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Thread: XP and phantom Nic

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    XP and phantom Nic

    Hi folks

    A frustrating problem continues to task me.

    The mb is a gigabyte 6vxc7-4xp that I bought a few years ago. It does not have a on board nic. I upgraded the o/s from a xp home upgrade (the one where you need the win98 disc to install xp) to a newer version of xp home where you don't need the win98 disc. The setup menu has a option to disable the on board nic and it's disabled.

    The problem is that during installation of xp, it continues to recognize a older version of nic (Realtek 8139) and installs the driver for it. Unfortunately the nic I have is a SMC 1244tx-1. My original nic was a SMC 1211 which my cable company gave me and installed when I went to broadband a couple of years ago. Now, suddenly... XP won't recognize the newer nic, or the older one for that matter, and won't allow me to upgrade the driver for either the 1211 or 1244. For some reason it wants to stand firm with the Realtek driver. It doesn't recognize the SMC card and the bottom line is that I can't connect to the net with this configuration.

    A couple of calls to my isp tech with this problem has them scratching their heads. They had no viable solution because what I'm trying to do should work. I bought the 1244 last week which is a nic that the tech shop uses in their XP preinstalls when a separate nic is required. It is also the nic the cable tech advised me to get. I've gone back to the xp upgrade o/s that I originally had but the problem is still there.

    As a final stab I installed the newer xp home o/s and left the 1244 nic off the mb so xp wouldn't recognize it, which it didn't. Before I add the 1244 to the mb and boot up, I'm curious to what else I can do to solve this silly problem. I must be overlooking something.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Don't install it in the same PCI slot. Remove it from Device Manager, shut down, remove the nic and reboot. Does it still find the NIC? If not shut down and then install the nic in a different PCI slot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    west Lothian, Scotland.
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    "it continues to recognize a older version of nic (Realtek 8139)...the nic I have is a SMC 1244tx-1...My original nic was a SMC 1211...XP won't recognize the newer nic, or the older one for that matter...For some reason it wants to stand firm with the Realtek"
    The last time I fitted a new PCI NIC, I had to "Force Update the ESCD" or else...
    The BIOS didn't detect and acknowledge its presence, no identification of what it is that's fitted, no resources were allocated to it and recorded in the ESCD, and Windows didn't see it.

    Until I find out otherwise, I'm continuing to assume that whenever the PCI hardware arrangement is changed in any way, it is necessary to "Force Update the ESCD" to cater for the change.

    Is the "Realtec 8139" the one listed in your ESCD [in error because it isn't the one presently fitted] and therefore the one that the BIOS is telling Windows is connected?
    The one that happened to be connected when the ESCD was last "Force Updated"?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Variable View Post
    Don't install it in the same PCI slot. Remove it from Device Manager, shut down, remove the nic and reboot. Does it still find the NIC? If not shut down and then install the nic in a different PCI slot.
    Thanks for the reply

    I have five pci slots, the soundcard (Audigy2-OEM) is in slot 3. Originally the SMC1211 Nic was in slot 5 and worked fine in that slot. After the upgrade to XP Home (full version) I started having problems so I tried the SMC1211 in the other 4 slots while following the methods you described. Whichever slot I tried, as soon as XP booted up it found the nic and installed the Realtek driver. XP wouldn't let me install the SMC1211 driver. I uninstalled the Audigy card and tried the SMC1211 in slot 3 but the results were the same. It was at that time I bought the SMC1244 and tried that Nic in all 5 slots. Again, the results were the same.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvander View Post
    "it continues to recognize a older version of nic (Realtek 8139)...the nic I have is a SMC 1244tx-1...My original nic was a SMC 1211...XP won't recognize the newer nic, or the older one for that matter...For some reason it wants to stand firm with the Realtek"
    The last time I fitted a new PCI NIC, I had to "Force Update the ESCD" or else...
    The BIOS didn't detect and acknowledge its presence, no identification of what it is that's fitted, no resources were allocated to it and recorded in the ESCD, and Windows didn't see it.

    Until I find out otherwise, I'm continuing to assume that whenever the PCI hardware arrangement is changed in any way, it is necessary to "Force Update the ESCD" to cater for the change.

    Is the "Realtec 8139" the one listed in your ESCD [in error because it isn't the one presently fitted] and therefore the one that the BIOS is telling Windows is connected?
    The one that happened to be connected when the ESCD was last "Force Updated"?
    Thanks for the reply

    The Realtek 8139 is listed in the device manager when the SMC1121-1244 is on the MB.
    When there is no pci Nic on the MB, nothing is listed in the device manager (as it should be).

    When you say Force update the ESCD, are you referring to bios flashing? If so, the bios has never been flashed on this mb. After more researching on the net it seems my options might be to reset the bios to default settings then try the Nic. Next would be to flash the bios. If this fails then upgrade the mb (which seems a bit extreme just for a Nic). Would you agree with this?

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    When you say Force update the ESCD, are you referring to bios flashing?
    No. Some BIOSes refer to it as 'reset configuration data' but others say 'force update' data or some such terminology. Somewhere, near the end but before save or discard, in the bios, is a section with this option.

    Flash?
    I've had ~10 pc's so far, worked on far more than that, from 486's (maybe earlier) to recent systems and have only flashed a BIOS twice so far. The ONLY reasons were to cure some issue towards improvement such as hard drive capacities or other recommended fixes.

