hard lockup/freeze on D-link 530-tx

This is a continuation of


I checked the cables, routers (by connecting a laptop) and it works fine.

So I decided that the problem must be the NIC.  The current one was a DLINK 530tx (realtek 8139 driver) and I got the same card from office depot (rev E1).

The one difference I noticed between the two cards is that the new one is recognized by the router even when the power is off (the router lights are on. I suspect some power is being drawn as the plug hasnt been pulled. if this is done then the router lights go off)

Even though its the same card, it installs the driver specific to 530 tx.

after a little while browsing I get a hard lockup. On investigating I find that there is no lockup if I disconnect the cable from the router (loopback ping works fine)

But the moment I put the cable back in it locks up hard

I am wondering if this is dhcp related ?

I should mention that I noticed similar lockups with the older card a few times over the past week.

The other PC which is fine is running on a VIA motherboard with a realtek NIC.

Is it some driver issue that interacts with negotiating with the router problem? or is it caused by some XP updates?

Something about the networking hardware/software is causing communication with the router (which is basically a gateway to the cable modem) to go haywire.

Is the solution to get a different NIC? I do recall reading something about dhcpsense

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nsriramAuthor Commented:
I get the hang even if its not connected to the router.. It does not hang if I remove the network card..(at least so far)
In your NIC configuration, is there a PXE option?  If so, turn it off.  Also turn off any powersave features for the NIC - you don't want it to turn off the NIC just because the PC has been idle for a while...
Make sure the NIC is NOT in the PCI slot directly adjacent to the AGP slot.

The AGP shares resources with the first PCI slot and can cause this problem.

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nsriramAuthor Commented:

Its one slot away (so theres one empty slot in between).. still your suggestion is useful.

update: I returned the d-link and got a linksys card LNE100TX v4 for 15 bucks from radio shack. It also comes with a 10 bucks mailin rebate!

XP Sp1 detects the card and installs it. There were some problems (of the cable is unplugged messages) but no hardware hangs

Finally I removed the driver and check the Award Bios.. There is one setting in the PCI list that enables or disables rewriting the PCI config (everything is on auto)

Then booted into safe networking and it was detected and installed (no messages at all) and I could get a ping from the router and the net.

I did not update the driver from the cd (I had done this earlier) and left well enough alone (I just left the one installed by XP as is)

right now I am booted into normal mode and typing this message.. so far no hangs.

The take home message in all of this I suppose is

avoid d-link? but  then it had worked fine for over a year

maybe one has to understand the bios settings real carefully and they tend not to be documented.

If there is a way to close this question I will (assuming system is stable for  few more hours)

nsriramAuthor Commented:
As it turned out the driver was fine and I could surf the net for about 2 hours

after that it hung the system

so it seems the new NIC cannot cure the problem

I tried to do a XP repair and found that the repair hung if the NIC was in place.. So I had to the repair without the NIC.

Subsequently I tried to install the driver and currently it is nonfunctional (with a yellow exclamation mark saying "the device cannot be started")

the system is back to the vanilla XP (due to the repair); so SP1 has been taken out and would need to be reinstalled

any suggestions on where I should go with this appreciated..

Perhaps SP1 had some drivers for this card that it installed (earlier) and that worked briefly

maybe something is wrong with the PCI controller.. but no error messages or anything that would make any sense.

Is the CPU fan working?  If so, make absolutely sure the heatsink and fanblades are clean.

Also, clean the power supply fan and any aditional fans in the case.

Sounds like an overheating problem.

If all else fails, it could very-well be a motherboard going bad.  Check all the capacitors on the board to make sure none of them are buldging/leaking.


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nsriramAuthor Commented:
CPU fan is working.
Power supply fan is also working.

The Bios reports temperatures that are normal..

How does one clean the CPU fan and sink ? Use compressed air or gas?

I have some insight into what may be happening.

If after I slot in the network card, I change the BIOS to enable rewriting the PCI config.. it does that ONCE (and sets it to disable); after this I can install the network card.

Anyway I will see how long I can be on the net before it loses connectivity again or have a hard hang.

Yes with compressed air/gas, but make sure the PC is OFF and UNPLUGGED and the CPU is already cool  

Rapid cooling and/or condensation caused by using compressed air/gas on a running or hot system is a good way to make Silicon popcorn.
You should always do a reset (or whatever your BIOS calls it) after adding or moving a card.  Also, I would recommend setting the Plug&Play OS setting to off or no in the BIOS.  Let the BIOS handle the hardware instead of the OS.  XP is better at it than prior Windows versions, but there are still remnants of "plug & pray" IMHO.
nsriramAuthor Commented:
ok.. the BIOS resetting thingie was responsible for those hardhangs (and with vanilla xp even failure to load OS).. the temperature was not an issue

Can a weak cmos battery screw the network (PCI related) settings?  Once the driver was nonfunctional even though it was ok in the previous reboot (solution: change cmos reset settings once again)

for some reason network is stable via router to comcast only when the other PC (also xp) is not online. else I lose the router soon. and the other PC doesnt have a problem with a laptop.

that will be the focus for another question I suppose.. now I use one PC when I want to work stable on the net.

Do you have "plug & play OS" on or off?
nsriramAuthor Commented:

My BIOS doesnt have this option. Revisions probably do as I looked on the net although I am not sure on how to upgrade the BIOS.

Program:   eSupport.com BIOS Agent Version 3.23
BIOS Date: 06/07/01
BIOS Type: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
BIOS ID:   06/07/2001-i850-W83627-C
OEM Sign-On: KOB 850 FSX 06/07/2001
Chipset:   Intel 2530 rev 2
Superio:   Winbond 627F/HF rev 7 found at port 2Eh
OS:        WinXP
CPU:       Intel Pentium 4 1500 Mhz MAX: 2000 Mhz
BIOS ROM In Socket: Yes
BIOS ROM Size:      256K
Memory Installed:   256 MB
Memory Maximum:     1024 MB
Memory Slot 01:     128 MB
Memory Slot 02:     128 MB
Memory Slot 03:     0 MB
Memory Slot 04:     0 MB
nsriramAuthor Commented:
Investigating further I found that kobian.com the makers of the Mercury MBoard have something


point is: I am not sure which one to upgrade to as there are multiple EXEs.
You want to find the exact instructions for doing a BIOS flash on that motherboard and follow them to the letter.

In order to know which flash to use, there should be resources on that site.  It usually depends on the exact model of motherboard you have.
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