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ISA 4 port RS232/RS422 Serial or 3port Parallel Card ID

Kilroy

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I'm really hoping someone here can help me ID this card.
It came out of a WIN 95 Cad system that had the HD go out and I'm hoping I can find drivers because it's too expensive to upgrade the entire system.

It's a port expansion card that can be configured to do 4 ports either RS232 or RS422 Serial or 3 ports (I believe) Parallel. It has a single 62 pin connector output that connects to the multiport dongle.
It says "ALTEK" on it but I can't find which ALTEK it's referring to.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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3dd4233a-4e22-43ce-a2bc-91d4f13061bd.jpg


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barythrin

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Ah yes, what you have there is an Altek solder side/component card. It ..uh.. adds.. ...more solder joints to your general system build and the other side is used to add components. Nothing too complicated I don't think. j/k

I googled around like you probably did and yeah, not finding much that's helpful. You did a great job photoing the card, I don't see any FCC ID tag otherwise you might be able to look it up by that. The only other trick you might be able to do is boot it up in another like minded system and see if it either magically recognizes it (Win98se perhaps) or if you can find the hardware ID in the registry even if it doesn't know what the device is you might be able to search off that but it's still a bit of a long shot.

Going to a bit of a dumb question but what's wrong with the hard drive? (Curious if it's a data issue and not physical failure perhaps some recovery software might get you access to the drive and drivers again).
 

Chuck(G)

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It's a pretty good guess that this thing was made for the digitizer world. Why not drop a line to the folks in Silver Spring and see what they say?
 

Kilroy

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Yes, it's for an old Gerber Accumark system that I'm desperately trying to keep cobbled together.
I hadn't thought that it could be proprietary to the system. I'll check that too. Thanks.

As to the HD... It stopped recognizing the drive at boot up. I ran scandisk but it found so many sector errors it filled the root directory. I was able to use ghost to create an image of it, dumped that on a spare HD and moved the 'bad' hd to an external usb enclosure where I can access it if I have to. If I run scandisk from within windows on the drive via usb, it shows no errors.

I had a more modern desktop that still had ISA support so I just started rebuilding it from scratch but if I can get it back up and running in the old case, that would be better.
 

g4ugm

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It's a port expansion card that can be configured to do 4 ports either RS232 or RS422 Serial or 3 ports (I believe) Parallel.

I can't see it being any thing other than serial. NS16450N are serial chips. I bet the links set speed etc. Probably lots of chips ending 88 and 89 to level convert,,,,
 

Kilroy

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I can't see it being any thing other than serial. NS16450N are serial chips. I bet the links set speed etc. Probably lots of chips ending 88 and 89 to level convert,,,,

You're right... My mistake, what I took for a group of pins for parallel jumper settings, was in fact just a parallel port on the card.

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Kilroy

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Going to a bit of a dumb question but what's wrong with the hard drive? (Curious if it's a data issue and not physical failure perhaps some recovery software might get you access to the drive and drivers again).

I figured maybe it did make more sense to just try to fix the HD rather than rebuilding the system... So moved the HD to an external enclosure, ran scandisk and Norton Utils on it and fixed a couple sector problems. I then created an image of the original HD with Norton Ghost and copied that over to another freshly partitioned and formatted HD.

I also found my old copy of Win95 and prepared to repair the installation.

In the old system Both HDs are recognized by the bios, and FDisk shows that they both have primary Dos Partitions created, but when Win95 setup tries to run Scandisk, it can't create a temp directory and fails on either HD.

When I move the HD's to my other tower and run setup, it starts fine on either of them.

Thoughts? Could it be something as simple as a Dos compatibility issue or is there something wrong with the old system?
 

Kilroy

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Yes. The drives are different sizes and that shows in the HDD Auto Authentication screen.
 

Stone

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In the old system Both HDs are recognized by the bios, and FDisk shows that they both have primary Dos Partitions created, but when Win95 setup tries to run Scandisk, it can't create a temp directory and fails on either HD.

When I move the HD's to my other tower and run setup, it starts fine on either of them.

Thoughts? Could it be something as simple as a Dos compatibility issue or is there something wrong with the old system?
Sure sounds like the old system is the problem.
 

Chuck(G)

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Yes. The drives are different sizes and that shows in the HDD Auto Authentication screen.

That's not exactly what I mean. For example, I can take a drive from an old HP system and query the CHS from the BIOS and it will show the usual 63 sectors/track, xxx cylinders, but 246 heads, where the same drive on a different system will show 63 sectors/track, yyy cylinders and 255 heads. Back in the Win95 (and earlier) days, this was often a problem of not being able to simply physically move a drive between systems.

MSD can show this difference.

But perhaps I misunderstand what you're doing.
 

Kilroy

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I tried to find the drivers on the existing drive, but have no idea what I'm looking for, so I haven't had much luck.
 

Kilroy

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Almost got the drive to boot in the other tower but it looks like I need to run the win95 repair program anyway. Anyone know how to find the original windows product key from a non-booting HD?

I have valid product keys but the repair program won't accept any of them. I think it's looking for the one that's installed on the drive.
 

Kilroy

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I got it to boot from the original win95 HD and I have the card installed in the new tower, but it doesn't appear that the system is recognizing it.
I looked in the registry and couldn't find any mention of a serial card or anything similar. Add new hardware doesn't see it...

Any ideas? Other than that, everything seems to be working as before.
 

Chuck(G)

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I doubt that the Windows hardware sniffer would see the card without being told about it. Do you have any idea of what port addresses the card is configured for? How about interrupts?
 

Kilroy

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I doubt that the Windows hardware sniffer would see the card without being told about it. Do you have any idea of what port addresses the card is configured for? How about interrupts?

I'm pretty sure it's IRQ 5 but here are pictures of the jumper settings... I don't know which memory block it calls for.

Not sure what this one tells me:
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Not sure about this one either:
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I thought I understood this one, but now that I look at the picture, I'm not sure:
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This one indicates which IRQ each of the 4 serial outputs will use:
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Pretty sure this setting is the one that indicates IRQ 5
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Chuck(G)

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I can guess at some of the jumpers, but I'll bet you can also. The remainder might yield some information if you buzz out some of the jumpers with the ISA bus connectors. Far better would be a real manual, of course.
 

Kilroy

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Austin
Well I changed some of the jumpers and the Bios settings and device manager settings... I may have gotten it.
I ran a loopback test in Hyperterminal and all 4 com ports passed.

The only think I have connected to the card right now is a large format printer, which for whatever reason will print fine via the parallel LPT1 port, but doesn't seem to receive a signal via the serial ports.

Can I assume the serial ports on the card aren't the problem if the loopback test worked? Or is that just part of it?
 
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