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WinXP Pro PnP problem


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#1 Allmanman

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:12 PM

Hi all, Not sure if this belongs in networking thread or here. Since it may be an OS problem I'll go with you guys first. I'm using XP Pro on one of my PC's and can't get a Linksys Wireless adapter to go in. First some background. The PC was getting error mssgs, ripped tunes would not play back despite showing a file size and other problems that pointed to an instable OS. I think the ripped tunes sound thing is related to this problem as well. Other sounds did work but I'll worry about that later. I thought it time for a format. I ended up installing the OS 3-4 times due to various problems...constant reboot at startup screen, registry errors (even after initial re-install of OS). I finally had to delete partions and re-partition to get the OS in properly. Or so I thought. Now it won't install the Wireless card automatically like in the past. It won't run the install disc in either autorun or browse to the exe file. When I click on the exe file to install the software, all I get is a quick flash like it's going to start, then it shuts down (the program not the OS). I cannot get system file checker to work either because it does the same thing. any idea as to why this won't work. In the past it picked up the card fine and off I went. PnP is enabled in both the BIOS and in services. I have most services enabled just in case one was the cause. Still not working. The BIOS settings are exactly the way they were before when the PC was running fine for over a year. This is a home built PC using XP Pro, 1 gig of RAM, a 1.8 ghz Athlon Barton processor on a Chaintech MOBO using NVIDIA drivers. I can't understand why it's so buggy all of a sudden. Is it the MOBO, BIOS, HD, OS or something else? If the OS then why so many problems trying to get XP in from a clean install? This is a full legal version and not an upgrade or warez version from anyone. Sorry to jump around on the problem but there are so many factors that could be the solution. That's why I mentioned the other problems as well. If ya need more info, let me know what you need and I'll get ya the info. I know my way around the PC pretty well but by no means claim to be a wiz. I should be able to follow instructions pretty well. Unless you want me to go to the recovery console..that is dark country for me. Thanks. - A-man
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It's up to you and me Brother to try and try again"

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#2 Rimmer

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 07:00 PM

With all those problems going on I'd say you have a hardware issue. First stop is to download Memtest86 (free) and run the diag on that 1GB of RAM you have. You can download it from here:
Memtest86

Use it to create a bootable floppy disk. When you reboot with that floppy in the drive it will automatically run a memory test. Let it run at least overnight and then examine the error count. (If you don't have a floppy drive there is an alternative download at the site to make a bootable CD - see the instructions there.)

If the RAM checks out Ok the next stop is the Hard Drive - most manufacturers have a diagnostic you can download. Identify your hard drive manufacturer and model then visit their website or post back here and we will help you find something.

hth :thumbsup:

Edited by Rimmer, 25 June 2005 - 07:01 PM.


Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#3 Allmanman

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 05:45 AM

Thanks for responding Rimmer. I'm working on the tests now so keep an eye open for my results. I suspected the same but wasn't sure how to do all of the tests. Memtest86 is great and working on that PC as I type. FYI, I had trouble getting the floppy to recognize the disc even as the floppy was the first boot. I changed it to HD 1st, rebooted, then back to floppy and now it works. I'm trying to do a BIOS flash but it keeps telling me to remove the diskette then hit any key to restart. For a flash I just put the BIOS upgrade on a floppy and boot from the floppy correct? Or am I missing something? BIOS flash protection is off. Don't know why I can't get it to work. It's a Chaintech 7NJL1 MOBO. I do have the correct upgrade. Hmmm. I'll get back to ya today (Sunday 6/26/05) with results of the RAM & HD tests. - A-man
"We'll raise our children in the peaceful way we can,
It's up to you and me Brother to try and try again"

- "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" - The Allman Brothers Band

#4 Allmanman

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 01:10 PM

Both the memory & hard drive have passed their respective tests. Where do I go from here? Is there a good site that lists different tests for troubleshooting a PC? This way I can do them all and not keep posting back. Until I'm out of options of course. Thanks for the advice so far Rim.
"We'll raise our children in the peaceful way we can,
It's up to you and me Brother to try and try again"

- "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" - The Allman Brothers Band

#5 Rimmer

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 08:15 PM

Sorry I don't have any links to sites with PC tests. Maybe others do?

