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Plug-and-Play (PnP) Network card

When installing a Plug-and-Play board into a Windows95 system (example: 3COM EtherLink III
3C509), it is very easy: On the next bootup, Windows95 detects the board and installs the required drivers:

We should just check it, by verifying the driver in the Control-Panel Network-Applet:

but since it is a Plug-and-Play board, the Properties in the Network-applet to not even show the resources. For that we check in the Control-Panel System-applet:

Windows NT4
NT4 does NOT have build-in Plug-and-Play support like Windows95 (this feature has been announced by Microsoft for Windows NT 5).
Plug-and-play driver of NT4 works fine with Sound-cards, but has
in my experience too much problems with PnP-network card )

FIRST: check in the "NT Diagnostics" ,tab:"Resources" for an available IRQ !
THEN: configure the Plug-and-Play board for NON-PnP-operation, using the setup-floppy to disable Plug-and-Play and to define MANUALLY the Port-address and IRQ.
Example: the Plug-and-Play Network-board: "3COM EtherLink III 3C509".

Use a DOS-boot-floppy to boot up the system (because such setup-programs do NOT work in a Command-prompt windows of Windows NT4), then start up from the floppy:
"EtherDisk for the EtherLink III ISA (3C509) Network Interface Card" the setup program "3C5X9CFG.EXE":

Select "Configure NIC", which will show for a new board the factory defaults:

where "Plug-and-Play" is enabled.
DISABLE now Plug-and-Play.

Since your PC-BIOS did configure the card, it still has a "grip" on it, so you will need to store the configuration, then power-down and power-up your PC, which will now not anymore configure the card (since it is not anymore a PnP.

Now configure the I/O-Address and IRQ (Interrupt Request Level) to the values required for your system:

in this example: I/O-address = 320 and IRQ = 10. Save the settings and restart NT.

Start now the Network installation:

You can select, whether to let the
system search for an installed
network board or whether to
select it yourself from the list.

This board was selected from the list.
This board was detected by the system.
When using a copy of Windows NT with a ServicePack
install, all worked fine by just clicking on Next, the system
requested the NT4 CD-ROM to read the required drivers.

However, when using a copy of the original NT4
(without any Service Pack), I had some trouble:
I got stuck:
The system insisted to get the
floppy: "3COM Etherdisk
for EtherLink III"
insert into drive D: (which is my CD-ROM, from where I run the NT-Setup).
I had no choice by to select "Cancel",let the system continue and take care about this alter.

I did NOT allow the reboot, but went back to the Network, tab: Adapter, deleted any installed adapter driver and then select "Add".
First, I tried to select the board from the list and then to just select OK.

But I got stuck again in the request to read the "3COM Etherdisk" from drive D:, so I had to "cancel" out again !
Now, I try to add again the board, but this time selecting "Have Disk"
On the "Insert Disk" dialog, change the, path now to the drive A:, then OK.
From the list of drivers on the floppy, select now the proper driver.
This should now install the proper drivers for the network board.
You will be prompted to define now the proper Port-address. In my example, I had to changed it from 300 to 320.

Once you are now prompted to reboot, do it. On bootup, you network should be operational.


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