Microsoft KB Archive/149305

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PCMCIA Network Cards May Fail to Start During NT Installation

Article ID: 149305

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q149305


Installing Windows NT on a machine using certain PCMCIA network cards may cause the following error message:

The dependency service or group failed to start.
This error prevented the network from starting.

To correct this problem, choose Yes to return to the network dialog box to reconfigure the software. After you finish installing Windows NT and reboot your computer, the network driver should start normally, giving you access to the network.


These messages usually occur when you use OEM network drivers. Windows NT can only dynamically start PCMCIA network cards that are autodetected by the Windows NT Setup program. OEM drivers, by design, are not autodetected by the Setup program. Windows NT PCMCIA.SYS handles this special case by starting the network driver without rebooting. This issue has nothing to do with the OEMSETUP.INF file or OEM driver supplied by the network card manufacturer.

Currently, the following PCMCIA network cards can be autodetected and installed without rebooting if the defaults are accepted and nonconflicting:

3Com 3C589 Etherlink III PCMCIA Ethernet Adapter
3Com 3C589B Etherlink III PCMCIA Ethernet Adapter
IBM PCMCIA Ethernet Adapter II
Kingston EtherRx PCMCIA Adapter
National InfoMover NE4100 PCMCIA Ethernet Adapter


  • The Toshiba T4900 and IBM ThinkPads cannot use IRQ=10 (reserved for onboard soundcard).
  • The Compaq LTE-5x00 cannot use 2, 5, 10, or 11 if a docking station is using an NE2000-compatible network card.

Additional query words: autodetect autostart unattend unattended

Keywords: kbhardware KB149305