View Full Version : Isa Scsi control card problems

August 14th, 2014, 08:58 PM
I recently put an Adaptec AHA 1540 Isa scsi card in my HP Vectra Model 6/300. It reads that my NEC Multispin caddy cdrom drive is there. But it won't show up in windows 98. No matter what settings I try it just won't show up. None of the drivers I try work. Is there a better card I can use or is there a solution to this.

August 14th, 2014, 09:35 PM
Which model NEC is it? Very early NEC CD-ROMs won't work with the built-in SCSI driver in Win9x and you will have to use MSCDEX real mode drivers only. http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/support/scsi/2900/ava-2906/install_sw/issues_for_windows_98.htm?nc=/en-us/support/scsi/2900/ava-2906/install_sw/issues_for_windows_98.htm

That presumes that the NEC CD-ROM works under DOS.

Edit: Forget to check the Vectra model. Seen some flakey ISA slots with Pentium II systems. You might have better success with a PCI SCSI card like the AHA-2940 and variants. Don't forget to check the prices on UW and SCSI 160 variants. You won't need the higher speed connector but the high speed cards with both 68-pin and 50-pin connectors are often cheaper than cards with just a 50-pin internal connector. I had a NEC Multispin hooked up to one until the Multispin stopped reading discs.

August 15th, 2014, 07:33 AM
There are several models of 1540s--the original was a full-length card--the "C" model was a much different 2/3 length one. There are some subtle differences between them, obviously.

Did you mean that the CD-ROM wasn't showing up or the 1540 wasn't showing up (in the Device Manager)? Two very different matters.

August 15th, 2014, 03:14 PM
The card Won't show up in win98. Thus in turn, The drive won't ether. The bios shows it's there and is working. It shows the CD drive is there in bios. Also the card is a 1540cp.

August 15th, 2014, 03:30 PM
I would use one but don't have enough pci slots. The slots I do have are needed for the other cards. The Cd rom drive is a NEC Multispin 6xi from 1995. The same year as the computer. The card to be more specific is a 1540cp Which card would you recommend then.

August 15th, 2014, 04:32 PM
If you can't use a PCI card, I can't think of an ISA card that would be better than the AHA-1540 unless there is some weird undocumented behavior to the CP model. Problems with slot or ISA-PCI bridge will affect every ISA card installed.

Try choosing the Add New Hardware option. Sometimes forcing Windows to look for an expansion card will lead to getting drivers installed.

One quick thing to check is the switches on the card. Switch 1 should be set to off which enables the Plug and Play features which ideally would allow Win98 to recognize the card. If the card was already PNP enabled, then a different problem is preventing discovery.

Looking at documentation, I can see one possible interaction between that card and a PCI bus. The AHA-1540cp defaults to using IRQ 11; frequently PCI systems use that IRQ for PCI cards and an IRQ can't be shared by ISA and PCI cards. The card's BIOS is supposed to allow the IRQ to be changed. Check what IRQs are in use in the system.

If it is not an IRQ conflict, I am not sure what other resource would be conflicting to prevent Win98 from finding the card and CDROM. Someone else may remember if turning off card BIOS or changing IO port can make the card work. Keep track of any changes and reset the card to its original settings before placing it in a different system.

August 15th, 2014, 04:53 PM
If you load ASPI4DOS.SYS in your CONFIG.SYS file (DOS mode), does it see the 1540? If so, try following it with ASPICD.SYS and MSCDEX--Win98 will recognize DOS drive letters for devices installed in real-mode DOS.

August 15th, 2014, 07:39 PM
It was the dip switch. Works great now.