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Laptop keeps restarting when inserting USB 2.0 PCMCIA card

Hi

I'm trying to install a Conceptronic USB 2.0 PCMCIA card (CSP480C2) on a Compasq Armada 1550T laptop with Win98 SE
Everytime I insert the card the laptop restarts, and is not detected by windows when it restarted. When I switch the laptop off  and insert the card, the laptop hangs at the windows logo screen.
I've upgraded the RAM to 80MB and tried to turnoff/uninstall all unnecassary processes and aplications, and also upgraded the BIOS.
I also tried whith a PCMCIA Belkin network card and a gigabyte PCMCIA wireless network card, both of them working fine without a problem.  I tried with another  Conceptronic USB card but with the same result, the laptop restarts. Both of these cards works fine on other laptops.

Any ideas and advice will be appreciated
Thank You
Beeshoring
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Beeshoring
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Beeshoring
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3 Solutions
 
nobusCommented:
win98 is not so good for usb; and 80 Mb Ram is not much, i recommend 128 Mb for running smooth.
you can check in the bios if the boot order is not set to usb, but :
obviously your Compaq is picky about those boards, so maybe an online chat with a compaq guy can help :

http://h20179.www2.hp.com/psgna/caller/chat.asp
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BeeshoringAuthor Commented:
yes, I also think 80MB is not enough, and this laptop is older than the mountains. Unfortunately I will have to do with that cause the person does not want to spend anymore money.

My first thought was afcourse not enough memory, but if so why does all the other PCMCIA cards work? Should'nt they use all +/- the same amount of RAM to load or install the drivers?? Why this one is using up ALL RAM and causing it to restart (if this is the case)???

Is there anything I can do to Free up RAM?? What else can be wrong?? Is it possible there is not enough power for that specific card??What about editing the memory range for the Cardbus controller??

Thanks
Beeshoring
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nobusCommented:
win98 is not so good for usb, there are may issues, and as you say, it is possible that it takes up the available ram.

you can try the latest drivers here :

http://www.conceptronic.net/site/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=0&tabid=17&otabid=4&nextmn=10&modid=10&item=100

or have an email with them about your problem :

http://www.conceptronic.net/Site/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=3&tabid=4
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ridCommented:
I don't think this is an O/S or memory issue - a restart doesn't seem a common reaction when inserting a card. I suspect there is a hardware compatibility issue or a power issue. Can you try a non-USB 2 card just to see if it has anything to do with that, or possibly the PCMCIA controller has problems with CardBus cards. Is there another PC-Card in the machine as well (network card or a modem)?
/RID
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BeeshoringAuthor Commented:
Hi RID

Like I said in my question, I tried different types of PCMCIA cards and they all work fine, without any problems.
There was a network card, I uninstalled it thinking there might be a conflict  between the two, but still the same.

Beeshoring
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nobusCommented:
you can also have an online chat with Compaq support or e-mail them :

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/

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ridCommented:
Different PC-Cards have different power requirements. This could of course be a driver issue, but then you should have been able to at least detect the card the first time, before any drivers were loaded.
/RID
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ChrisSchumannCommented:
You should remove the card, start Windows in Safe Mode, go into device manager and remove the device.

Restart the machine, THEN install the drivers, THEN insert the card.

You should try both slots, as the manual for that series states that each slot has different capabilities. One of them might be power.
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ridCommented:
I came to think of something that goes for DOS and w9X: some PC-Cards need a certain window in memory for some functions. This window can not be handled by the memory manager (like EMM386.exe) and still be used by the PC-Card. This is taken care of by entering an environment variable in config.sys or possibly win.ini, that excludes a memory area from being managed by EMM386. Such a special requirement should be in the documentation for the card, though. If you can't find any such reference, it is probably not relevant here.
/RID
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BeeshoringAuthor Commented:
I'm getting different "reactions" now.

When I insert the card in the bottom slot after installing the drivers, I get the following error:

A fatal exception 0E has occured at 0000:00000000. The current application will be terminated.

The card is not detected when I press any key to cont.

When I insert the card in the top slot, the laptop freeze and there is a strip on the top off the screen(about 1/5) where it looks like the dots is "very far apart", in a uniform red, black and green patern. There is also a distorted square arround the mouse pointer.

Then when the computer restarts with the card inserted in either of the slots, the add new hardware wizard starts (for Ali PCI to USB Open host Controller).  It asks for the win98 cd and copies all the usb files. It then hangs shortly after detecting the new device(the beep when a card is inserted) It just repeats this process and the card does not get installed.
If I cancel the wizard the computer boots up but the device is not detected in the device manager.  I tried then by running "add new hardware" in control panel but it restarts as soon as it start to search for plug & play devices.

Thanks again for all comments
Beeshoring
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BeeshoringAuthor Commented:
I got it to work, I think.

I got it to work the first time by chosing the Standard USB controller instead of the Ali USB controller, but I did so many things that I decided to do a complete Reinstall.
No it is working with the Ali Usb controller, but it still froze a few times when it tried to load the driver.  It also freezes when I insert the card while the laptop is on and will only work when I boot the laptop with the card allready in it.
First I tried with a USB flash drive, and it gave a error: "This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed  (code 10)"
I then found out that this only happened if the card is in the top PCMCIA slot, and it worked in the bottom one after uninstalling and reinstalling the drive.

But, I still cannot get a external 160GB harddrive to work.  It gives the same error,"This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed  (code 10)", and does not want to work no matter what I try.

Does anyone have any more idieas?? I'm about to give up but want to give it one more go

Beeshoring
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nobusCommented:
test the drive first, by hooking it to another PC, and partition and format it.
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BeeshoringAuthor Commented:
Allready did that
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nobusCommented:
i suppose you did install the drivers for the external case?
Can you see it in device manager (no errors here?), or explorer?
Other than that : win98 is not so good with usb devices
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BeeshoringAuthor Commented:
Yes i did install all driver before connecting the device

error in device manager:

"This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed  (code 10)"

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nobusCommented:
then i would test it on another PC, with an XP system, or to be sure, with a Win98 os.
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BeeshoringAuthor Commented:
sorry for not responding any sooner

This card + the ext. drive work perfectly on a XP system (did not even need to install any drivers) and after a few hiccups work fine on another win98se laptop.  But no matter what I tried it did not want to work on this laptop, and after wasting allready so much time I decided to give up.
So its either (a)Win98 is not good with usb, (b) Not enough RAM or (c) an incompatibility issue, and of wich I think the last of the three makes the most sense.
I also have a friend who works in a big computer store and he said that they had lots of problems with these USB cards and many of them got returned.  

But thank you for all inputs, I'm sure the answer is in this thread even though it does not solve the problem.

Beeshoring
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nobusCommented:
>>   (a)Win98 is not good with usb   << is certainly true
>>  (b) Not enough RAM <<  possible
>>  (c) an incompatibility issue   <<  there are many
it can also be a combination of the above
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