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Add new serial port in Old ProLiant 800

Occasional Visitor

Add new serial port in Old ProLiant 800

i have an old ProLiant 800 (Pentium Pro 200).
I musti install a new serial port (com3) and i have buyed a PCI multi IO by SUNIX.
I have a NT driver but i think that ProLiant don't support Pnp beacause NT S.O. is crashed when i have installed a card...
The pci card is not good for this old PC?

Honored Contributor

Re: Add new serial port in Old ProLiant 800

Most of the pain associated with PnP comes from its implementation on the classic ISA bus.

The PCI bus has always included automatic card identification and configuration as a standard feature. Hot-plugging, on the other hand, is not a standard feature on a PCI bus, and it definitely requires operating system support too. NT4 and below definitely don't support PCI hot-plugging.

If you installed the card without shutting down the server, it's no wonder it crashed.

If you properly shut down the server, then installed the card and the server did not boot successfully after that, it might be related to the card OR it might be that the extra load of the reboot caused some old component to fail.

(Disks can often reveal failures when restarted: if you have a disk that has been spinning for 5 years without interruptions, take a backup before powering it off for any reason... just in case it cannot start any more. The centrifugal force may keep a worn bearing properly aligned while the disk is spinning, but when it stops, re-starting may require more torque than the drive motor can supply.)

Does the multi-IO card contain any other functionality besides the serial ports? If it does contain any storage controllers (i.e. SCSI or IDE connectors), this might cause the server to try to boot from the new card. Or the BIOS might boot just as before, but the operating system might be confused about the new storage controller.

Can you give any more information about the exact model of the new card, and any symptoms of the crash? Does the server get through the memory test? Does it reach the NT bootloader? Is the crash a NT bluescreen or does it just reboot or hang? Are there any error messages?

Honored Contributor

Re: Add new serial port in Old ProLiant 800

Hi Alberto,

I don't know if it helps but there was only one supported option for adding a serial port on the Proliant 800. This is an ISA card which also has an additional parallel port.
The option part number is...

Serial/ECP Parallel Interface Board 294293-B21

It is still available if you do a Google search using 294293-001.

You may just have been unlucky with the PCI card you have chosen or you may have a clash of IRQ's perhaps.
Comm ports should be as follows:-

COMM1 Port 3F8 IRQ 4
COMM2 Port 2F8 IRQ 3
COMM3 Port 3E8 IRQ 4
COMM4 Port 2E8 IRQ 3

I hope this helps.


Occasional Visitor

Re: Add new serial port in Old ProLiant 800

the error is at the login in NT...
There is this blue screen:

*** Hardware malfunction
Call your hardware vendor for support
*** The system has halted ***

...and the pc reboot...

When reboot next the memory check there is this message:
A critical error occurred prior to this power-up

But the windows reload normaly and crash again....

At the fists time when i have installed a card, the Nt have don't crashed but the PCI card it's not recognized, like if the card were not installed..
So i have installed a driver and i have rebooted the the next login...crash..

The PCI card is a sunix multi IO:

Occasional Advisor

Re: Add new serial port in Old ProLiant 800

This is going back a long way, but IIRC there was the ability in the F10 config installed by smart-start of the day to control the PCI configs for each card.

It may be that installing the serial card has altered the settings of your Smart-2 (if fitted) for example.

I would suggest having a poke around and applying the settings listed above. The actual operating system installed needs to be selected in there too.

I used to manage to get all sorts to work in these - things like Promise IDE RAID, multi-modems, weird optical drive adapters, so I would say it is possible!