Trying to connect old laptop to the internet

July 20, 2010 at 17:08:42
Specs: Windows 98

I have an old Itronix XC-6250 Laptop with Windows 98SE that I have been trying in vain to get connected to the internet. I have a PCMCIA ethernet adapter that windows recognizes but when it installs it prompts me to insert the Windows 98 install CD, when I redirect it to look for the files somewhere else it works but there is one file it still cant find so my adapter installs but then has an exclamation point in Device Manager and I can't use the adapter. So as a plan B I decided to connect using dial-up to download the driver from the internet. The laptop has an RJ-11 port on the rear, but the I can't dial anything and there are no modems under Device Manager. The laptop's manual says the modem is on Com Port 3 and talks about something called HyperTerminal, but I don't know where to go from there. This laptop has no cd drive, usb, or floppy drives; it only has PCMCIA, Parallel, and Serial ports so I have no way of manually installing the drivers. One way I thought of was using a PCMCIA CD drive but I'm not sure if Windows will have the right drivers to run it. Please help me with this.

See More: Trying to connect old laptop to the internet

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July 21, 2010 at 02:12:38

"but when it installs it prompts me to insert the Windows 98 install CD, when I redirect it to look for the files somewhere else it works but there is one file it still cant find so my adapter installs but then has an exclamation point in Device Manager and I can't use the adapter"

When you redirect it, are you pointing it to a folder containing the Win98 installation files? Sounds like it could be asking for a system file from there.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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July 21, 2010 at 05:24:49

Yes, I think it is. When I redirect it finds a few of the necessary files in the folder I redirect it to, but there's one file it can't find and I have to skip in order for installation to complete. I have no way to copy from the Win 98 cd as this laptop has no cd drive/floppy and I don't have a Win98 disk. I just need some way to get this laptop on the internet. I'm used to Windows XP and Windows 98 isn't as user friendly.

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July 21, 2010 at 05:34:01

Does it per chance have usb port or three? If so then copy required file(s) to a usb stick and then use that to deliver required files to the laptop etc.?

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Related Solutions

July 21, 2010 at 08:55:24

Q. "When you redirect it, are you pointing it to a folder containing the Win98 installation files?"

A. "Yes, I think it is"

You think it is? You're the one redirecting it...what folder are you redirecting it to? You *should* be pointing it toward C:\Windows\Options\Cabs.

"there's one file it can't find and I have to skip in order for installation to complete"

What is the name of the file that's missing? Try going to Start > Search & entering the file name. Once you know where it is, try reinstalling the ethernet adapter but instead of skipping that one file, direct the installer to the folder where the file is.

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July 21, 2010 at 09:21:29

Here's what we're working on...

The XC-6250 does not have a floppy, cd, or usb port. The only XC (Cross Country) model that had a usb port is the 300mhz XC-6250+300 model. There is only one cd drive that works with this laptop and the last one I heard of was the one I sold 3 years ago.

Answer the question jam posed in his response and follow his instructions. If the file(s) you need aren't on the hard drive, post back; you'll need to download them and add them to C:\Windows\Options\Cabs.

Audares Juvo

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July 21, 2010 at 09:26:11

Go to these Yahoo groups for more info and downloads on the old Itronix machines.

Manuals, drivers, etc. are posted for download.

Audares Juvo

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July 21, 2010 at 11:06:31

Thanks for all the help but I think the links to the yahoo groups from SkipCox should get me pointed in the right direction. I'm surprised there is a yahoo group for this laptop.

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July 21, 2010 at 11:25:57

I've owned 4 or 5 of those things over the years. Only one I have now is a 300Mhz 6250+300 running 98Se. If you have trouble finding a file or document, you can post here or PM me and I'll look through my old back ups for what you need.

Com3 is the correct port for an XC-6000 or XC-6250 modem. What does Control Panel, Modems,Diagnostics tab say about Com3? Your modem should show up there. The More Info button will test the modem to see if it's talking. The ATI2 response should show as OK.

Audares Juvo

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July 21, 2010 at 12:21:16

I went to the diagnostics tab and I see a 14400 bps Data-Fax Modem under Com3. Clicking "More Info" causes the laptop to freeze up and I have to restart it. Could this have something to do with IRQ settings on the com port?

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July 21, 2010 at 14:39:47

My modem with default BIOS settings is using IRQ9.

Audares Juvo

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July 21, 2010 at 15:08:58

My IRQ was set to 11, and 4 was the only other option but that didn't work either. I guess this is because when Windows searched for my modem it didn't find it so I selected a Rockwell modem from the list that comes up under the Add New Hardware program. I don't really want to take the laptop apart to see if a modem is installed, and according to the manual since the seventh digit of my serial # is an A, it means I have a Rockwell modem installed.

