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Old 03-28-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
Andre Zganiacz
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Mandriva 2008 network card detection.

I searched for a distro with an appealing desktop environment and which would run on a PentiumII machine with less than 512MB of RAM.
I thought I found one: Mandriva2008 (Mandriva seems to be very friendly and makes older releases easily available).
Well I encountered a problem which is fundamental for a Linux newbie and hard to understand for a HW engineer. This rather advanced distro not only is unable to configure my network connection, it tells me that my PC does not have a NIC card. This is my linux experimentation PC, I've tried various other distros and none had a problem detecting my 3COM 3C905 fast Ethernet adapter.

Could someone help me fix it and possibly provide a philosophical explanation how something so basic could fail with a distro so advanced prestigious?

Thank you,
Old 03-28-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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A fast google shows the 3c59x module is the ( driver ) module for your nic.

Open a konsole, and become root. Try to load the module with a 'modprobe 3c59x' command ( without the quotes ).

If that module loads, then you still have to configure the nic to get it working. Mandirva has something called MCC ( Mandriva Control Centre ). There is an option in there to configure the nic. You need to know things like the IP address you want to use, the gateway address, DNS addresses and netmask. Im sure there is an option like automatic in windoze. It is called DHCP, if you have a router and it gives your system all the correct information.

Could someone help me fix it and possibly provide a philosophical explanation
I can only guess. It could be you missed the configuration during install. It could be related to the fact that Mandy 2008 is old, and does not have the driver you need; it that nic was released after 2008, that could explain it.

The current version of Mandriva probably not have a problem.

How much less than 512 MB of ram? 256 Mb is usually enough for most distros to at least run. It may make them a little slower, do to disk swapping, but they will run.
Old 03-30-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
Andre Zganiacz
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Thank you for your response.
I havenít had a chance to try your suggestion yet.
The NIC card is more than 10 years old. I am not troubled by the missing driver as much as by the fact that when you invoke the Mandriva System Configuration Tool (donít remember the exact name of the tool) it does not detect that thereís a network card connected to the PCI bus. The NIC card must identify itself and provide basic information about itself i.e. manufacturer, model number, chipset, etc.
I like Mandriva 2008 and I like the way it runs on a 350 MHz Pentium II with 256M of RAM. Mandriva 2011 also ďrunsĒ on the same PC but it is so dramatically slower than 2008 that it make the PC unusable.
Iím an old fashioned kind of fellow and I do not like operating systems (windows included) which require hardware less than 3-5 years old in order to perform even the basic functions like send an e-mail, write a document or view pictures of my kids.
Thank you,


detect, hardware, mandriva2008

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