mac driver exists. Here in Australia, a 10Base2/T card costs around $40 and a 100BaseT card costs around $100. The local Apple stores only seem to carry the latter.

You should try this link :


they have a DEC 21141 (KF221TX) that has a DLPI driver for the MacOS (OS9 / OpenTpt 2.6.1 tested with AppleShareIP).

The driver allowed me to use other cards with DEC chip (DLINKs)  unfortunately I only tried with 10/100 NIC so it may not do what you want ?

Kingston also have Mac drivers (though not so great) for their cards which are based on the DEC chipset. Maybe you could try their drivers.
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