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  1. #1
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    Trying to help a fiend who lives far away, will be connecting his 6yr old computer to a new ADSL modem/router supplied by his ISP. As he has been using a dial up connection via internal 56k modem, I've warned that he needs to plug his new router into a different plug. He says he cant see anywhere at the back of the computer and I suspect he needs a network card that will go into a spare PCI slot - assuming there is one. Is there a way to check this from device manager or system properties or something other than physicaly opening the computer and looking for empty slots?

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    [quote name='jaystarter1' post='792177' date='04-Sep-2009 19:51']Trying to help a fiend who lives far away, will be connecting his 6yr old computer to a new ADSL modem/router supplied by his ISP. As he has been using a dial up connection via internal 56k modem, I've warned that he needs to plug his new router into a different plug. He says he cant see anywhere at the back of the computer and I suspect he needs a network card that will go into a spare PCI slot - assuming there is one. Is there a way to check this from device manager or system properties or something other than physicaly opening the computer and looking for empty slots?[/quote]
    I've never found a straightforward way of doing this except by opening the case. You'd need to be familiar with the motherboard layout to have any hope of success of determinaing whether there are any slots free by counting the cards that appear on Belarc Advisor, for example. Memory slots, yes; PCI sockets, difficult...
    BATcher

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  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    [quote name='jaystarter1' post='792177' date='04-Sep-2009 14:51']Trying to help a fiend who lives far away, will be connecting his 6yr old computer to a new ADSL modem/router supplied by his ISP. As he has been using a dial up connection via internal 56k modem, I've warned that he needs to plug his new router into a different plug. He says he cant see anywhere at the back of the computer and I suspect he needs a network card that will go into a spare PCI slot - assuming there is one. Is there a way to check this from device manager or system properties or something other than physicaly opening the computer and looking for empty slots?[/quote]
    Unless the old 56k modem is one built into the motherboard, he should be able to replace it with a NIC. ( most likely it's a PCI type? )I know it still involves opening up the case but that would still have to be done anyway, in order to install a new Network Card.
    You also might be able to go to the manufacturers website and try to look up the model number and see what it tells you about the number of PCI slots available on that particular MB.
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  4. #4
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    [quote name='viking33' post='792185' date='04-Sep-2009 20:38']Unless the old 56k modem is one built into the motherboard, he should be able to replace it with a NIC. ( most likely it's a PCI type? )I know it still involves opening up the case but that would still have to be done anyway, in order to install a new Network Card.
    You also might be able to go to the manufacturers website and try to look up the model number and see what it tells you about the number of PCI slots available on that particular MB.[/quote]

    Yes, I suppose the old 56k modem would be PCI, never thought of that. The best route is probably as you suggest getting the manufacturers website and having a look round, I will try and get him to find the exact model number (I know it's a DELL)

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    [quote name='jaystarter1' post='792250' date='05-Sep-2009 12:20']Yes, I suppose the old 56k modem would be PCI, never thought of that. The best route is probably as you suggest getting the manufacturers website and having a look round, I will try and get him to find the exact model number (I know it's a DELL)[/quote]
    Getting into a Dell case is so easy that I'm surprised that's not your first suggestion to your far-away friend! And if you say what model it is, I (or someone else) might even have one and could tell you how many PCI slots are present.
    BATcher

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  6. #6
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    [quote name='jaystarter1' post='792250' date='05-Sep-2009 07:20']Yes, I suppose the old 56k modem would be PCI, never thought of that. The best route is probably as you suggest getting the manufacturers website and having a look round, I will try and get him to find the exact model number (I know it's a DELL)[/quote]
    Batcher has mentioned Belarc Advisor already, so you could get your friend to download and run it. That should show you the Dell model number, serial number (service tag) and maybe even the nomenclature of the motherboard. From there you should be able to find an online manual at the Dell site. See attached example.

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    [quote name='BATcher' post='792252' date='05-Sep-2009 12:55']Getting into a Dell case is so easy that I'm surprised that's not your first suggestion to your far-away friend! And if you say what model it is, I (or someone else) might even have one and could tell you how many PCI slots are present.[/quote]

    How easy it is to assume that everyone understands the workings of a computer, feels comfortable with - and knowledgeable of - opening a computer, or what an empty PCI slot looks like. The person in question can hardly change a light bulb. I will have a long chat with him, and try and save myself some time before I visit. Thank you for your suggestions though.

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    If the machine is only 6 years old, there should be a NIC already on then machine, unless it is a very bottom of the line machine. Most have had on on the motherboard since 2000.

    Sometimes the NIC socket has a sticker over it noting that it is NOT a Phone connection.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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