P2B-F with Wireless NIC?

We have a PII-350 PC using the ASUS P2B-F motherboard that we'd like to get more life out of, but can't really get an ethernet cable to where we can place the PC. I bought a Netgear WG311 wireless PCI adapter to take advantage of the Linksys WRT54G Router/Access Point in our house.

The system requirements listed for the WG311 include "Pentium III Class PC with an available PCI 2.2 compliant slot". This computer is running Win XP SP2 and has the PCI 2.2 compliant slots, but has a Pentium II processor. The required software installed fine, and I don't see why this PC wouldn't still work with the WG311, but it won't even boot up once I physically install the card to a slot.

Does anyone know if it's possible to get the WG311 (or some other Wireless NIC) to work with a PII-based PC? If not, any idea why not?

Thank you!

10 answers Last reply
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  1. You might have luck with a USB wireless NIC or could you run an ethernet cable to an Access Point which could connect to another WAP or Wireless Router..
  2. You can run that card on a P1 75 Mhz if the PCI slot is compatible. Have you tried another slot? Have you taken out any other PCI card? I'd definitely try that first. USB is an option and perhaps a good one if coverage is spotty at that location but since the PCI card has already been purchased I'd look at troubleshooting that hardware problem first. It has nothing to do with the processor.
  3. I would tend to agree with you because I have an interesting mix of cards in that PC. However, the card the Netgear WG311 replaced is another PCI Netgear NIC, the FA311. I was concerned that the FA311 always worked flawlessly in this system, no matter which PCI slot it was in, while the WG311 would occasionally hang the computer before the BIOS even declared itself.

    I'll try pulling the SCSI card today and see if that makes a difference. Much more than that and I'll just replace it with a new cheap PC.


  4. Well, I took out every card except the AGP video card and tried the WG311 in each of the 5 PCI slots. If I got the card in just right in slot 1 or 5, the PC would boot and XP would appear to run fine, but it would not detect any "Network Adapter". In the other 3 slots, the PC wouldn't even get to the BIOS splash screen.

    I'm guessing I have a defective card. Would anybody else agree?


  5. Maybe it's pulling more power than the PSU can handle. What kind of PSU is in it? a 150W or something?
  6. Hmmm - that's an interesting thought, but it IS only a 250W power supply. On the other hand, I pulled out a SCSI card, Sound Blaster Live!, wired NIC (Netgear FA311), and removed a SCSI DVD drive, which I would think would free up plenty of power for the WG311. Unless that thing's a power hog, of course.

    I've returned the card for an exchange, so I have to wait for the new one to try anything else.


  7. Yah id bet a defective card. That comp should be able to handle it just fine. Also I'd be surprise if that card pulled more than 10-20 W so yes remving all the card should free up more than enoguh power!

    Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
  8. Well, believe it or not I got the replacement card over 3 months ago and hadn't taken the time to try it until tonight. That may seem kinda silly, but I've had more urgent things to do than try to get an old computer to connect wirelessly.

    I also replaced the P2-350 processor with a P3-550 that I picked up for under $7, so I figured I'd cover that base too while I've got the case open. Everything seems to be working flawlessly as long as I keep the FA311 NIC in there, but as soon as I replace it with the WG311 (new one this time) the computer hangs either before the BIOS loads or in the middle of it.

    I've resigned myself with having to put this computer where I can get ethernet wire to it because I can't justify the expense of another access point. On the other hand, I could pick up a new motherboard and processor (I'd like the ASUS CUSL2-C and a P3-1GHz or so because I already have a PC with those) for $40 or $50 if you guys think it's likely the WG311 will work with that even though it doesn't with the P2B-F.

    Do you think I'd have a lot better chance at success with that?


  9. I have confirmed that the P2B-F motherboard does NOT have PCI 2.2 compliant slots. They are only rev. 2.1. That explains my problem.

    Now the only intended use for this computer is for internet and running Lego Digital Designer. I've tried several versions of Lego Digital Designer and they all crash at the same point, so I'm suspecting a hardware configuration error, namely the motherboard. I'd like to avoid reinstallling WinXP, so the most likely route seems to be swapping out the motherboard for another one with the BX440 chipset. I'm looking at the P3B-F because it has PCI 2.2 slots, but I'm not sure how easy it is to find a good one.

    Got any recommendations?


  10. I wish I woulda found this thread last week!
    I spent hours trying to get a Netgear WG311 Wireless (PCI 2.2) to work with an Asus P2B-F mobo.. wouldn't boot, when it did would hang on Post or halfway into Windows XP. I tried flashing mobo Bios.. etc.
    Finally realized mobo only had PCI 2.1 ! Doh!

    So.. back to Best Buy, exchanged for a D-Link USB Wireless g adapter.. works like a charm.
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