I think clearing the BIOS would be a good next step, but before you try to flash it make really sure your floppy is working well - if the flash process is interupted it may leave your motherboard in an unworkable condition. I'm not familiar with chainteck BIOS upgrades - they should have a step-by-step on their support site.

You can download Everest and monitor system parameters in case something strange is going on with your power supply or your CPU cooling:
Everest download
Temperatures, voltages and fan speeds are shown under Computer>Sensor.

There are free general diagnostic programs you can download - search for "Fresh Diagnose" and "Sisoft SANDRA", they may help to pin down the problem.

hth :thumbsup:

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#6 Allmanman

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 09:58 PM

Rimmer, I did clear the BIOS last week and it didn't help. There is a newer flash for the BIOS (v 7.0, I have v 6.0) but it does not seem to have anything new that would really pertain to my system so I usually refrain from a flash unless absolutely necessary. Besides, the thing was working great for almost 2 years with the same hardware and this BIOS version. I don't think the BIOS version would be the problem. The fans and temps and good (30c system & 44c CPU). I even tried a new battery (something cheap to eliminate a possibility). I unfortunately don't have an extra wireless card to swap out to see if that is the problem. Since my other PCs are working fine I don't want to remove a card from one of them to use as a test. If it ain't broke...don't break it....lol. I was thinking of zero-ing out the HD, repartitioning (again), and trying to install XP Pro one more time (5th times a charm?..lol). I'll leave the floppy, NET card, SC and one ROM uninstalled this time and see how that goes. I don't know what else to do at this point. I'll see if I can get a read on the power supply and how it's acting. It's a 450 so I know I'm not undersized for the components I have (3 fans, HD, floppy,CD-DVD & CD/DVD +-RW ROMS). DVD RW is currently uninstalled/disconnected. The floppy is acting up periodically also. A disc that should work on boot sequence somtimes gives me an invalid disc error. I put in another floppy drive I had lying around and it then worked. Now today, back to the invalid disc error msg. It's not the floppy hardware. Buggy thing man, buggy thing. That's it for now. I'm going back in there looking for gremlins this time. :thumbsup: . I'm gonna figure this thing out...eventually. Any idea why some .exe files don't work as stated in above post? Some do, some don't. Again, safe mode will not work and SFC and other tools will not work from the run command or directly in Explorer. Thanks. Keep the ideas coming.
"We'll raise our children in the peaceful way we can,
It's up to you and me Brother to try and try again"

- "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" - The Allman Brothers Band

#7 Leurgy

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 05:16 AM

I agree with Rimmer that this is a hardware problem and it could be as simple as an accumulation of dust. Have you cleaned this computer lately?

The only way to eliminate a peripheral as the cause is to remove it or swap it out. I see where you have other functioning PC's. I can appreciate when you say if it ain't broke.......but if you were to shut down PC "A" and put, say, the Video card in PC "B", as long as you don't power up PC A in the interim and put it back in the same slot, PC A will never know the card was gone. I'm suggesting you remove any cards in the problem machine. The idea is to get it to operate with as few components as possible.

When you reinstalled the OS did you then run the CD for the motherboard or otherwise install the drivers? What do you see in Device Manager?

