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ASUS P2B do not recognize network adapter

Last response: in Networking
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April 1, 2006 6:49:43 AM

Hi, I have a quite strange problem here.

I'm trying to set up my old PII box (MBO is ASUS P2B) as a gateway/proxy for my home LAN. So I've put two network adapters in (one is old 10 Mbit ISA NIC, and other is brand new 100 Mbit PCI NIC). First one should be an uplink to ADSL, and second one should be LAN interface.

During installation of IPCop (linux proxy/firewall distro) the ISA card was successfully recognized, but PCI card was not. As I have identical PCI network cards on other computers which works just fine under windows, I've decided to install windows first to see if this PCI card would work and to try to resolve the problem.

Surprise!!! Windows didn't recognize either of my two NIC's. Just as they are not there. No "New hardware found" message. Nothing. I've tried to add it manually through "Add new hardware wizard", but unsuccessfully.

So I put PCI NIC in other machine to see if it works. And it works fine. I've also put a PCI sound card into PCI slot to see if there is a problem with a PCI slot. Windows recognized it and install it in a minute. So wtf is going on?

Conclusion follows:

1. ISA card is ok, as IPCop did recognize it right
2. PCI card is ok, as it works in other computer (but not in PII box)
3. ISA slot is ok, as IPCop did recognize a NIC in it (but not WindowsXP)
4. PCI slot is also ok, as a sound card in it works fine

I quess BIOS setup is also ok, as ISA slot under linux and PCI slot under windows works fine.

Anyone have an idea what could be a problem?
Thanks for any help.
April 3, 2006 5:59:53 PM

Hello,

I'll tell you what I would do in your situation. I would just buy another PCI NIC. I think it's your best bet right now as they are really not expensive at all.
April 4, 2006 10:09:20 AM

I've missed an important fact - a PCI revision. An answer from a NIC manufacturer just arrived into my mailbox. They say:

Look at your computers PCI revision, if the pci revision is different then the one you need for the card, then you have a chance that the card will work on your p4 box but not on you P2B.

You need PCI revision 2.2


So that's it. An old ASUS P2B mobo is equipped with a PCI rev.2.1. The only solution is to try to find an old PCI rev.2.1 network cards. I was sure the only thing that I should taking care of is a PCI voltage, which is 5V (not 3.3V) for NIC and PCI slot as well. I was wrong.

Thanks anyway.
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April 4, 2006 6:52:38 PM

Good catch Simba.

I was thinking about those lines, but you beat me to it.

An older 3Com 3C905 or Intel Pro/100 I bet would work just fine. Those were some of golden oldies of the first 100Mb PCI NIC's.
April 4, 2006 8:19:18 PM

Hm...3Com 3C905. You're a second person that suggest me that card. I'll ask guys at IT department at my firm tomorrow if they maybe have some of those cards and I'll offer them to trade. And I'll keep in mind about this Intel Pro/100, as well. If I could find any of it would be great.

It is a sad discovery that it's actually not backward compatible. So if you have an old computer that is matching your needs and you just want to replace a NIC or add a new one (as it is in my case), you can't just go to a store and buy it. You have to find some second hand card. If you're lucky. What a disappointment. :( 
April 4, 2006 11:01:47 PM

I was just checking my older P2B-F motherboard to see whay NIC I had in it. It's a 3C905b.

What I don't know is if the PCI rev support is different between the P2B like you have and a P2B-F. I looked in the Bios of that machine and it had an option called "PCI 2.1 Support". I don't know if that meant legacy support and implied 2.2 compatibility; or if it meant "support for this newer feature".

EDIT: I just checked the "Bios Optimization Guide"... Turns out that the P2B-F is PCI 2.1, at best, with the above option enabled. That means that if the 3c905 or 3c905b work for me, they should work for you!
April 6, 2006 8:46:25 PM

CANYON CN-D30TXL 10/100 PCI NIC with a RTL-8139 chip on board. That's a card I bought in a store today. And it supports rev2.1 and 2.2 PCI bus.
And it works!!! :D  :D  :D 

Thanks to all for suggestions.
!