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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Ethernet
3COM PCMCIA network card won't work in Toshiba 430CDT!
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JackDeth


Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb 2008, 02:38    Post_subject:  3COM PCMCIA network card won't work in Toshiba 430CDT!  

Please keep in mind I'm totally new to Linux! I've been trying to get some version of Linux working on a Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT for quite awhile now. Keeping in mind these things only have a 1.2 GB hard drive, it's been hard to find an installation small enough to work.

I found an ancient version of Corel Linux that fit, but left no room for data and was limited in its use. I was also able to get Knoppix to fit, but again no room left afterwards. Same with Xubuntu. I have found this latest version of Tmxxine/Puppy Linux to be really small, really fast, full featured, and leaves me with quite a bit of space left on the hard drive for data after doing a hard drive install!

I used to use Windows 98 on this laptop and could connect to my network with a 3COM 3cxfe574bt PCMCIA network card. I also had this working under Xubuntu. I cannot find any way to get this to work with Puppy. It's driving me up the wall. The only two things that aren't working are networking and audio. I don't really care about the audio working with this laptop, but really need the networking part to function.

I have tried a laundry list of suggestions found in the forums and online. I've modified endless configuration files, entered command line commands that I'm unfamiliar with, and more and cannot even get the laptop to recognize there's a couple ports there. Doing a cardmgr tells me there's no sockets found.

I've found references to running some sort of script to try to detect what's there and what's needed. I cannot figure out how to get this script to run. I found instructions that say I may need to modify something in the kernel, but I have no idea how this is done or if its necessary.

Can anyone give me really easy, step by step, stupid user instructions for troubleshooting this? I'm desperate.

TRS
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muggins

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 6687
Location: lisbon

PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb 2008, 03:08    Post_subject:  

Hello JackDeth,

I had a tosh 430cdt. As far as i can recall it was working beautifully, with pup1.08, until I read some vituperous, anti-laptop, sentiments by Sage...(AKA laptop angel of death), whereupon I spluttered my cup of coffee on the keyboard & the thing went into rigor mortis!

So, AFAIK, your 430cdt should be OK, as long as you avoid posts by aforementioned harbingers. I think, before it's pre-mature demise....(some might say murder), it worked with, up to, pup2.16.
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muggins

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 6687
Location: lisbon

PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb 2008, 03:18    Post_subject:  

Sorry Jdef,

I just re-read your post & realised that you've gotten puppy installed Ok & you're main prob is a networking issue.My only excuse is that I'm still befuddled, (& my tosh 430cdt), by those scurrilous denunciations by aforesaid maligner!
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deepcore

Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 06 Feb 2008, 03:26    Post_subject: PCMCIA 16bit vs 32bit Cardbus  

your problem is that these old computers only has 16bit pcmcia, whereas modern pc's have 32bit.

The new standard is refered to as "Cardbus", and there is no appearent way of telling the two apart, though sometimes the manufacturer writes it on the cover.

You can use 16 bit it a modern computer, but the old machines cannot use cardbus.

I did some research into this some time ago, and it is possible to get
10/100 network cards as 16bit pcmcia ,even 11mBit WiFi 802.11b wifi cards.

Personally I use a 10/100 Edibax nic and a 802.11b Sandberg WiFi card.
Beware that if you purchase these old Wifi cards, they may only support WEP encryption (which takes under 60 seconds to break) and not WPA/TKIP encryption.

I have also plenty of people trying to get pcmcia usb adapters for their laptops, but as the 16bit pcmcia is fairly slow, these are only ever made for cardbus - even USB1.1 cards... so no getting usb2ethernet adapters

- hope this helps.
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JackDeth


Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 06 Feb 2008, 08:31    Post_subject: Re: PCMCIA 16bit vs 32bit Cardbus  

deepcore wrote:
your problem is that these old computers only has 16bit pcmcia, whereas modern pc's have 32bit.

The new standard is refered to as "Cardbus", and there is no appearent way of telling the two apart, though sometimes the manufacturer writes it on the cover.

You can use 16 bit it a modern computer, but the old machines cannot use cardbus.

I did some research into this some time ago, and it is possible to get
10/100 network cards as 16bit pcmcia ,even 11mBit WiFi 802.11b wifi cards.

