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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    PCI card kills the NIC

    Hi folks.

    OS: Windows XP-SP3
    CPU: X86 Family 6Model 15 Stepping 6 GenuineIntel ~2133MHz
    Mainboard: MSI N1996

    OK, this is a fairly old PC, but as I am on a pension I can't afford better at the moment. However, most of the time it is adequate for my needs.

    A nagging problem has been that, one by one, the mainboard-mounted USB ports have failed, and I am now left with just one working port.

    I attempted to overcome this with a USB expansion hub (mbeat 13 port), and for the most part that does the job and I have several USB devices in use via the hub. However some devices, such as my Canon MG6250 inkjet, don't work properly through an expansion board. It prints OK but tasks like scanning don't communicate to the PC-based scanning software. Apparently this is a known issue when connecting in via USB hubs.

    Anyway, I decided to try getting some usable ports back by installing a 2-port PCI-to-USB expansion card into the PC.

    But with the PCI USB card installed the NIC disappears. The NIC is a mainboard-mounted Realtek RTL8169/8110 Family Gigabit Ethernet NIC, and it just doesn't show up when the PCI USB card is installed. Remove the PCI card and its back again.

    I'm taking a wild guess that this is something to do with an IRQ clash or something like that, but no idea how to determine that specifically. There are no jumpers on the PCI-to-USB card to reset IRQ or I/O.

    Please don't be misled by my use of some tech language. I used to be fairly familiar with hardware implementation and troubleshooting, but that was a long time ago and I'm afraid I've just forgotten too much.

    Any suggestions most welcome.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Is the NIC still listed in Device Manager? If it is, go through the properties tabs, what is the status, and if disabled, what happens when you try to enable? If you get something to the effect of not enough resources available, disable something else then it probably is a resource conflict. If so this could also explain the periodic lost of USB port function.

    Old school therapy that might work is to move the USB card to a different PCI slot if available. Also I would delete everything I could under the USB controllers entry in the Device Manager, then reboot and give them a little time to reinstall. I've had one system where resource management was so screwed up the only thing that I found to cure it was to reinstall.
    Sent from Windows ME thru Opera 10.63...just before they crashe

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    If the above doesn't work, see if you can download the driver for the NIC. Then install the PCI USB card. Now install the NIC driver that you downloaded.

    If that doesn't do it, try installing a NIC expansion card. They are cheap; in fact, if you have a junk computer, it may have a NIC card that you can use for this computer.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Considering the Canon doesn't scan via the USB card, I'd consider changing that card to one with a different chipset before adding a NIC card.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the responses. I've had to be away from the computer for a couple of days, but this morning I decided to kick straight off with the troubleshooting again.

    Without making any changes just yet, I plugged in the PCI-to-USB card again, switched on, and this time everything started up as expected! The NIC is listed under Network adapters in Device Manager (which it wasn't previously) and connectivity is fine again.

    There were enough power downs previously to do any re-setting, so I don't know why it is suddenly working again. I had cleaned the card edge connectors previously, but maybe this one extra re-seat cleaned out the PCI slot – who knows?

    However, still in Device Manager, under Universal Serial Bus Controllers, there is an entry for the new card as "OPTi 82C861 PCI to USB Open Host Controller" and that entry features an an exclamation mark in a yellow circle, indicating problems. Looking further...

    - Properties --> General Tab: This device cannot start (Code 10)

    - Properties --> Resources: This device isn't using any resources because it has a problem.

    And of course plugging any USB device into one of the slots for that card results in nothing happening.

    So, although the USB card now doesn't seem to be doing any harm, I haven't gained the two new USB ports I had hoped for. The same problem exists with the printer, but I still don't have a dedicated non-USB-hub slot to try it in.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    The most common reply I have got is buy a new pc. for these kind od posts.

  7. #7
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    The only thing that has changed from the original analysis is the additional possibility of a malfunctioning USB controller card, but it still seems resource management is messed up considering USB ports seemed to fail "one by one," because that's not how USB ports fail but that is how they stop working if resource management takes a dive. I think I would remove the expansion USB card before deleting all the USB controller sub entries and rebooting and leave the monster expansion hub disconnected while they are rebuilding, then test all the ports again to see if anything has changed before going forward again.
    Sent from Windows ME thru Opera 10.63...just before they crashe

  8. #8
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    Sorry, I forgot to mention that I had earlier removed all of the entries under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" in Device Manager. In fact I think from memory it was the first thing I did before installing the PCI-to-USB card.

    Then I rebooted and installed the card, which was probably what led me to believe initially that something I had done in cleaning out Device Manager entries was what caused the NIC to disappear. Then I discovered that removing the expansion card solved the NIC problem.

    Anyway, starting again, should I now:

    • Disconnect all USB devices and hubs.
    • Again remove all entries under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" in Device Manager.
    • Shut down the PC.
    • Remove the PCI-to-USB card.
    • Power up again.
    • Now, I note your phrase "while they are rebuilding". After powering up, does it need to be left alone for a while to do this rebuilding? I may have rushed into the next step last time.
    • After the recommended time has elapsed, test each port in turn with, say, a thumb drive.


    Does that sound like a reasonable process from this point?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouse View Post
    Sorry, I forgot to mention that I had earlier removed all of the entries under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" in Device Manager. In fact I think from memory it was the first thing I did before installing the PCI-to-USB card.

    Then I rebooted and installed the card, which was probably what led me to believe initially that something I had done in cleaning out Device Manager entries was what caused the NIC to disappear. Then I discovered that removing the expansion card solved the NIC problem.

    Anyway, starting again, should I now:

    • Disconnect all USB devices and hubs.
    • Again remove all entries under "Universal Serial Bus controllers" in Device Manager.
    • Shut down the PC.
    • Remove the PCI-to-USB card.
    • Power up again.
    • Now, I note your phrase "while they are rebuilding". After powering up, does it need to be left alone for a while to do this rebuilding? I may have rushed into the next step last time.
    • After the recommended time has elapsed, test each port in turn with, say, a thumb drive.


    Does that sound like a reasonable process from this point?
    Yes, make sure each is uninstalled, not just disabled if that's an option. It will take a little time for the computer to reinstall the USB drivers and mass storage controllers. Left alone applies to trying to use the USB ports right away. If you're using a USB mouse and keyboard you might not be able to use the computer right off anyway.
    Sent from Windows ME thru Opera 10.63...just before they crashe

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