Solved @ symbol displayed in winipcfg in Win 95 instead of NIC name

September 4, 2015 at 03:10:21
Specs: Windows 95
I am playing around with a windows 95c machine installing some cards I happen to have laying around. I installed a SMC 8416BTA using the native driver "SMC EtherEZ (8416)". It is an ISA card so I spent a while resolving conflicts. I was getting a message saying I didn't install it correctly. This eventually went away after I resolved a conflict that a SCSI ISA card was having with my PCI sound card and integrated COM port. Now I am having trouble with the EtherEZ card and Winipcfg utility. I am hoping the fix doesn't include drivers or resources as I've done enough searching for drivers, rearranging, breaking, and unbreaking things than I can stand. Its finally communicating with the internet, but when I run winipcfg and select the adapter drop down list it only displays an @ sign for the adapter name. This happens when I add the Client for Microsoft Networks in the networking control panel. The other NIC's in the machine are unaffected by this. The machine also locks up momentarily when using the mouse. If I remove "Client for Microsoft Networks", it reverts to "windows logon" as the primary network logon, the machine no longer slows down, and the @ symbol is replaced with the actual adapter name in winipcfg. Any ideas why this is happening or how I might correct it?

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✔ Best Answer
September 5, 2015 at 10:22:47
I would have thought that most of the reported issues are down to using a driver which is unsuitable for the hardware.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks



#1
September 4, 2015 at 04:38:39
is there any reason why using win95?

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#2
September 4, 2015 at 14:15:25
Because its there of course. lol

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#3
September 4, 2015 at 16:51:02
I find it odd, but not unexpected, that the immediate response to anyone dealing with obsolete technology should be more or less "why are you dealing with obsolete technology?". And I do not understand how that can be the “Best Answer” to any question of curiosity regarding any technical aspect in the past foundations of our future advancements. For me, I find interest in these old technologies as fresh and new as any I have not had the pleasure to deal with before. If you are among those that think this beneath your ability, then I challenge you to answer my question.

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#4
September 5, 2015 at 10:22:47
✔ Best Answer
I would have thought that most of the reported issues are down to using a driver which is unsuitable for the hardware.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
September 5, 2015 at 20:37:56
I uninstalled the network protocols and reinstalled them. It tells me files on my hard disk (secure32.dll, rpctls5.dll, rpcltc5.dll) are newer than those on the windows95 install CD and asks if I want to keep them. I chose no this time, but it still show the @ sign for the adapter name in winipcfg screen. As far as the driver accessible through the device manager, it shows "No drivers are required or have been loaded for this device" and windows can't find a newer one when I run update driver for the adapter. Yet, the device is working. I can connect to websites running minimal scripting on their pages. On boot up, just after the windows95 splash screen, it shows it loading "SMC Ethernet Adapter DOS NDIS Driver v4.01 (941223) Copyright(c) Standard Microsystems Corporation 1994 Adapter 8416BTA I/O Base Address 280 IRQ 10 I/O Mapped Mode". The integrated NIC is also reported similarly at this point (PCI slot 17 I/O Base Address DCC0h Interrupt 11) and it shows no driver under device manager as well. It then shows remarks about running net start twice, followed by some sound blaster settings from the autoexc file "Set Blaster=A220 I7 D1 D2" and "Set SNDSCAPE=C:\WINDOWS". On first boot, the audio skips like a record now for some reason. I'm not sure what bearing that has here but I thought I'd mention it anyway. I thought maybe A280 and A220 might be too close, but the I/O range settings in device manager for the sound card and network card don't overlap. And the only ! flag I see is for the integrated video card, which isn't functioning due to a PCI NVidia graphics card having been installed which has it's own little problem I didn't think relevant. It get an error message pop up for rundll "error loading nvqtwk.dll A device attached to the system is not functioning" that is related to trying to enable the Nvidia QuickTweak icon in the taskbar through display properties additional TNT2 64 properties tab . Only it won't go away now, enabled or unenabled. Well, actually it wont enable. Anyway that is another problem. I ordered another SMC NIC (supposedly the same model, NIB unopened) for cheap. Maybe the disk provided with that will provide a solution.