Personally I use a 10/100 Edibax nic and a 802.11b Sandberg WiFi card.
Beware that if you purchase these old Wifi cards, they may only support WEP encryption (which takes under 60 seconds to break) and not WPA/TKIP encryption.

I have also plenty of people trying to get pcmcia usb adapters for their laptops, but as the 16bit pcmcia is fairly slow, these are only ever made for cardbus - even USB1.1 cards... so no getting usb2ethernet adapters

- hope this helps.


Thanks for the reply. I'm not really planning on doing rocket science or anything with this PC. It's just an extra computer I'd like to revive so my wife can do some work from the family room while she watches the kids. Her regular computer is in another room. It will be used for web browsing (using an ethernet cable that is just strung along into the other room) and doing OpenOffice docs.

No WiFi or anything else fancy and I'm not really concerned about encryption or high speeds online. This computer doesn't even have USB ports.

It works perfectly when used with Win98. I'm just getting sick of supporting the Microsoft monopoly. I had it working with a couple other, larger, versions of Linux but didn't leave any room for data on the drive. That's why I'm trying to get this one working.
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muggins

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 6687
Location: lisbon

PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb 2008, 20:43    Post_subject:  

Two useful sites, for linux on toshiba laptops, are:

http://www.linux-laptop.net/

http://newsletter.toshiba-tro.de/main/index.html

From the latter came this link:

http://newsletter.toshiba-tro.de/main/main/MachineInfoAusPrint.php?Info=6

Quote:
Don't use the PC-BUS option in BIOS setup.


This is for a toshiba Satellite Pro 430. Do you have this option in your Bios, and does disabling it make any difference?

Edited_time_total
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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1580
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb 2008, 21:01    Post_subject:  

JackDeth,

I recently loaded Puppy on a Gateway Solo P2.

I had to go back to 2.13 to get the pcmcia 3comm to work. I used 3c59x for eth0 on the 3Comm pcmcia card

Try 2.13 and see if your 3comm is recognized. My driver was there and worked well.

EDIT: If it does work the drivers are in zdrv_2.13.sfs

Eric

_________________
Be not afraid to grow slowly, only be afraid of standing still.
Chinese Proverb


Edited_time_total
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JackDeth


Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb 2008, 21:05    Post_subject:  

muggins wrote:
Two useful sites, for linux on toshiba laptops, are:

http://www.linux-laptop.net/

http://newsletter.toshiba-tro.de/main/index.html

From the latter came this link:

http://newsletter.toshiba-tro.de/main/main/MachineInfoAusPrint.php?Info=6

Quote:
Don't use the PC-BUS option in BIOS setup.


This is for a toshiba Satellite Pro 430. Do you have this option in your Bios, and does disabling it make any difference?


Some of that look vaguely familiar and much I couldn't use. I couldn't use the online tool to detect what the computer needed because I cannot get it to detect the PCMCIA network card, which is my core problem.

The one comment mentioned adding irq_list=10 to one of the config files, but I don't know how or where to really do this. Please keep in mind, I have no knowledge of how the Linux directory structure works and very limited knowledge of navigating from a command line. I need stupid-user step-by-step instructions.

Sorry if I sound just too stupid, but this is why I'm asking for help I guess. Embarassed
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JackDeth


Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb 2008, 21:08    Post_subject:  

Caneri wrote:
JackDeth,

I recently loaded Puppy on a Gateway Solo P2.

I had to go back to 2.13 to get the pcmcia 3comm to work.

Try 2.13 and see if your 3comm is recognized. My driver was there and worked well.

EDIT: If it does work the drivers are in zdrv_2.13.sfs

Eric



Thanks for the insight! I was afraid I might have to go back a version or something. Is there any way to just backdate the kernel or do I have to now download the entire older version and reinstall everything from scratch? Question
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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1580
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb 2008, 21:10    Post_subject:  

what version? and look back one post

Edit..I see we are posting in real time.

Go back and see if 2.13 works...do you have a test machine?

