Microsoft KB Archive/170690

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Article ID: 170690

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


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

This article was previously published under Q170690


While running a Compaq ProLiant using the NetFlex-3 network adapter, all network connectivity is intermittently lost.


When checking the properties of the NetFlex-3 adapter, a "Wire Fault" error is received.


These errors may occur if you are using a NetFlex-3 card with the 100 UTP module attached, and the following is true:

The module is set at 100 megabits per second and the first device encountered, such as a hub, can only handle 10 megabits per second, or if the module is defective and not properly autodetecting the inability of that first device to handle the 100 megabits per second speed.


It may be a Token Ring module being used on Ethernet, or the other way around. However, this could only apply if the computer were brand new, or just had service work such as replacing the motherboard. If the computer had been operating properly, the cause would probably be the above choice.


To work around this problem, do one of the following:

  • Obtain the updated driver for the NetFlex-3 PCI card in Softpack SP3206 from Compaq

  • Remove the module, which is located on the motherboard, plugged into the top of the NetFlex-3. Restart the computer. This will allow the computer to revert to its default setting of 10 megabits per second. After the computer restarts, network connectivity should be restored.


This problem may occur if the computer uses the NetFlex-3 card with a 100 UTP module attached on an Ethernet network. By default, this module is set to autodetect between 10 megabits per second and 100 megabits per second. With the autodetect setting, the module is supposed to attempt to send at 100 megabits per second, and, if the first device encountered (for example, a hub) cannot handle that speed, it will then revert to sending at 10 megabits per second.

Pinging the adapter may be successful, and Compaq diagnostic utilities may still show a successful connection with the hub.

Reinstalling the NetFlex-3 will show light activity at the hub, but still no network connectivity. If the computer is then restarted, all hub light activity will cease.

The "Wire Frame" error is a Token Ring error, even though this may be an Ethernet card. If the network wire is plugged into another computer, it works fine.

The 100 UTP module is set to autodetect by default on an Ethernet network. To set this to either 100 megabits per second or 10 megabits per second only, you must configure through CMOS.

For a Token Ring module, the settings must be configured in CMOS for the 4/16 speeds.

For additional information about intermittent losses of connectivity with Netflex-3, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

170950 Intermittent Loss of Connectivity While Using Compaq NetFlex-3

Additional query words: netflex3 netflx3

Keywords: kbsetup KB170690