Where do I go from here? I have no way of connecting to the internet and therefore I have no way of download the missing files to the laptop. I am hesitant to buy a "plug and play" PCMCIA cd or floppy drive because I don't know if windows will be able to install it because after this experience I'm afraid I am missing more files that would be needed. I saw the XC-6250 cradle with a CD drive on ebay recently, but I'm not sure if the laptop would recognize this either.

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July 21, 2010 at 15:15:57

I don't know about the cradle cd either. My cradle is only used to provide a mount and 12v power to the laptop.

I'll dig around for the modem drivers for your 6250. You have the 133Mhz or 200Mhz flavor? Monochrome or Color display?

Or to make it easier, just post back the config string on the label.

I have drivers, config instructions, etc for the XC-6000 and XC-6250 machines archived on cd' I just gotta find the cd's.

Audares Juvo

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July 21, 2010 at 15:20:13

The config string is ACCFGAAZDA-AZZAA-ABP. Thanks for all the help so far, I really appreciate it.

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July 21, 2010 at 18:12:17

Uh oh. Your 7th digit is "A". That means you have a Rockwell 33.6K baud modem. I believe the Rockwell 14.4 modem was only used on the Cross Country XC-6000

That modem should be a Rockwell RC336LD with a RCV336ACF/SP chipset.

This may be the driver you need.

Audares Juvo

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July 21, 2010 at 18:25:17

Something I forgot to mention earlier...don't attempt to take that thing apart unless it's absolutely necessary. Each and every screw is held by blue loctite, every joint and screw is also sealed with "o" rings. The rubber bumper that goes around the sides and front comes off relatively easy but is an absolute bear to reinstall.

I've used mine in rain, hail and 115° heat. Dropped 'em more than once and submersed one once for a couple minutes. They all came up working but they'll drive you to drink if you need to open one up. That's the excuse I use anyway.

If you do decide to open it up, insure you have some quality torx drivers. IIRC, you need at least a T10 and a T8.

Good luck...I'll keep looking for more info and drivers.

Audares Juvo

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July 21, 2010 at 18:39:05

That's a start, however, I have no way of actually getting the driver onto the laptop, I can't get on the internet with it. I am determined to get this to work somehow.

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July 21, 2010 at 21:27:08

"...I have no way of actually getting the driver onto the laptop, I can't get on the internet with it...."

As clearly your'e able to get on-line to get here - use same system/access to secure/download driver(s) and save to usb-stick. Then presuming this laptop in question has a usb prpt.... transfer driver(s) that way?

If no usb then possibly a serial or parallel (null-modem) cable; the kind that allows one to coneect two systems via the serial or parallel port(s)?

One system will have the drivers saved to its HD; via sed null-modem cable - transfer from there to the elderly laptop...?

Wost-case approach: remove HD from elderly laptop; connect via usb-adapter to a working system and transfer driver(s) to sed elderly HD that way? After-which restore HD to is elderly home etc...?

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July 21, 2010 at 23:11:11

Haha, I love your wording there. Yes, I think I will wind up having to use a parallel port crossover cable. Hopefull THAT will work on this old relic.

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July 22, 2010 at 00:05:33

A copy of win98se directcc.exe is to be found in WIN98_45.CAB which you should have already on board.

How come you really never answer a question? Like what file are you missing? Where are you pointing the system to find installation files? What files do you have there?


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July 22, 2010 at 09:44:42

I am missing msnp32.dll and spendis.vxd. I redirect the installation to look for msnp32.dll in the C:\Windows\System folder and it finds it. The installation then says it can't find spendis.vxd which I couldn't find on the laptop so I hit "Skip File", which is what caused my problem with the ethernet adapter. Windows search cannot find the spendis.vxd file while it was able to find the other.

As for directcc.exe, where is the .cab file located where this should be? When I try to install it under Add/Remove Programs the same error that says "Please insert the disk labeled Windows 98SE CD-Rom" comes up.

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July 23, 2010 at 01:49:59

There you go, I can work with that, good info, thanks. You are supposed to have a copy of all your installation cab files under Windows/Options/Cabs folder. For a laptop without CD or floppy, it should be a crime to NOT have such a folder or files in it. Rarely, they are put in another location so a genuine Find Files attempt should be made across the entire machine for WIN98_45.CAB file or the net cabs to follow.

Spendis.vxd would be found in NET9.CAB file and msnp32.dll comes from NET7.CAB file. Look at layout.inf file in the Windows/INF folder to see these facts for yourself - every file has it's source and it's recorded in the layout.inf series of files. This is also how Windows knows to ask you for the "Windows 98 Second Edition CD-ROM" as well. It's getting the prompt for the disk to ask for from this layout file. Want some fun? Change the name around and watch Windows ask for some pretty stupid things.

