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Windows 7: Tamarack TC9020 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet Adapter PCI

29 Oct 2014   #1
love4all

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Tamarack TC9020 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet Adapter PCI

Dear Seventists,

I recently had the great fortune to be given a used computer that is only 5 years old (BIOS dates back to 2009), which is like brand-new to me as I used to have only very dated desktops, my most recent being from 2006. It consists of an ASRock N68C-S UCC motherboard and 2 x 2GB DDR2 800 DIMMs. In order to make use of the Dual-Channel advantages, I installed Windows 7 x64 and everything has worked like a charm so far. It feels like driving a Ferrari compared to the experience I've been having with my previous oldies. That is however until I ran into the following problem:

My old board had integrated Gigabit LAN, whereas the new one only has Fast Ethernet. I recently bought new Ethernet cables because I set up a home server and wanted to be able to distribute files as fast as if they were stored locally to get rid of the need of carrying around external hard drives. The fact that the N68C-S does not support Gigabit speed became even more bitter when I learned that the otherwise identical model N68C-GS does. Which means that one supposedly insignificant letter messed up my new network infrastructure.

Now after having put aside my personal distress about this particular circumstance, I lightened up when I accidentally found this old Gigabit capable PCI NIC (I wasn't even aware I ever had one in my possession). I thought serendipity had knocked on my door, as I was just about to buy one in a couple of days. Hours of desperate trial and error runs later though, it's more like the spirits of torture are amusing themselves on my account. I seem to be the only person in history trying to get thismodel to work on Windows 64 bit. All I could research is that the manufacturer "Tamarack" was acquired by IC Plus Corp. some time in 2005, so I looked up their website and installed the driver for their sole listed NIC product to no avail (wrong Device ID anyway). From there it was all downhill, because the other drivers I was able to locate wouldn't even bother installing due to incompatibility issues with Windows x64. Here are the ones I have tried out:

Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter
TC902x, IC PLUS - TAMARACK TC902X/A 10/100/1000 Ethernet Adapter
SBE Tamarack TC902x Based 10/100/1000 Ethernet Adapter
Micronet SP2610T
Tamarack TC902x Based 1000Mbps Ethernet Adapter
Tamarack TC902x Based 1000Mbps Ethernet Adapter (Fiber)
GH-ELG64T 1000Mbps PCI (64bit/32bit)

All drivers are supposed to work for the same Hardware ID "PCI\VEN_13F0&DEV_1021", which applies to my Tamarack card. I even installed that piece of software called Driver Identifier out of desperation, only to end up with it apologizing that they were unable to find any drivers. I've really run out of energy on this one, so I currently see two options: Either be stuck with Fast Ethernet, or go back to x86 and lose the performance advantage of 4 GB RAM in Dual Channel mode. Or of course, go through with my initial plan to buy a new NIC. However, I'm unwilling to waste resources. Why spend money on a new card if I have one I've never used?

It goes without saying that I would be very grateful for any ideas on how to proceed. I'm thinking about installing XP x64 on an old testing machine to see if it might have a built-in driver that I could then extract and use. Should I give it a shot?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
30 Oct 2014   #2
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

I don't know how the computer can be five years old when the motherboard wasn't released until June 2010. FAST LAN is just a crappy ASRock feature which is supposed to reduce latency in-game when you install the FAST LAN crapware. The onboad LAN connection should work fine.

I'm really questioning that BIOS date though. 2009? A year before the board was released?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2014   #3
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

Quote:
I'm really questioning that BIOS date though. 2009? A year before the board was released?
It's possible, have seen it before. The BIOS is usually bought from a company such as Phoenix, AMI or Award, etc., and modified by the company using it, could be on a number of models and further modified for new ones. as needed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 Oct 2014   #4
love4all

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Turns out I wrongfully assumed it to be 2009 because at the bottom of the BIOS screen it says:

v02.67C, (c)Copyright 1985-2009 American Megatrends, Inc.

The BIOS ID P1.20 however dates back to April 23, 2010. Thanks for pointing it out to me, now I feel even more blessed because it means my computer was fabricated in the current decade.

I should clarify myself about the LAN issue though. Perhaps me using the term "Fast Ethernet" was misleading because of the ASRock-exclusive feature "XFast LAN" Boozad was referring to, which I haven't even looked into since I don't do gaming. I was however speaking of the Ethernet standard that carries traffic at the nominal rate of 100 Mbps, which applies to the onboard NIC of the N68C-S. The N68C-GS however supports Gigabit speed, which is very unfortunate for me due to the fact that I just upgraded my network components to utilize that feature. The irony behind it is that I finally have a machine at my hands that is as responsive as I always wished for, but as soon as I start copying a large file from a network location it operates at less than 1/3 of the speed compared to what I had with my previous outdated machine. That's why I'm desperately trying to install the Tamarack Gigabit capable PCI ethernet adapter I accidentally found in my drawer the day before yesterday. I hope I have made my issue clear now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2014   #5
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

For the lowest cost possible, I have purchased Add-in PCI NICs, disabled the onboard/built-in LAN adapter and installed the new, mostly back in the days before the 100 version to update from 10 but the same exists for the 10/100/1000 cards. Having a slow device affects the whole LAN.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2014   #6
love4all

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Of course, so you would advice me not to bother with my drawer discovery from back in the day and just buy a new one? I think before I'll do that I check if XP x64 has integrated drivers for this model that I could extract and use for 7 x64. I've seen this work with VGA drivers, so I'm gonna give it a shot.

Here's another thing I forgot about: In the datasheet of this model, it says the following:

Quote:
32/64-bit, 33/66MHz PCI Bus
The only one difference between the TC9021 and the TC9020 is the PCI bus width. The TC9020 can only be used in
32-bit PCI bus and The TC9021can be directly interface to either 32-bit or 64-bit bus. Advanced PCI commands, such
as Write and Invalidate, Read Line, and Read Multiple, are also implemented to further improve system
performance.
Just to verify my knowledge is correct: the PCI bus width does not indicate if a PCI adapter can or can't be used in a 64-bit environment, or does it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Tamarack TC9020 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet Adapter PCI




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