Need help making my Packard Bell PCI 2.2 compliant.

Discussion in 'Packard Bell' started by bd420, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. bd420

    bd420 Guest

    Award Modular BIOS v.4.51 PG
    Packard Bell FR510 BIOS v.00.01.18
    MOBO S/N: E093026283
    Model: 930/950
    Chipset Ali M1541 (GVC)

    I have a PB running 160 MB RAM and Win 2k Pro SP4. I tried to install
    the Wireless PCI Adapter after the SW itself was installed (per the
    directions/manual), and upon reboot, the Hardware Found Wizard did NOT
    detect the new Card.

    I tried to manually install the card as well, but it is not listed even
    though I select the correct /drivers directory in which it resides.

    Based on the 930/950 manual, the PCI is only 2.1 Compliant, and Netgear
    requires 2.2 Compliance, and I assume this is why the Card isn't being

    Would an easy solution be to upgrade the motherboard to the next ATX
    iteration, I don't think updating the BIOS chip will have an affect,
    but it's hard to tell based on what I've read.

    Thanks for reading, I promised my 7 year old daughter that I'd have
    internet in her room on this PC, and she's starting to doubt dear old
    bd420, Dec 8, 2004
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  2. bd420

    Ben Myers Guest

    The limitation you are seeing is in the VIA Aladdin chipset. A BIOS upgrade
    will not get the system to PCI 2.2 compliance. Your best bet with WiFi on an
    older computer is to install a PCI-PCMCIA adapter card, then a notebook-style
    PCMCIA 802.11b card.

    Your second best bet is another brand of contemporary Wifi PCI card, but check
    the specs first. A Linksys card might work just fine.

    The third, and possibly worst, choice is a USB WiFi adapter. But your system's
    motherboard does not meet the USB 2.0 spec, so the WiFi might not run very fast.
    As with PCI, it would be best to check specs on any USB WiFi adapter you buy to
    make sure it can be used with USB 1.1... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Dec 8, 2004
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  3. bd420

    bd420 Guest

    Thank you so much for the quick reply.

    I was afraid that any sort of BIOS upgrade wouldn't help, even though
    PB support said the BIOS Chip itself was PLCC, ie, replaceable with an
    entirely different and newer one.

    At any rate, you mention 3 options, I'm also wondering if I couldn't
    replace the ATX Form Fit (12 x 7.5) MotherBoard with the next iteration
    board that IS PCI 2.2 compliant.

    Do you see this as a possibility as well?
    Once again, thanks ever so much.
    bd420, Dec 9, 2004
  4. bd420

    Ben Myers Guest

    Yes, a newer ATX or even micro-ATX board would do just fine. If you go for a
    Pentium 4 motherboard or boards with certain AMD CPUs, you need to replace the
    power supply with a Pentium 4-capable one. If the power supply is rated at less
    than 200 watts, replace it even with a Pentium 3 board... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Dec 9, 2004
  5. bd420

    metronid Guest

    D LINK USB wireless adapter is compatible
    check out their site firest
    I use D link on an older system

    Their pci cards are 2.2 which is a no go
    You will never see the difference for a 802.11b vs 802.11g
    since both a greater than the badwidth of your provider
    Now if you use ad hoc peer to peer than that is another thing altogether for
    speed concerns
    metronid, Dec 9, 2004
  6. bd420

    Elector Guest

    There is also a brand that runs well here in my home town. Called "Hawking" which is sold in CompUSA in New York.

    Cheaper in prices and easy to install. I was amazed when I just did a job
    where the guy bought this brand. But check the fact sheets.

    All sorts of products from this company.

    Elector, Dec 9, 2004
  7. bd420

    bd420 Guest

    I already Purchased a Netgear Wireless Router that came with a Notebook
    Card (in which I don't have a need for right now) for $20. I also
    already purchased 2 Netgear Wireless PCI Adapters, one was $30 after
    rebate, the other was free after I used a $30 store gift certificate,
    and after rebate.

    For $50, I have a wireless router, a Notebook card, and 2 PCI adapters,
    so I'm all set on that front.

    I just need this older ATX Form Factor to recognize the card, that's

    I've heard very good things in regards to Netgear and wireless coverage
    in terms of distance from the router, which is fairly essential for me,
    whereas I haven't heard similar good things in regards to LinkSys and
    Belkin from people I know that have tried those, ie, wireless coverage
    is not very far from the router.


    bd420, Dec 9, 2004
  8. bd420

    Ben Myers Guest

    I've used lots of Linksys gear and had very few problems with it. I've also
    used Proxim Orinoco Gold cards, an older business/corporate standby.

    Suffice it to say that different brands of WiFi interoperate quite well with one

    You might try that Netgear notebook card in another brand of PCI-PCMCIA adapter
    card. AFAIK, Netgear does not make PCI-PCMCIA adapters, but there are others
    kicking around out there.

