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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 11-19-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2001
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PCI Card not detected by lspci

I have Ubuntu server on an older machine (450 Mhz). Compared to today's standards it really is a paper weight but I want to use it as a security backend that will be stored in the attic.

Here's the problem, I have purchased an MSI PC60G wireless PCI card and linux refuses to acknowledge that the card is installed in the slot. lspci provides no indication that the card is present. It does detect a video capture card and ethernet card which are both PCI. lshw also shows nothing. I've even tried a Linksys card but had the same results. Just to satisfy my curiosity I installed the MSI card in another computer (Dell Optiplex GX110) running Ubuntu server and it has no problem detecting the card (01:0b.0 Network controller: RaLink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI).

Any ideas on what needs to be done? I've tried ndiswrapper and the RT61 software drivers but have had no success.
Do I need to compile the kernel with some type of changes? Perhaps the BIOS needs an update? I'll entertain any possibilities.


Old 11-20-2007, 05:44 AM   #2
Larry Webb
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The only idea I have is you did not say which version of ubuntu you are running on your old 450 machine. You may need an upgrade.
Old 11-20-2007, 07:41 AM   #3
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The machine is running 2.16.18 which is fairly current. I've recompile the kernel last night with some custom changes. I'll boot with it tonight. (Fingers crossed!)

Thanks for the advice!

Last edited by dsledge; 11-20-2007 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Spelling Oops
Old 11-20-2007, 08:06 AM   #4
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When the system first starts up, there is a screen of information that will scroll by which identifies what hardware has been identified as being present by the BIOS. Your card *should* show on that list. Often the list goes past too quickly to be read.

You can often get that list to hang on the display for a few seconds by setting the system to boot first from floppy or from cdrom, then putting a non-bootable or defective floppy/cdrom in the drive. This causes a delay as the drive tries to read the media.

If your card shows on that list but isn't found later by Linux, then you can make the assumption that there is some linux related problem. If the card doesn't show on that list, then you have some hardware incompatibility or defect.
Old 11-20-2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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I imagine you have tried the card in different PCI slots in the machine ?

My first thought was to update the pci.ids file, but even if that were the problem lspci would have listed the card as unknown so I do not beliee that is the issue.

It definitely appears to be hardware related, so I would pull the other cards and try that one in different slots to see what happens..

The other consideration is that card is a 3.3v card.. check your power supply to ensure that it is fully functional...

Motherboard BIOS update wouldn't hurt.
Old 11-21-2007, 08:11 AM   #6
Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Georgia
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses. Kernel recompile did nothing to help. I think farslayer was on the right track. My hunch also was that the card is running at a different voltage than the mobo. I was able to acquire another mobo (Pentium 4) and the card was recognized immediately.
I'll chalk this one up as an incompatible marriage.


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