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Looking for Broadcom drivers for WinXP that will work on PowerEdge 2650

Posted on 2013-05-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I'm trying to get a Dell PowerEdge 2650 running again.  Before it died (RAID controller issue) it was running Windows 2000 Server just fine.  Now that I've got the RAID issue resolved, I want to put Windows XP on it because VirtualBox does not support Win2k.  I've got XP installed.  Windows setup installed the default Broadcom drivers for the built-in NICs.  Here's the problem... they don't work.  When the NIC is connected to a switch and enabled in Windows, XP says the LAN cable is unplugged and there is no link light on the NIC.  On the switch port, the link light about once per second.  If I go into Network Connections in XP and right-click an adapter and choose Disable, Windows shows that the NIC has been disabled, BUT now the link lights on both ends work (even showing activity)!  I've tried uninstalling the NICs through Device Manager and allowing Windows to re-install them.  Same thing.  I've downloaded the driver for this specific Dell service tag.  I had to burn it to a CD because it was too big for a floppy disk (USB support is still not working... just like when it was running Win2k.  I thought XP would fix that).  The setup program says that it requires Windows 2003 or Windows 2008.  When can I get an XP driver for this machine?  Any assistance would be appreciated.  Thanks.
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Question by:lrbarrios
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Expert Comment

by:bepsoccer1
ID: 39181972
You can get them straight from broadcom.  It should help you identify the chip set so you can download the correct driver.  http://www.broadcom.com/support/ethernet_nic/downloaddrivers.php
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 39182019
Use the drivers for Windows 2003, they should work with XP too. If there is still a problem check any settings of the NIC's you can change within the BIOS. Also make sure you only connect 1 NIC to the same LAN at a time (unless you setup teaming or something similar).
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Author Comment

by:lrbarrios
ID: 39182885
Hmm... This is what I figured out (before downloading from the link above).  If I go into the adapter in Device Manager and change the Speed & Duplex to 10-Half or 10-Full, it works.  Auto, 100-Half and 100-Full do not work.  When I went straight to Broadcom and downloaded the XP driver for the 1 Gigabit adapter and installed it, it said it successfully installed it.  I voluntarily rebooted and checked the driver information.  XP is still using the default Microsoft Windows driver dated 2001.  When I clicked Rollback Driver, XP said there was no previous driver.  Also, I know that the switch ports are capable of 100Mbps.  This is the only device that is showing to be connecting at 10 right now.  Frustrated.  I'm thinking of trying Ubuntu at this point just to see if I can get more functionality out of this box.  USB still isn't working, NIC isn't cooperating, etc.  I know VirtualBox works on Ubuntu.  Any more suggestions.
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Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 125 total points
ID: 39182943
Keeping in mind that installing an unsupported OS on a server can be a matter of trial and error - and frustration - I have heard that the "hard drive" version of the 2003 drivers from Dell usually work for XP (the Update for Microsoft Windows version will not work as it includes an OS check).  I have not tried this myself.  The oddball chipset with XP may also make this a bigger headache than its worth.

Also, if you plan to run VirtualBox in Ubuntu on this 10 year-old server, know that 1) the 2650 supports only 32-bit OS's, and 2) the 2650 processors do not support VT, so performance may not be what you are expecting.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39183433
If the switch is managed, make sure the port the server is connected to is set to full/auto negotiate, and also use the same on the server. Never use one setting on one side, and another at the other side.
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Author Comment

by:lrbarrios
ID: 39195717
I booted up the Live CD for Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 and it auto-detected the Broadcom NICs (5701's) just fine and worked great.  Go figure.  I have an Dell Inspiron 8500 with XP.  When I boot to XP the laptop screen goes dark.  It can only be used with an external screen and the NICs will only work if the laptop is plugged into a docking station.  I swapped the hard drive and installed Ubuntu.  It works fine.  Put the XP drive back in, same problem (and that was after wiping and reinstalling Windows, which used to work on that system).  Another one for Ubuntu.  :)
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Accepted Solution

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lrbarrios earned 0 total points
ID: 39219467
I've installed Ubuntu 12.04 Server LTS on the 2650.  Everything seems to be working.  There's still a minor glitch with the NIC driver, however.  The OS sees that the NIC is plugged in, but says that it's not managed and that there are no valid connections.  However, the NIC is operating at 100Mbps/Full and working just fine.  I haven't tried installing the Linux driver from Broadcom yet.  VirtualBox is installed and running an XP machine just fine.  The machines that I'll be virtualizing are old NT machines, so I think it'll be doable.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lrbarrios
ID: 39232732
In the end, installing Ubuntu turned out to be the best solution for this experiment.
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