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

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#8 Allmanman

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 08:00 AM

Thanks for jumping into the mix Leurgy, I appreciate it. The PC is as clean as it can get. I'm very faithful in that regard and have just cleaned everything (inside case, fans, heatsink...everything) thoroughly. I'm also aware and careful of static electricity when going into the case so I don't think I damaged anything. Just to rule out another possibility. Good point on swapping the the card from PC "A". My mind is spinning so much on this problem I forgot that the card would not be shown missing if the PC I took it from is not powered on. That was a dopey oversight on my part. Right now I just zero'ed the HD (using Western digitals Tools), repartitioned, an am putting XP Pro back in. with all of the playing around (drivers in, driver outs, registry tweaks, etc) I prefer a fresh copy. Before the install I took the NET card out. I now only have the floppy(a different one since the other was suspect), one DVD ROM (reader only), and the GeForce 5200 FX vid card in. I've also flashed the BIOS (because ya never know) to the latest version. After the OS is in, as usual, I then install the llatest MOBO drivers (less the onboard audio, vid & LAN which are disabled in the CMOS). We'll see what happens after this and I'll post back. Device manager, system info, and Belarc Advisor were not showing anything wrong. No conflicts, problem devices, etc. Thanks again to both of you. - A-man
"We'll raise our children in the peaceful way we can,
It's up to you and me Brother to try and try again"

- "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" - The Allman Brothers Band

#9 Allmanman

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 10:55 PM

OK, XP Pro seemed to have gone in well and stable so far. I then added the Linksys Wireless card. XP did not pick it up but I installed it with the wizard. It said it was connected then told me to reboot to complete the install. I did and now have a red "X" over the network icon. I'll have to go to linksys FAQ's to see what I can find. Can anyone tell me what an ad hoc connection is? Do I want to go that route or does that allow other wireless people in the area to use my connection. I don't really understand the networking ins and outs. I have one PC with the Linksys router and 3 (1 is a laptop) with wireless cards. Any advice on my wireless setup? Although they say the router acts as a firewall, I have Zone Alarm on all PC's as added protection. In regards to the original problem, It's possible that floppy drive I took out was causing it. I have not put in the driver for the GeForce 5200 FX vid card yet but will do that tomorrow. If problems start, out comes that card. I believe it was that floppy drive though. Time will tell. Thanks for your input. I've learned allot from you guys. - A-man
"We'll raise our children in the peaceful way we can,
It's up to you and me Brother to try and try again"

- "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" - The Allman Brothers Band

#10 Rimmer

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 12:49 AM

That sounds more promising! :thumbsup:
Please post back and let us know how you go. :flowers:

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#11 Leurgy

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 04:16 AM

An ad hoc connection? I'll guess and say its one with no encryption. I would remove ZA from the mix until you get the network communicating. Its just one more layer to interfere. I've heard that the best thing to do is uninstall it completely until the machines are recognizing each other.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#12 Rimmer

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 05:39 AM

Can anyone tell me what an ad hoc connection is?


Sorry I missed your question. I think what that refers to is a situation where there are several wireless cards and say a wireless access point (WAP). An ad hoc setup is one where a wireless card will talk to the WAP and/or any other card from the same network. The alternative (which I can't remember what it's called) is the wireless card will only talk to the WAP and will ignore other wireless cards. It's a trade off of redundancy versus efficiency. You can, and should, still configure wireless security settings with an ad hoc setup.

Like Leurgy said, turn off Zone Alarm until you get it all operating otherwise you'll never be able to figure out what's going on.

hth :thumbsup:

Edited by Rimmer, 29 June 2005 - 05:45 AM.


Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
Windows XP Home SP2, Trend Micro Internet Security, Firefox, Thunderbird, AdAwareSE, Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, A-squared Free, Ewido Security Suite.

#13 Allmanman

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 07:10 PM

I did not put Zone Alarm on that PC yet. Nor is a sound card or vid drivers in yet. I want to get the Linksys wireless card to work. It shows connected (at times) then I get the red "X" over the connection icon after trying to change settings (obviously the wrong settings). I've tried every possible configuration and still can't get it to work. I swapped out cards...same problem. It works fine on XP Home edition (other 3 PCs) and had worked on this one with XP Pro until the reformat. Can't understand it. On a brighter note, the OS seems to be holding up this time but my fingers are still crossed. I'm gonna visit the networking threads to see what I can find. Thanks guys. - A-man
"We'll raise our children in the peaceful way we can,
It's up to you and me Brother to try and try again"

- "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" - The Allman Brothers Band




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