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Old 07-18-2004, 04:18 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: SuSE 9.1 Professional
Posts: 81

Rep: Reputation: 15
ISDN problems - Boot error 'module hisax not found', connection setup warnings


I have the following:
Mandrake 10
BT Speedway ISDN card (reported as an AVM A1 Fritz)

I have a specific problem to start with:

I need to enter the following in drakconnect/Mandrake CC Network bit, but I don't know where to find the values.

Card IRQ
Card mem (DMA)
Card IO
Card IO_0
Card IO_1

Can anyone help with this?

Now the errors:

I get this error (labelled FATAL) on bootup:

Module 'hisax' not found
Sure enough, 'modinfo hisax' says it isn't there. There is a hisax.o.gz in the lib/mykernelversion/isdn or similar folder, but I don't know what to do with it to be able to insert it with modprobe (which is what I guess I need to do).

I looked at the Mandrake site to see if it was a known issue, and I've installed the patch on the Mandrake 10 Errata page ( This has made no difference, unfortunately.

When I use Mandrake Control Centre's Network area and try to configure an ISDN connection I also get an odd error. I have 3 options presented to me (an '*' means a radio button, or whatever it's called):

           * Manual Choice (Internal ISDN Card)
Net Device * External ISDN Modem
           * A1 ISDN Adapter (Fritz)    //I believe the BT Speedway card is this rebadged
Selecting any of these and pressing 'Next' gives me a 'Warning' box saying the following:

Sorry, we support only 2.4 and above kernels
Eh? I doubt Mandrake 10 uses a kernel less than 2.4 since 9.2 used one higher than 2.4!!

From what I've read the BT Speedway ISDN card is a right pain to get working in Linux, so I'd be grateful for any advice and help you could give me generally to get it working.

I'm starting to wonder whether because of this card being difficult it would be better to just buy a new ISDN card that isn't so much trouble. I read somewhere that the BT Speedway is a 'passive' card, which presumably means that it's like a software modem? (i.e. it uses the CPU to do things instead of doing things itself). I don't know if this is the case though.
So, if I was to get a new card, (I'll probably be buying one for a new PC soon anyway), what one would you reccomend?

Any help with this would be really, really appreciated. I really want to use Linux, but I've just hit problem after problem after problem, and even though I've persevered, I just hit more and more of them.

Without ISDN internet the OS is near useless!! I'm close to giving up after all this. I'm not a n00b (except to Linux) but the amount of time I spend trying to fix Linux is getting ludicrous!

Last edited by Foxy; 07-18-2004 at 04:19 AM.
Old 07-18-2004, 11:41 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Szczecin, Poland
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian
Posts: 2,458

Rep: Reputation: 48
The funny thing about Linux is that it goes together perfectly..
Use the wrong pieces however and you get nothing, same as in a car..

You may need to check that there is enough ISDN suport in your kernel.
Mandrake may or may not have enable support for the Fritz! cards.
Also there are 2 isdn subsystems, the older HiSax and the newer CAPI2.
I would strongly suggest using the newer CAPI2 system.
I have an AVM A1 Fritz! card running quite happily in a remote system using CAPI2, so it is possible.

The CAPI interface doesn't use IRQ, IO and base addr settings, which makes it all so nice.

Not having used Mandy tho, I don't know if CAPI2 is enabled or not..
Check your packages and documentation and I will download a configuration spec to try..
Old 07-18-2004, 12:30 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: SuSE 9.1 Professional
Posts: 81

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks for the guidance.

I searched rpmdrake, modinfo'ed a few likely module names, and had a search through the kernel directories in /lib/, and I couldn't find any reference to CAPI2.

I've googled it, and found this: , but I am reluctant to follow it since it's aimed at a Fritz DSL card on Gentoo. This also looked promising: , but it's in german, so... a bit unreliable since it'd be a rough Google translation to go by.

Any more pointers?
Old 07-18-2004, 01:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Szczecin, Poland
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian
Posts: 2,458

Rep: Reputation: 48
Just have to wait a bit until this remote system logs in..
Then I can get some accurate info for you...
Old 07-20-2004, 09:38 AM   #5
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: SuSE 9.1 Professional
Posts: 81

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Well, I tried to follow the guide at (skipping the patch, because I have kernel 2.6.3 or something, which is much higher then 2.6.0) and I failed miserably.

mISDN install gave me numerous errors (*sigh*... just like when I tried to install ALSA and also failed miserably). I think PPP didn't install too smoothly either. And I have absolutely no idea at all how to install capi4k-utils.

Can you give me some exact instructions as to how to install and use CAPI2, as you suggest? Or just some instructions on how to get ISDN working via *something!*

At this rate I'm going to order SuSE and get rid of Mandrake, because the amount of problems I'm having is just insane considering Mandrake is supposed to be easy to use. (look at this topic for example...


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