Without those cab files you are the chicken before the egg and you can't get there from here unless you remove the hard drive and put those files on there with the help of another machine. Be aware that your laptop version of 98se might be different than that for any regular desktop clone - you may only be able to re-install your particular version of Windows 98se and that means you really need the original Restore CD that came with the laptop? And a CD drive for it. The first clue that is so would be that your layout.inf file has different locations than what I've stated here, that would mean your version of Windows is much different than my retail full 98se. Some laptops like some Compaqs have their CDROM drivers in the BIOS which is actually on a hidden partition on the hard drive so you can't swap hard drives or use a standard CDROM drive either one. One can only restore the hidden partiton from the Restore CD as well. I don't know if you are in this boat or not.

Even the DOS mode printer cable transfer method requires that you already have on board the proper transfer files (like which you don't. And can't even get put there. I'm out of ideas, sorry.


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July 23, 2010 at 10:19:38

There is not an Options folder in my Windows folder. A search for under "My Computer" returned no results. The same occured with, and The odd thing is that a search for msnp32.dll finds it, but a search for its .cab file returns no results. Do I need to direct the search towards a specific location instead of "My Computer"?

I'm guessing I basically have a useless laptop at this point because its second-hand and has no restore CD. It seems that someone reinstalled Windows 98SE before I bought it, but did a very sloppy job of doing so.

This seems like a very unique laptop and I really wanted to be able to use it, but it seems it might be going back where it came from--Ebay.

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July 23, 2010 at 14:13:46

If you're happy at taking the drive out... you"could" connect it via usb adapter to another working system Then access a '98SE CD - in that other system - and transfer the entire cab-folder to the laptop drive. Then restore drive to laptop and access cabs accordingly...

usb adapters aren't very expensive these days; come in EIDE, or EIDE/SATA styles - and are very easy to use. Almost an essential item these days - if only to allow to access laptop drive for whatever reason if the installed OS dies - and especially if no cd/dvdrom unit in laptop...?

You might even consider reconfiguring the laptop drive to have both Primary and Extended partitions. Primary for OS/apps/uitls etc. and Extended for files - and the cab-folder...

If doing this then ensure drive is made bootable to dos prompt too... Then one can access '98cabs and install the OS (afresh) from there - but also ensure you include smartdrive.exe in the root of the Primary; needed to install '98...

Options various once you have a usb adapter, and access to the cabs folder...

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July 23, 2010 at 15:12:25

I may try the USB adapter for the hard drive, although that means I'll have to find a copy of Windows 98SE somewhere for fairly cheap.

If I pick up one of the USB adapters do I even need to copy the files from the 98SE cd? Can I just copy the drivers for my ethernet adapter to the hard drive instead? Will it work that way?

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July 23, 2010 at 15:54:04

That would probably work but I need to caution you about a couple things.

1. You may still need more files than you know about now.
2. That thing is a b!tch to take apart and reassemble.

I know for a fact that the Win98 folder from a 98Se cd can be copied via a serial port connection (nul modem). And it only took just over 30 hours.

Audares Juvo

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July 23, 2010 at 16:56:35

I may try that as well. The only thing is I don't know if I'm also missing files that may keep me from setting up a serial port connection. If I'm missing as many as I am now, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm also missing one that would prevent that type of connection as well. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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July 24, 2010 at 01:50:01

Copy anything you might need to the HD; and preferably to a partition other than where the OS itself is installed (if possible). '98CDs are out there for peanuts - on eBay, clearance outlets, computer fairs...

Incidentally - as long as you have (or know) the license for the installation you have at present.. you can any equivalent cd to install etc. afresh, and no problems (regardless of license details) using any cd for the required ethernet etc. files...

But I take on board "Skip.." comments about how easy and simple it is to take the thing apart to get at the HD... These days drives are generally quite easy to get out from its own compartment - usually a simple cover to remove and undo a couple of retaining screws for the drive itself...?

Perhaps the null modem cable approach - and go for a long walks, perhaps check out the Sahara, or the badlands in the Anza Borrego desert in SW California ( Remember to take lots of water... and a cookie bar or three; one can a wee bit thirst and hungry on long walk... The latter location btw is really quite something...

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August 24, 2010 at 16:36:49

Will something like this work? Sorry for the late response, but I have been busy with other things lately. Judging from this, I should be able to just hook it up and copy the files from my 98SE disk to the drive like I would a flash drive. Is that right? I have read that I have to set the drive to "master", will I still be able to hook this up to my pc normally?