Use a puppy pfix=ram and try 2.13

Eric

_________________
Be not afraid to grow slowly, only be afraid of standing still.
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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1580
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb 2008, 21:17    Post_subject:  

http://puppylinux.ca/vintage/2.13/
Eric

_________________
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JackDeth


Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb 2008, 21:28    Post_subject:  

Caneri wrote:
what version? and look back one post

Edit..I see we are posting in real time.

Go back and see if 2.13 works...do you have a test machine?

Use a puppy pfix=ram and try 2.13

Eric


No. I don't have a separate test machine. Just this Toshiba. The version I downloaded was the latest (3.01??).

You mention using "puppy pfix-ram". What does this do? Is this something I enter from a command line? I'm downloading the zdrv_213.sfs file right now. Where on a Linux machine am I supposed to save the file to so the driver can be accessed?
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JackDeth


Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 07 Feb 2008, 22:19    Post_subject:  

JackDeth wrote:

No. I don't have a separate test machine. Just this Toshiba. The version I downloaded was the latest (3.01??).

You mention using "puppy pfix-ram". What does this do? Is this something I enter from a command line? I'm downloading the zdrv_213.sfs file right now. Where on a Linux machine am I supposed to save the file to so the driver can be accessed?


Wait...nevermind. I think I figured out where the SFS file goes and how to use it. Thanks!
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muggins

Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 6687
Location: lisbon

PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb 2008, 00:26    Post_subject:  

I you wanted to try the earlier pupversion, mentioned by Caneri, you could just boot it with the prefix puppy pfix=ram to see if your networking works OK, then if it did, you could install it frugally alongside pup3.01 without problem, providing you put it's vmlinuz & initrd.gz files in a separate location like, say, /pup213, then altered grub's menu.lst accordingly.

Quote:
I couldn't use the online tool


I don't understand what this is referring to? Did you try checking your bios to see if it has a settable PC-Bus option? I don't recall how you get into bios with a toshiba 430, but it will tell you, in the first few secs when you reboot, to press Delete key, (or maybe Escape , or F10, F1?), to enter bios.

Also, this link here:

http://pcmcia-cs.sourceforge.net/ftp/SUPPORTED.CARDS

has:

Quote:
Fast Ethernet (10/100baseT) adapters:

[3c574_cs driver] [x86,ppc]
3Com 3c574TX
3Com Megahertz 3CCFE574BT, 3CXFE574BT, 3C3FE574BT
3Com Megahertz 3CCSH572BT, 3CXSH572BT



So you can see if the 3c574_cs module is being loaded by running lsmod. To eliminate other modules, open a console & type:

lsmod | grep 3c

If the 3c574_cs module doesn't show, then you can try adding it with:

modprobe 3c574_cs
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JackDeth


Joined: 02 Feb 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb 2008, 01:53    Post_subject:  

muggins wrote:
I you wanted to try the earlier pupversion, mentioned by Caneri, you could just boot it with the prefix puppy pfix=ram to see if your networking works OK, then if it did, you could install it frugally alongside pup3.01 without problem, providing you put it's vmlinuz & initrd.gz files in a separate location like, say, /pup213, then altered grub's menu.lst accordingly.


I don't understand what this is referring to? Did you try checking your bios to see if it has a settable PC-Bus option? I don't recall how you get into bios with a toshiba 430, but it will tell you, in the first few secs when you reboot, to press Delete key, (or maybe Escape , or F10, F1?), to enter bios.


Yeah. I tried that but it's a really old BIOS and doesn't have anything like that.

Quote:

Also, this link here:

http://pcmcia-cs.sourceforge.net/ftp/SUPPORTED.CARDS

has:

Quote:
Fast Ethernet (10/100baseT) adapters:

[3c574_cs driver] [x86,ppc]
3Com 3c574TX
3Com Megahertz 3CCFE574BT, 3CXFE574BT, 3C3FE574BT
3Com Megahertz 3CCSH572BT, 3CXSH572BT



So you can see if the 3c574_cs module is being loaded by running lsmod. To eliminate other modules, open a console & type:

lsmod | grep 3c

If the 3c574_cs module doesn't show, then you can try adding it with:

modprobe 3c574_cs


I did as suggested. After lsmod it didn't show up in the list. After following the rest of your instructions it does show up in the list, but under the column Used By it just has a zero ( 0 ).

If you do a cardmgr it says no sockets found!
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