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C600 under Windows 2000 Notes

News Recommended Links Portable Dock
 (C Dock/II)
Latitude C610 Programmable Keyboards Choosing Your Computer Mouse
Synaptic driver problem 3Com Documents 3com drivers C/Dock II Audio problems Humor Etc

C600 is a solid laptop that is reasonably priced at Dell auctions and on eBay. It suffers from absence of UCB 2.0 ports. The latter problem can be partially resolved by buying docking station and installing USB 2.0 card in it.

For some unknown reason a very good docking stations C Dock/II  that are compatible with Dell C600, C610 as well as C800 and C810 are dirt cheap on eBay. If you take into account that it contains a built-in SCSI controller and additional Ethernet adapter you can assume that dock station itself is free :-).  C-Dock additional bay is hot-pluggable and unplaggable (if you do not close the docking latch) and that's a very convenient feature as you can have configurations with two CD-roms writers, additional harddrive or DVD reader/writer. Module for the additional harddrive was around $40 on eBay in 2005.

Internally the docking station has enough space to add  an additional internal SCSI drive or IDS drive, but the best solution is probably to buy Sun SCSI drive and connect it to the external SCSI interface.  It sits perfectly on the top of the docking station.  Try to search "Sun External Ultra SCSI hard drive case", "Sun  DDS3 external drive/enclosure" or any substring on this. They are often ~$10 with shipping ($1 + $8 shipping).

Here are some typical problems:

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Old News ;-)

[Aug 19, 2007] Mouse Drift - Rick Strahl's Web Log

Happens on C600 laptops quote often. Use USB mouse and disable touchpad in such cases

This year, my mouse is on the fritz. It’s the worst kind of problem where the mouse ‘drifts’ on its own while idle. I don't know if it's divine intervention - No, don't click there on that evil spot - or whether my magnetic personality is getting in the way <g>. 


Latitude Docking Station - Latitude - General Hardware - Dell Community Forum


If you run the Quick Setup for the C/Dock, you must do so before docking the system for the first time.

If you docked the system first, you can install only the network drivers from that CD instead of running the entire Quick Setup.

If you need to reload the original factory software:
There is a method (known as ZIGZAG) to restore your system's software to its original, factory-downloaded condition. (NOTE--Any data not backed up before running the ZIGZAG program will be lost from the C: partition)

The first step is to boot to the Dell Diagnostics diskette and choose 'Exit to MS-DOS' from the menu. At the A:\ prompt, type ZZTOP and press . Press 1 to choose 'Run Image Integrity Check'.

This normally takes 3 - 5 minutes. The drive and the image are checked for errors. Once it has been determined that the image is good and can be restored the screen will flash:
Integrity Check Passed

In the event that the image has been written over or otherwise corrupted the screen will flash:
Integrity Check Failed. Call Your Dell Tech Support Representative.

Next, (assuming the check passed) you will see this menu:

1. Proceed with Software Restore
2. Exit to DOS

Choose option 1 'Proceed with Software Restore'.

ZIGZAG will once again verify the integrity of the image. After the second integrity check is complete you will see this prompt:

Proceed with partition load - destination will be overwritten?
Yes No

At the prompt, answer "YES" to proceed with the restore process.
The progress indicator at the top of the screen will go to 100%. The last line of the screen will show the current file being copied. Once the progress has completed, reboot the system without the diagnostics disk and the drive should now be set with the factory downloaded software and configuration.

Latitude Windows 2000  3C905C-TX (3C920) dock station Integrated Ethernet controller related crash (blue screen of death) .3C920   ( compatible)

3Com 3C920 Integrated Fast Ethernet Controller (3C905C-TX Compatible) ...

have a Dell Latitude notebook and I can't get it to synchronize with my Windows CE device.  How do I get it to work? Cross reference: 3Com EL90X driver

If you have a Dell notebook computer, or your computer has a 3Com EL90X driver, you may experience some serious problems with getting CE to synchronize.  The problem may actually be a bug in the driver which is exposed by CE Services.  The information below explains the problem and the solution.