    The mb is a gigabyte 6vxc7-4xp that I bought a few years ago. It does not have a on board nic. I upgraded the o/s from a xp home upgrade (the one where you need the win98 disc to install xp) to a newer version of xp home where you don't need the win98 disc. The setup menu has a option to disable the on board nic and it's disabled.
    OK. Make up my mind please...
    Since you say have a disk that does NOT require confirmation of an older disk, DO A CLEAN INSTALL! (I'm not yelling, it's for emphasis ). Back up what you need and start fresh.

    It does not have a on board nic. .......The setup menu has a option to disable the on board nic
    Well, does it or doesn't it?!?! And,,, What 'setup' menu? BIOS??

    I'm sorry, but this thread, without the proper starting point of full hardware specs, succession of events, succession of attempts, is going to go nowhere, or take a week where one evening should be all that's necessary.

    I'm curious to what else I can do to solve this silly problem. I must be overlooking something.
    Yep. Piling one system or install upon another yields a pile of dung. No matter how many times you add another, it is still a pile of dung, just deeper!
    To quote a sig from nearby here = 'Format the damned C:' and use a clean slate!

    What is the harddrive? How many os'es have been loaded onto it as upgrades?
    >How many system changes is Windows (dis)Advantage considering at this point?<

    Install XP cleanly with minimal pci cards in place. Add one at a time until the problem one causes a glitch.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  7. #7
    The problem is probably because the SMC cards use the Realtek 8139 controller and XP is recognizing it as such. If you are unable to update the generic Realtek driver through Device manager by pointing it to the SMC driver, then try uninstalling only the driver (not the NIC itself) in Device Manager. DO NOT REBOOT. Try installing SMC driver. Then reboot.
    Last edited by malcore; 02-24-2007 at 01:51 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I have had an equivalent "problem" when I transferred XP from one PC to another and repaired the old installation. The original NIC persisted being shown in Device Manager and in the Network Properties - though it didn't seem to interfere with the functioning of the new computer.

    I have searched and searched for ways of removing it from Device Manager and made some half-hearted attempts at finding a registry entry to delete. In the end I just disabled the old Card in Device Manager.

    That's over a year and a half now and it has never caused any problems. A techy came over lately to install a radio mast etc for wireless broadband and found it very confusing till I explained the background.

    One would think there must be a way of removing it but I havent been bothered to play with the registry and I'm not that anal about having everything totally tidied up. I'm also a great believer in not tinkering if all is going well.

    Last edited by Paul Komski; 02-24-2007 at 03:54 AM. Reason: Pic Link
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  9. #9
    Paul, not sure steveo has the same problem as it seems there is only one network adapter in device manager, just the wrong one. However, aren't "packet scheduler miniport" drivers created by QoS?

    Perhaps you have been to this link already? http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum...fm/439319.html

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Guess I didn't read things fully. I saw "The problem is that during installation of xp, it continues to recognize a older version of nic (Realtek 8139) and installs the driver for it" and it rang a bell. Seems like it was the wrong bell - sorry.

    Until recently this PC was both a standalone and on dial-up so those networking components had little relevance. I thought it odd that the old entries persisted but never really researched it and your link looks like it explains all. Thanks malcore.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  11. #11
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    Rereading the posts It looks like a very odd problem. I think there is some missing information. If you cannot update the driver in windows with the drivers that came with the NIC and the nic shows installed in device manager and does not work.. it doesn't really make sense. I do not think it is a Windows problem.

  12. #12
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    Malcore. Just wanted to say that the fix in the link worked a treat.
    Opened up a command prompt and entered
    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
    then entered
    devmgmt.msc
    Showed hidden devices and then the non-present card showed-up greyed. Uninstalled it and the two "virtual" entries magically disappeared! Sorry steveo for my mini-piggyback.

    As for the SMC 1211 - what about this guy who seems to have had an equivalent problem under Linux. Perhaps it would be worth a shot looking for updated realtek drivers if the SMC really does have a realtek chip in it. Noting also: "This chip has not been assigned a valid IRQ, and will not function. This must be fixed in the PCI BIOS setup".
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  13. #13
    Paul, glad that sorted out for you.

    Variable, I agree it sounds strange. One would think that if XP installed a driver for the card that it would work to some limited extent.

    Not much else can be done until steveo responds with a bit more info. I'm curious to know what the properties of the card are in Device Manager. Does Windows say it is functioning fine? When the card is changed from one pci slot to another, are the properties also changed, ie IRQs etc?

    It may be that the card is actually functioning at a limited level, and Windows will not allow the SMC driver to be installed because it is not digitally signed. Checking the Driver Signing section in System Properties under the Hardware tab might be something to look at.

    I would look at the properties of the card in Device Manager, check IRQs, check that Windows says it is functioning and that Windows is set to allow one to install unsigned drivers.

    Again though, not much can be done until we have a bit more information.

  14. #14
    As usual, we should have asked steveo to read the manual, which can be found here (the user manual, not quick install guide): http://www.smc.com/index.cfm?event=d...oadType=8&os=0

    Looking at the installation instructions for XP (pages 19-25), the directions show how to update the generic Realtek driver (which XP automatically installs for this card) in Device Manager by using the "Have Disk" option. The SMC driver, as I suspected, is NOT digitally signed.

    PCI and BIOS troubleshooting on pages 30-31 of manual.
    Last edited by malcore; 02-24-2007 at 05:40 PM.

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