I am determined to get this old relic on the 'net if for nothing other than reading text or sending emails. It is my mission now. haha

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September 11, 2010 at 11:57:18

testing - please ignore

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September 11, 2010 at 12:32:37

re' link/ref in post-28... that kit is posted as being usb-2.0?

If it's not posted/decribed as backwards compatable to usb-1.0 it may not be OK for your elderly laptop (which will be usb-1.0?)

Better check around to see if it is OK with usb-1.0; and maybe also for a kit that is... (if the one you refer to isn't)?

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September 12, 2010 at 02:11:34

trvlr, post #1 states he has NO usb at all.

Why he would ask about using a USB device is beyond me, but he clearly is not thinking well or not describing his system correctly? Until he does...


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September 12, 2010 at 05:22:57

mmm - well spotted grasshopper; possibly he was mis-directed here (earlier posts) in the usb direction?

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September 13, 2010 at 07:02:12

No dummies. I was talking about removing the hard drive and connecting to another pc, not the laptop. USB has no relevance to that at all. You misinterpreted my posts not me. So before you start insulting me, READ my posts.

Trvlr, you were the one that suggested that I remove the hard drive and connect it to another pc. Thanks for the help, but not for the insults.

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September 13, 2010 at 10:11:27

Ooops. I owe all you folks an apology - so don't get too hot LOL.

I thought it was safe to do a little HTML testing on this old post (#29) not realising that these days it then promptly puts it to the top of the list, bringing it alive again.

The original post was 21 July 2010. BMcNeill is obviously still watching, so maybe attracting new helpers turned out (by chance) to be useful.

Ms Hulot goes horse riding

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September 13, 2010 at 10:53:26

"BMC..." - Apologies if "any" comments here were insulting.

They're not usually meant as such; but sometimes a less than ideal/appropriate choice of words/phrases etc. can be made - and thus...

Meanwhile - how is the problem solving proceeding?

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September 13, 2010 at 13:54:51

I still need to purchase a USB hard drive adapter and a 98SE CD. I'm hoping to simply remove the laptop's hard drive and connect it using the USB adapter to my desktop and just copy the 98SE .cabs and any missing drivers that I need over to it and then put the hard drive back into the laptop and go from there.

The reason I got annoyed is that people were posting wondering why I am looking for a USB adapter when the USB adapter won't even be connected to the laptop in the first place; it will just be used to access the laptop's hard drive from another, newer(with usb), pc once I remove the hd from the laptop. Melee5 post was the one that annoyed me.

I will keep everyone updated on my progress; I have also been getting help from a yahoo group dedicated to this model of laptop and that has helped as well.

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September 13, 2010 at 17:31:43

The method you've outlined ought to be fine

However I suggest you create at least two partitions on the drive; one for OS etc... and one for data. Even better three partitions; the third and last being large enuff to hold the '98 cab/setup files and any drivers etc... That way all that stuff is there for future use...?

At least two partitions regardless; even if the second one is again only large "enuff" to hold the cab files and other drivers etc.?

Occasionally folks on forums miss details posted earlier; sometimes misread; sometimes forget to incorporate earlier info and input from all involved... And it leads to mis-directs, misunderstandings etc.. But seldom is any harm or insult intended. I know that if it happens on this forum it's usually unintended; that if it "is" clearly deliberate and maliciously so... both the offending post(s) are removed; and likely the correspondent responsible at least given a "telling off"; and if he or she persists... then can be blocked/removed barred from posting here.

Sometimes a turn of phrase in the written form isn't read and taken/interpreted the same way as might be if spoken and heard directly... In effect "wot is writ" isn't always quite "wot is read" etc. - be it content or tone...

I am often surprised by just how much elderly kit is still in service; regardless of advances... I have 22yr old Viglen box (long gone UK brand) that has had three MoBo and 3 HD in it in its first 5yrs or so of life; currently loaded with dos6x/'98/NT and still working if I choose to boot it up. It's on my home lan but seldom gets used; but it is there as a fall back to get on the www and to sites like this if needs-be. Also another 12yrs old Dell Dimension with most M$ OS installed - Dos6x/'98/NT/W2K/XP-pro and Home - and it too still works fine. XP is a little slow but it works. Was originally my PC for my NT MCSE when in the States; later used as test bed for all the above OS... Otherwise I use a 4 to 5yrs old Acer Aspire laptop - pending... maybe... getting a MacBook Pro and making it dual boot Mac OS and XP-Pro...

Anyway - keep us posted on progress...


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December 25, 2010 at 20:28:23

Removed the hard drive and put my cabs where they needed to be. No problems now, surfs the internet just fine, and Windows recognized and installed the PC card. Thanks for all the help.

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