Uffe K. Mortensen posted the following problem on microsoft.public.windowsce:

Our company's helpdesk just upgraded my office PC to a brand new docked Dell latitude PC running Win95. Everything fine, until I put in the MS Windows CE 2.0 Services CD rom to install ActiveSync for my HPC.
Disaster stroke then:

The device/interrupt settings became corrupted on the PC and the PC could no longer run Windows - except in 'safe mode'! It seems the setup.exe install ActiveSync, but also corrupts the device settings (amongst others?) in windows.

For those who asked: The versions used are all 'out of the box': w95 4.00.950B, BIOS level A02, PCI drivers MS 4.00.1117. After installing CE services, device configurations becomes currupted (hard to analyse in safe mode, but includes strange interrupt settings, modem devices (COM, LPT) that makes no sense, etc). Windows stops brutally with 'Windows protection violation error' written on a black screen. The system cannot even re-boot with the usual ctrl-alt-del, and can only run in safe mode
after power reset.

Uffe finally got this fixed, here is the solution:

Problem solved!

Thanks to the good advice I received here the problem is finally cured!

For those that might run into the same problem, here is the solution:

The Dell computer has a problem with a driver 'EL90X' for 3COM devices.

Both Windows CE 2.0 and 2.2 are ok, but happens to trigger the bug in the 3com driver and violently crash Windows 95 for good (device tables becomes corrupted and cannot be recovered).

The fixed 3com driver can be found and downloaded at the Dell site.


The network card you need is currently the first one listed, for the 3Com 3C920 chipset.  (SuSE lists this as `3Com 3C59x', with no parameters.  Anyway, I only found that information later on the euro dell latitude page.  I found out which one to use by randomly trying the various 3Com entries after having read the USA dell latitude page, which says someting about `3Com 10/100', which other brands do have that make as an option, but not 3Com.

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3Com driver search

3C90x - 3C59x - 3C339 - Changing the IRQ

3Com Documents

Document #: 06615 3C90x - 3C59x - 3C339 - Changing the IRQ

Changing the Interrupt Request (IRQ) for the 3c90x Family of NICs

NOTE: This document uses the 3C90x NIC family as an example, but can be applied to the 3C59x family and the 3C339 NIC.

3Com's EtherLink XL and Fast EtherLink XL family of NICs (3C905-TX, 3C905-T4, 3C900-COMBO & 3C900-TPO)  are the PCI 2.1 compliant adapters installed in the system's small, white expansion slots. The slots usually reside  on the PCI bus.

Should the IRQ Be Changed?

NOTE: 3Com recommends assigning its NICs to IRQs 10, 11 or 12 because these are often unused. IRQs 2, 9, and 15 are not recommended because they are often used by other PCI devices.

NOTE: NICs must be installed in slots that support busmastering, and busmastering must be enabled  within the BIOS.

NIC IRQs should be changed to avoid conflict with other PCI devices. Although 3Com NICs support IRQ sharing, other PCI devices may not support this function. Sharing IRQs with these devices may cause one or more of the  symptoms listed below:


When the system boots, BIOS recognizes NICs, and other attached PCI devices, and assigns resources, such as IRQs, I/O, and memory, to these devices. IRQ assignments depend on:

The presence of devices, such as video, SCSI, sound, modem, etc. The BIOS finds out what resources each  PCI device needs and assigns the resources as it sees fit. The BIOS assigns resources to all PCI devices,  whether they are part of the motherboard or installed in a PCI slot.

The system's setup. Because BIOS is customized to the particular system's configuration, systems with the
same BIOS version, but different configurations, may handle the allocation of resources differently.

The PCI devices cannot request specific resources or control the manner in which the BIOS assigns resources.  Resources cannot be jumpered or soft-set by any type of software, including Windows 95, Windows NT or the 3Com Configuration & Diagnostics program.

To Change the IRQ for the 3c90x Family of NICs:
NOTE: If you have questions about configuring IRQs in your system's BIOS, refer to the system's documentation,  or contact your dealer or the system's manufacturer.

