I recently had a problem installing IBM's 10/100 EtherJet CardBus Adapter on a Windows NT Workstation laptop. I reinstalled the NIC driver several times but couldn't get the NIC to work.

NT Event Viewer showed a resource conflict error in the event log. I used the NT Diagnostics utility (i.e., winmsd.exe) to check the resource allocation statistics. NT Diagnostics' Resources tab shows operational devices and the resources those devices are using. Usually a device driver fails to start because of a resource conflict with another device driver. No device driver was using IRQ 7 to 11, so I set the NIC's IRQ to 10. The NIC still didn't work.

I rechecked Event Viewer and found a warning message about a memory conflict, which Figure 1 shows. To ensure that I used a free memory address, I checked NT Diagnostics' Resources tab and noted the currently allocated memory addresses. I then assigned a free memory address to the NIC. After I rebooted the machine, the NIC worked.

When diagnosing a device-driver failure, you need to look beyond Event Viewer error messages. Check NT Diagnostics' resource allocations. Devices such as NICs and sound cards often have IRQ conflicts. You need to ensure that the proper IRQ, memory address, and I/O port are allocated.