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#6
September 9, 2015 at 06:12:41
I skipped completely over 95 but if it's anything like 98 and up, you can change the name of your network interface from "Local Area Connection" to whatever you want it to be. Try changing it manually to something else and see if that doesn't fix your issue.

I'm not surprised the first response was "Why are you using 95" It seems rather silly to waste time and energy running 95 when you could be running 98 which was a far superior OS to 95. But, each to his own. Just bear in mind, if you're going to do something others consider silly, you're going to get asked why you're bothering.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#7
September 12, 2015 at 17:34:33
I would just like to say thank you for the encouragement everyone. It looks like the immediate issue has been solved (read below), but the larger issue of getting an understanding of what is going on is... still ongoing. I got the adapter today NIB, same as the one installed. The outside of the box had the WIN95 logo on it, so that was a good sign. I read through the manual. It had some interesting information about configuration settings that could be saved to the NIC through a utility on the floppy, stuff like boot rom installs, memory mapping modes, disabling PnP etc... Seeing as what I had installed was a used NIC, I wondered if any old settings had been flashed to the card which might be messing up my installation. I ran the EZstart utility from the floppy and did not see anything unusual, it seemed to be at default apart from the memory resources and IRQ that I had assigned to it. This same utility was also used to unpack the drivers for windows95. It created netsmc.inf, release.doc, smc8000c.sys, and a readme win_95.doc. The readme indicated that the driver was NDIS v3.0, an older version than what Windows had selected for me (v4.0). The readme said to go to C:\Windows\INF and rename netsmc.inf to netsmc.sav before installing the card. Since I had already installed the card, it was too late for that, but I went ahead and did it anyway thinking this was just making a backup copy (assuming .sav stood for save or backup?) and maybe it would rebuilt it anyway. I considered just drag and dropping the netsmc.inf created from the floppy over, but refrained from doing so and just followed the rest of the instructions. It had me go to the NIC in device manager to update the driver and choose "have disk" to point it to the folder on the hard drive. I wasn't sure how this was going to work out since I had for the most part a working NIC with a driver that seemed to be loaded at boot somehow outside of what device manager was telling me (see earlier post). Continuing on, I selected OK. The next part was a bit confusing. It seemed circular for windows to show me yet another screen asking me to select my NIC. It was a list, but only listed my NIC. Anyway, I selected OK again, but installation failed. I forget the reason it reported, I should have wrote it down, but I was getting disgusted with the whole process. So, I went back in the EZstart to run the "basic" diagnostic. It told me it had to be run from a dos boot and would uninstall or unload the NIC driver first. So, I did that. It just seemed to lock up the machine on the first test so I just shut down. I gave the driver install a second try. And somehow, doing as far as I can tell exactly the same thing, this time it worked. Oddly though, that confusing screen I had mentioned earlier had shown two of the same NIC this time. Not knowing which one of these seemingly identical selections to choose, I had highlighted the top one. Instead of an error, this time it prompted me to point it to the Windows95 install CD where it grabbed a surprising amount of files again. Each time I have installed or even uninstalled a driver or protocol it seems to do this. Some of the stuff it went after this time seemed odd, like arp.exe? why that now? at this point I'm just thinking to myself "whatever" do your thing lol. The machine rebooted. Now on boot up it no longer reports the driver version of either NIC (not this ISA card or the onboard NIC) and it shows a third remark about net start having been run. I didn't know if I'd made things better or worse at this point, but after testing it out everything appears to be working (apart from that GPU driver issue). The audio doesn't play choppy on login, the mouse doesn't stick, the NIC's both talk, Microsoft Client didn't mysteriously uninstall itself, and that @ symbol in winipcfg has been replaced with "SMC Adapter" :) But I can't tell now what driver the NIC is actually using as it is no longer reported at boot and device manager still shows "No drivers are required or have been loaded for this device". And that file I had renamed (netsmc.inf) did not get reentered into the C:\windows\inf folder. PFM. I went into the autoexec.bat and config.sys files to see if there was anything of interest there. The net start remarks were being generated from the autoexec file. Wished I'd looked at this earlier to see if the NDIS version was being reported by it as well. I don't know how or if net start is actually being run three times at boot, but I deleted all but one of these remarks. It seems very odd that the onboard NIC no longer reports a driver version at boot when I wasn't messing around with the onboard NIC at all. Any ideas on where I can look to see these versions?

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