NIC compatability in crossover network

By Tiffttech
Dec 28, 2005
  1. Trying to get a ethernet crossover connection to work. Both comps have Win98. One has very old NIC and one has fairly new Fast Ethernet NIC. I've tried static and auto IP adresses, same workgroup etc. What happens is that the status lites on the old NIC are both on (ack and link). On the newer NIC, just the link lite is on and it stays that way. Neither comp can see the other. Could this just be a problem of using an old card or old driver on the old card?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Its unlikely its a NIC compatability problem, I've used a crossover between a 98 computer with an old D-Link ISA NIC and a new Dell Laptop before without problems.

    I'd bet its a problem with your network setup, but I don't remember enough about networking in 98 to tell you how to do it.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Most likely a bad cable or a wrong speed/duplex setting.

    Are you sure you are using a crossover cable and not a straight one?
    Look in the device properties of the NICs and make sure the speed and duplex settings match - the auto-config often fails.
  4. Tiffttech

    Tiffttech TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The cable is definately a crossover cable. As far as the speed settings, I'm not sure. What should I be looking for exactly that should match up?
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Link speed and duplex. 100Mbit cards usually have a setting called exactly that in the device properties.

    The bad news is that the Win98 drivers may be too generic to handle all the settings. You might want to download the latest drivers from the NIC manufacturers to get more options and perhaps some utility programs.

    If the old NIC is really ancient (ISA bus, not PCI) then:
    - it may be 10Mbit and half duplex only and you really have nothing to change there - just set the fast card to the same.
    - you may need to use a special DOS configuration utility to change any settings
    - if it has a BNC connector (a round thing where you can plug a coaxial cable) or an AUI connector (a d-sub connector (looks like a narrow printer port)) then this may be the preferred media and you have to change it to use twisted pair. See the previous point..
  6. Tiffttech

    Tiffttech TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The old NIC is PCI, but also has a BNC connector. I can't find any speed settings to change for it, but it might be running on the win98 driver as you said. I'm going to update that as soon as i get the floppy working. The new NIC has speed and duplex settings, but i really don't know what they mean, and I don't know what the old NIC speed settings are to match them up. I'll mess with it this weekend and see what i can accomplish before i smash both to pieces.
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Heh. Gotta love old hardware. Once you get the configuration floppy going be sure to enable the TX interface instead of the BNC. Most likely you won't see any speed options and perhaps there will be a duplex option. Set it to full duplex.

    - ethernet interface speed
    There are four generations of ethernet devices. The first operates at 10Mbit speed, the second at 100Mbits. The speed increase is achieved by increasing the frequency of the signal on the wire. Usually 100Mbit devices are able to detect a slow device in the other end and automagically switch to the slower speed. Unfortunately the magic has broken logic and the process sometimes fails.

    - ethernet interface duplex
    Ethernet can work either in half or full duplex mode. The half duplex mode used with hubs and coaxial cable (and it is the only mode available on older ethernet interfaces) means that receiving and transmitting data is presumed to being done on a single wire. The NIC will not try to send anything while it is receiving packets and vice versa. The full duplex mode can be used when you have twisted pair cable network (using a switch) or a crossover cable. In this mode the wires for TX and RX are separate, meaning that you can send and receive data simultaneously.
  8. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    don't spin your wheels get a new pci nic card
    they are very cheap
    whats the cost of your time downloading some big file only to have it stop cause the card goes caput
    I did get my cheap gigabit card to work 12.00 usd on ebay
    a 10/100 nic should cost even less
    look for 32 bit intel or 3com stay away from reltek
  9. Tiffttech

    Tiffttech TS Rookie Topic Starter

    First of all, thanks to all who replied. I couldn't get the new NIC to work. My DSL setup program even kept telling me i didn't have a card even though windows did and said it was working. I grabbed another old card from work and popped it in, updated the driver and the crossover network worked. I was happy. I then ran my DSL setup again and it said I had no card! So I just softly punched the front of my machine in rage, then wiped the hard drive clean and reinstalled windows. Everything works great now. PC is much faster and DSL is working...all on the junk card, lol. I still don't know if the new NIC is any good, but don't really care right now. Thanks again!

    just wondering though, the old NIC is only 10mbs/half duplex. Would a faster card make much difference with DSL? Would full duplex even matter?
  10. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    well I tried
  11. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    How fast is your DSL? If it is over 3Mbit then you might gain something from full duplex or a 100Mbit NIC. The speed increase will definitely be in mere single digit percentages.
  12. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    I have witnessed speed increases of 25kb/s up to 100 by using a good nic,on dsl
    I have also seen old nic work for awhile then just fail
    but like I said I tried.
    go here to
    do speed test
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