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System hangs when PC cards inserted

By fzabin ·
I purchased a Dell Inspiron 8500 running Win XP Pro. I require two serial ports. I am attempting to use a PC card serial adapter (Socket Communications) to add a second serial port. The computer was working fine for about a week and then began tohang. I removed the PC card and the system restarted. Dell had me run diagnostics that did not find anything wrong and had me reformat the hard drive. But the computer still hung when I inserted the card. Dell then had me send the computer in and they replaced the system board.

I received the computer back and it was working okay for two days and then began to hang again. Dell says it's the card, but the card works just fine in another computer I have running Win 98. They had me run diagnostics again; no errors found. They are sending me a new hard drive.

I should also mention that this computer becomes extremely hot. The Dell computer melted the serial numbers from the card. I have been using this same card for a year in my Windows 98 computer and it has never gotten that hot. Also, the stickers on. Is this normal?

I am thinking that perhaps there may a conflict but no conflict was displayed in Device Manager (when I could access the Device Manager with the card installed). Now I cannot do anything once the card is installed because it hangs within seconds. I had the Device Manager open when I inserted the card hoping to see a possible conflict. But the card did not list itself under Ports (COM & LPT) asit had in the past.

Once the computer starts to hang when a PC card is inserted, inserting any PC card will cause the computer to hang. I inserted an Ethernet card and instead of getting the Installation Wizard the system hung until I removed the card.

I am very frustrated by the situation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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by Oz_Media In reply to System hangs when PC card ...

this is actually a situation that should be posted in the Q&A forum as opposed to a Discussion forum.
1) You will get more concise answers
2) you wil get actual resolutions
3) The TR guidelines are pretty concise as to where to post what.

I did have a similar problem with an IBM, after much hassle, they finally sent me a new one that was the next model up. turns out the Mother Board was dying.

I know Dell's support is pretty sad but if it is under warranty, I would recommend using them as yuor source. If it turns out to be a hardware failure, they can void your warranty if you've done too much yourself.
I'd push for a replacement or onsite service (at no cost of course).

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by d.walker5 In reply to System hangs when PC card ...

What, if anything, is shown in the Event Viewer? ID number and Source?

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by djent In reply to System hangs when PC card ...

I am not familiar with the Dell BIOS but many boards allow you to assign interupts to a PCI slot. You may also have a conflict with PCI sharing, most PCI slots share an interupt with another slot. You may be able to resolve this by shifting cards todifferent slots. The MB docs should define which slots are shared. Disable onboard devices not in use ie: 1394(firewire), LAN, USB, game port, thereby reducing potential conflicts. Does your display card request an IRQ? Does that IRQ conflict with the serial card? It is also possible that the card will never work well in the machine but work elsewhere. Some device drivers do not support "share IRQ".

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