Identifying an Add-on card in your Intel based machine

First, let me state, I am not responsible for any problems you may have by using the following information. The risk and expense is your responsibility.

As NextStep and OpenStep age, new hardware comes along that existing users would like to get working in their Intel boxes. These notes are to help you identify the new card so that you can try to convince the driver software to use the card. The usual method is to add a new 'Auto Detect ID' in expert mode via the application. I'll explain how I find this ID and what to place into the auto detect section for the driver. This example is for a network card.

First I check Apple Computer For the latest drivers. If they made a driver for a past version of the product line I'm looking at, then maybe I can use the latest revision of each. For an Intel network card I would go to and type something like:

If I find an appropriate driver, I download it now.

Second, I like to look things up on, now taken over by, for hints on what is possible. If I was searching for Intel network card information for Next OS', I would enter something like '* Intel 82559' in the search box. I would choose to search 'Groups' as that is what the '*' is referring to. The responses allow you to view an entire thread which is what I usually do. Based on my findings, I may simply go purchase the card, or ask further questions on or For instance someone may have tried the exact card I wish to buy. If it didn't work for them, perhaps they have an alternative suggestion.



Installing and Configuring the Card

Shut down the system, install your new card and reboot. During reboots I see the following table content on all my Intel systems just prior to launching an operating system. Press any letter at the boot prompt to stop xStep from booting in 10 seconds. This will give you time to write down the line in question and the headings. Once you have written the information, continue booting.

Bus No. Device No. Func No. Vendor ID Device ID Device Class IRQ
0 4 1 8086 7111 IDE Controller 14/15
0 4 2 8086 7112 Serial bus controller 9
0 10 0 8086 1229 Network controller 7
0 11 0 9004 6178 Mass storage controller 10
1 0 0 1002 4C42 Display controller 11

The 'Auto Detect ID' we will be entering for the network controller will be 0x12298086. Notice how the vendor and device IDs are reversed and zero and 'x' come before them. Also there are no spaces in it. Write your appropriate number down now. NOTE: Letters might be case sensitive.

Copy your Instance0.table by executing the following command in a terminal window. You'll need to be the root user.

      cp /usr/Devices/System.config/Instance0.table /usr/Devices/System.config/Instance7.table

Now uncompress the driver in a safe directory. Double click on the .pkg file to launch the Installer application to install the driver. If all goes well, then continue.

Launch the application. It is located in the /NextAdmin directory. The 'Summary of Devices' window should appear.

  1. Click on the globe.
  2. Click the Add... button. xStep will attempt to list detected drivers for the network card.
  3. If you don't see you driver, click 'Show All Installed Drivers' to find it.
  4. Hi-light the driver you wish to use.
  5. Click the Add button.
  6. Click the Expert.. button.
  7. In the 'Auto Detect IDs' row, check to see if your ID of interest is already there. If not...
  8. Double click in the Value cell to the right.
  9. Press the left arrow key until your at the beginning of the cell.
  10. Enter your auto ID followed by a space. In our example, 0x12298086 .
  11. Click the OK button. (There maybe other settings you wish to perform right now. Such as IRQ or Location information.)
  12. Click the Done button.
  13. Click the Save button.
  14. Reboot.

If all went well, you now have rebooted your system and the new card is working. If not, I suggest booting into the system anyway you can, and replace the new Instance0.table with the backup, then reboot. Another option maybe to enter config="Instance7.table" at the boot prompt.

Good luck!