    You might also try a Linksys 802.11b or g PCI card, but check the specs first.
    Price is around $50.

    You may have gotten great prices on the Netgear stuff, but if it doesn't all
    work, the price does not look as great any more. For it's low street prices,
    Netgear seems to have sacrificed motherboards with older PCI specs.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Dec 9, 2004
  9. bd420

    metronid Guest

    Sorry to say the fact is your unit will never be PCI 2.2
    That is the requirement of the card
    It is not a bios thing
    It is the PCI chipset that is part of your system

    If you bought the item from compusa or such
    it is returnable minus the 15% restocking

    Usb is your only hope with certain cost constriants considered

    Then there is Ebay to sell what you have and do a partial recovery for the
    metronid, Dec 9, 2004
  10. I am always impressed with your succinct and helpful answers.

    Sorry to say the fact is your unit will never be PCI 2.2
    That is the requirement of the card
    It is not a bios thing
    It is the PCI chipset that is part of your system

    If you bought the item from compusa or such
    it is returnable minus the 15% restocking

    Usb is your only hope with certain cost constriants considered

    Then there is Ebay to sell what you have and do a partial recovery for the
    Truth, Justice and the American Way, Dec 10, 2004
  11. bd420

    bd420 Guest

    Requirement. I do have an old Celeron 633 CPU laying around that I
    could slap onto an ATX MOBO?

    bd420, Dec 11, 2004
  12. bd420

    Ben Myers Guest

    I forgot. A micro ATX motherboard supporting sub-2.0v Socket 370 CPUs would
    work, too... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Dec 11, 2004
  13. bd420

    Ben Myers Guest

    Yes, provided that the ATX motherboard is a Socket 370 capable of supporting the
    sub-2.0v power requirement of a Celery 633. Earlier Socket 370 CPUs operated at
    2.0v, and many earlier Socket 370 motherboards were designed very shortsightedly
    for just the 2v CPUs... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Dec 11, 2004
  14. bd420

    bd420 Guest

    is 90 Watts, which I'm reading is pretty bad, ie, 200 and 300 Watts is
    the newer norm.

    How do I know that a newer ATX MOBO will play well with a 90 Watt Power
    Supply? Is there a Compliance chart for which MOBO will work with
    which Wattage Power Supplies?

    Another way of asking this question is, what 'could' happen if I place
    a relatively newer 7.5 x 12 inch Form Factor ATX Board in this machine
    and it's too much for the 90 Watt Power Supply?

    Thanks, and once again, EVERYTHING about this machine would have been
    just perfect, had the PCI Slot been 2.2 compliant; I seek NO other
    upgrade whatsoever, I'm completely content with everything about this
    free machine, I just need to find a 7.5 x 12 inch MOBO that has a PCI
    2.2 Compliant, and will be ok with the current 90 Watt PSU (Power
    Supply Unit).
    bd420, Dec 13, 2004
  15. bd420

    Ben Myers Guest

    A 90w power supply is pretty pathetic. I once had an interesting and unpleasant
    experience with the upgrade of a PB system. As I recall, the client had never
    upgraded the system, so the parts were all original. I added some memory (yes,
    it conformed to the specs required by the mothertboard), and the system ran just
    fine for a few minutes, then powered itself down. It did this repeatedly for
    about a half hour. I pulled out the added memory and the system was fine after
    that. The moral of the tale is that PB tried to get away with the cheapest
    power supplies possible, which often meant rated wattages just above the total
    wattage drawn by the system as assembled at the PB "factory".

    Depending on the power drawn by a replacement motherboard, the power supply
    wattage rating may be exceeded. If that happens, the power supply will shut
    down, or it will cause a reboot, or it could burn out, even taking other
    components along with it.

    The big picture answer is that the total PEAK wattage used by a system is the
    sum total of all the peak wattages of all the elements in the system (mobo, CPU,
    memory, hard drive, CD-ROM or CD-RW, network card or modem, etc.). Determining
    these numbers requires a more time to research than you or I have. So simply
    over-engineer the system with a replacement power supply of ample wattage, say
    250w minimum, or even 300w. Do not even mess with the 90w power supply and a
    replacement motherboard. That combo is a potential recipe for disaster.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Dec 13, 2004
  16. bd420

    Ben Myers Guest

    Upon further consideration...

    Give the 90w power supply to your worst enemy. PB had no business building
    systems with 90w power supplies, and now they have no business at all. The only
    use for a 90w power supply is in a small form factor case with minimal (or no)
    upgrade possibilities at all.

    PB is not the only one to use crap power supplies. eMachines, HP (HP
    Pavilions), and Gateway have all done this with computers in microATX cases...
    Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Dec 13, 2004
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