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Delay before the PCMCIA Card is Recognised

Symptoms:

When a PCMCIA card is inserted the PC takes over 60 seconds to recognise it.

Reason:

When a PCMCIA card is inserted in a PC running Windows 9x/Me, with a PCI Network card, but the PC is not connected to a network, it can take over 60 seconds for the operating system to recognise the card. During this time, the PC/mouse will freeze intermittently.

More information:

When a PC has a PCI (or integrated) network card installed, by default Windows will configure the network card for a DHCP server to configure it's IP address etc. When the drivers for the network card are started, if this network card is not physically connected to a network, the DHCP client software will wait until the timeout period has expired (approx. 60 seconds) before allowing the PC to continue. During this process, the PC will not respond to mouse and keyboard actions.

If there are limited resources available in the system (very common!), then when a PCMCIA card is inserted into a PCMCIA slot, then Windows 9x/Me will re-balance the hardware resources and make PCI devices share IRQ's. This process involves stopping and re-starting any drivers for PCI devices. Hence when the network card drivers are re-started, the "freeze up" occurs. Also, during boot-up of the PC, this delay will always occur, so applying the following solution will speed up the boot process even if no PCMCIA adapter is in the PC.

Solution:

Either disable the network card in the device manager, or in TCP/IP settings for the network, disable DHCP and manually assign a fixed IP address to the network adapter.