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installing USB in pre USB era PC

By gwynnes1 ·
TI Extensa 660CDT notebook PC, 1996 vintage, upgraded to Win 98SE. I tried to install PCMCIA USB card in the PC (The PC does have CardBus support); after installing the software for the card, a message saying that USB support was blocked by the BIOS came up. The BIOS is Phoenix ver. 4.05, 1996 and no updated BIOS is available for this PC. Looking at the BIOS, no mention of USB can be found. Is there any way around this problem?

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by TheChas In reply to installing USB in pre USB ...

Basically, the notebook is too old.

As you discovered, you need CardBus support for a PCMCIA USB card.

This is something that CANNOT be added by a BIOS upgrade. The chip-set and related hardware on the motherboard MUST support CardBus.

I have been looking for a non-CardBus PCMCIA card for a friend, and have had no luck.

Basically, your only option is a newer notebook.

Chas

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by gwynnes1 In reply to

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by gwynnes1 In reply to installing USB in pre USB ...

Thanks for answering, BUT, please re read my quetion - the PC DOES have CardBus support!

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by Joseph Moore In reply to installing USB in pre USB ...

Look, the OS will only see the hardware that the system BIOS reports. That is how that works.
If the BIOS cannot work with USB devices, then you are not gonna get this to work.
It all starts with the BIOS. It fires up and makes presentable devices it can understand, so the OS will know what it can work with.
So, if your BIOS does NOT support USB, then your OS will not be able to work with it.
So, I agree with TheChas and his note that your PC is just too old to work with USB.
You can't get a 486 processor to work with USB, so just give it up!

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by gwynnes1 In reply to

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by TheChas In reply to installing USB in pre USB ...

You are correct, I mis-read the CardBus statement.

I do not think that this is a BIOS issue.

The default drivers that come with W98 are very limited.

I believe what you need is drivers for the TI PCI to PCMCIA bridge chip.

Acer (they bought TI's notebook line) only offers drivers for Windows 3.11 and 95.

http://tinyurl.com/z89g

What you need to find, is a driver for the:
Texas Instruments Ti 1130 CardBus controller
I was not able to find a driver on TI's site.

A quick search found this MS Knowledge base article that may shed some light on the problem:

http://tinyurl.com/z89d

It looks like you are not alone in having problems getting cards to be properly recognized by this chip. My search turned up various postings about problems with the chip and getting cards to function.

Chas

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by TheChas In reply to

I looked around at the Cirrus Logic web site, and could not find any controller drivers.

There has been a lot of trading of product lines between the various chip manufactures.

I suggest that you take a look at the Texas Instrument driver listings at www.driverguide.com

Just use do caution if you decide to download a driver.

Chas

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by csmith In reply to installing USB in pre USB ...

It is hard to figure out from the information given if the problem lies with the PCMCIA Card or the OS.
Microsoft released an Update (Bug Fix) to fix the problems with USB under Win98.
I think it is still posted on the MS website.
Which brand of USB card did you try?
Even in desktops, the degree of sucess can vary with different USB card retrofits.
Regards, Chris

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