View Full Version : USB problem...device unknown

02-04-2003, 01:39 AM

Wonder if any resident guru can help me on this.

I was trying to installed an Usb ethernet card on an old PC which has two unused Usb ports. PC (old pentium mmx 166mhz-dinosaur...hehe)running on Wins98. I connect my enthernet card to one of the Usb ports. Now here's the strange thing, it sometimes return "unknown device" message and it somethimes sucessfully recognised my hardware as "USB ethernet" and proceed to run installation wizard.

Having sucessfully installed my driver, when I restart with my ethernet card connected, it failed to register the new hardware and return "unknown device" message again. The new device is not found in the device manager as network adapters but reflected as "unknown device" under the Usb bus contoller.

I repeated whole process installing/re-installing but still the system failed to recognise the new hardware upon reboot.

On a few occasions, i successfully had it installed and networked to my other PCs and even managed to gain shared internet access! However, my joy is short-live as the problem creeps up again when I restart my system.

Also, on that few occasions where I manage to connect to the internet, the connection wud sometimes hang for no apparent reason (only on the client PC).

Would be grateful if anyone can shed some light.


02-04-2003, 05:41 AM
Try starting the system with the USB ethernet as the only add on hardware. See if the 'recognition' is consistent. It could most probably be due to a device conflict.

02-04-2003, 06:56 AM
Win 98 can be a bit flaky with USB sometimes. Check that you have all the service packs for 98.
Also check that you have the latest drivers for the USB ethernet.
Check the specs as well - some of the newer USB devices may require a higher spec system.
Do you have any other USB devices attached? USB has a limited bandwidth, and if more than one device is trying to work at the same time, this can cause problems (this isn't just confined to win 9x)

Sometimes it's best to uninstall the device and drivers, reboot, install the DRIVERS, reboot, and then install the device.

02-04-2003, 07:02 AM
Something that happened to me may help you figure out your problem.

1. Trying to fit a Network Interface Card for Broadband Internet Connection to work [on a 1997 system].
2. The engineer could not get it to work and said it was a BIOS problem and he wouldn’t touch my BIOS.
He said I needed a BIOS upgrade.
3. I went into BIOS Setup and changed:
“PnP/PCI Configuration”
“Reset Configuration Data : Disabled” [changed this to “Enabled”]
This temporarily unlocked the PnP configuration settings.
The PnP system detects the new hardware arrangement, sets the [ESCD?] resource usage to include the new card and then re-locks the settings. The NIC now worked.
4. However, I still have a small niggling problem.
The BIOS still does not cope well and has not been updated.
Every time I do a cold boot the NIC is detected and enabled ok and I can connect to the web.
If I “Start>Shut Down>Restart” or “Ctrl+Alt+Del” twice or “Reset”, when the PC re-boots the card has an exclamation mark against it in device manager and I cannot connect to the web.
If I, then, “Start>Shut Down>Restart” again, all is well after this second warm re-boot.

Your BIOS must detect the hardware and notify Windows about its presence.
Windows will then go about setting up the hardware to work [ask you for a driver].
This situation would then be made permanent and work every time.
Perhaps: because you have not enabled the reset of configuration data, then the ESCD has not been updated to include this item, and it’s being detected by windows as an “unknown device”. This during a cold boot only.

02-04-2003, 10:29 AM
Thanks for the help guys.

I have this same Usb ethernet adaptor installed on my laptop running on WIns98 (Celeron 300Mhz) and it works beautifully. Sylander, u cud be rite about the BIOS problem as your problem sounds exactly the same as what I am encountering now, plus it's a really old dinosaur PC bot way back in 97 (pentium MMX) and I think the Usb specs on this PC must be of the earlier and older version.

How do I go about tweaking the BIOS? I enter "setup" during boot up but don't seem to find any options available for to "Reset Configuration data" mentioned by Sylander.

Thanks again.

02-04-2003, 11:44 AM
Hello Peter.

You old dinosaur is better than my old dinosaur. Mine isn’t even MMX!

My BIOS is PnP capable and the method of resource assignment is controlled by settings in a section of the BIOS Setup titled “PnP/PCI Configuration”.

Possibly this "Reset Configuration data" setting only appears if:
“PnP OS Installed : Yes”
“Resources Controlled by: Auto”
are set.

The alternative is a great list of manual settings, like:
IRQ-3 Assigned to : Legacy Isa
IRQ-4 Assigned to : Legacy Isa
IRQ-5Assigned to : Legacy Isa
IRQ-7 Assigned to : Legacy Isa
IRQ-9 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP
IRQ-10 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP
IRQ-11 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP
IRQ-12 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP
IRQ-14 Assigned to : Legacy Isa
IRQ-15 Assigned to : Legacy Isa
DMA-0 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP
DMA-1 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP
DMA-3 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP
DMA-5 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP
DMA-7 Assigned to : PCI/ISA PnP

These were my alternative manual settings specified in my motherboard manual.

If you'd like a document detailing all the common BIOS Setup settings and what they do:
Send me a personal message giving an e-mail address to send it to.
This took me quite a lot of time and effort to make and "Granny", to whom I've given a copy, agrees with me that it is REALLY useful.
You can learn a lot about your BIOS settings by printing this and sitting quietly and reading, and re-reading, it over an extended period.
While you're at it I could send you my diagnostic charts.

02-05-2003, 12:03 AM

I think I found the cause of my problem.


I am using the Intel 82371SBPCI to USB bus controller which is not supported by Wins98!


Guess I will have to install Wins98SE or higher and maybe it will work?