NOTE: You cannot manually configure NIC IRQs in Windows 95 or NT. The nature of the PCI device causes the system to display one of the following messages:

In Windows 95 - This resource setting cannot be modified.
In Windows NT - Cannot configure the software component.

In systems with user-configurable PCI settings:

Configure the NICs' IRQs using the BIOS or CMOS utility, a.k.a. the Setup Utility. (Refer to your motherboard vendor,  the computer's documentation, or start the CMOS setup program, for information on the options available.)

The program is usually accessible immediately after the system boots. You may need to use a pre-determined key  or set of keys, i.e. F10, DEL, SHIFT-ALT-ENTER, etc., to access the utility.

In systems without user-configurable PCI settings:

Move the PCI card to a different slot. Sometimes the move causes the system to assign a different IRQ to the card. Update the BIOS. Sometimes a newer BIOS will allow the user to configure the PCI resources.

To Troubleshoot IRQ Conflicts:

Examine the system BIOS.
Move the NIC to a different slot.
Isolate the conflict by removing other PCI devices, such as Video, SCSI, modem, etc.
Try an ISA video adapter.

To View IRQs in the Operating System:

For Windows 95
Right-Click on MY COMPUTER.
Double-click on COMPUTER.
View the 3Com NIC via an Interrupt setting on this screen.

For Windows NT 4.0
Click on IRQ.
View the 3Com NIC via an Interrupt setting, such as El90x.

For DOS 6.x
Type MSD in your DOS directory.

Keywords: Change IRQ, Resource Conflict, Change Interrupt, Configuration, Change the IRQ

C/Dock II Problems

C/Dock specifications -- probably incorrect, should be 3C920

Ethernet Network Controller

Chip Set 3Com 3C916B; 10/100 BASE-TX (PC97-compliant)
Data bus width 32-bit PCI host-bus interface



How do I get my microphone to work when plugged into a Dell™ C-Dock or C-Dock II docking station

How do I get my microphone to work when plugged into a Dell™ C/Dock or C/Dock II docking station?


When connecting a microphone directly to a C/Dock or C/Dock II while the system is docked, the microphone does not work. If the microphone is connected directly to the system while docked, it will function properly.


Windows does not enable the docking microphone by default, but it can be enabled through the Volume Properties menu.


Verify that the latest audio drivers are installed. If they are not, download and install them.

To help you install your operating system, drivers, and related software for your Dell system, view or print step-by-step instructions from the Dell Software Reinstall Guide at:

To enable the docking microphone, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the Start button, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Entertainment, and then click the Volume Control.
    The Volume Control window appears.
  2. Click Options and the click Properties.
  3. Under the Adjust volume for section, click to select Recording.
  4. Under the Show the following volume controls: section, verify that the check box for any listing of mic or microphone is checked and click OK.

    NOTE: The docking microphone may be listed as Microphone 2 or Docked Mic.

At this point, the microphone should function properly when connected directly to the docking station.

For help with specifics on your Dell system, or additional troubleshooting support, search the Dell Support Web site at

Latitude C640 -- C Dock-II Audio problem - Latitude - Audio - Dell Community Forum

Q: Although the internal audio output from my notebook works fine (docked or undocked), I can't seem to get the audio output from the C/Dock II to work. When I initially purchased my notebook, my network administrators insisted on taking Windows XP off, and installing Windows 2000. XP was later installed when the network started supporting it. I know the C/Dock audio worked fine under Win 2000. I think it stopped working when XP was re-installed. I had originally thought this was a hardware problem, but I recently noticed a Knowledge Base article regarding Latitude C600 and C800 portables (Document TT1061041). It addressed this exact problem (loss of C/Dock II audio functionality with upgrading to WinXP), and recommended upgrading the audio driver from the Upgrade Drivers and Utilities CD. Unfortunately, I don't have an Upgrade Drivers and Utilities CD, only a Drivers and Utilities CD that came with the computer that is only for reinstalling drivers, not upgrading them. When I go to upgrade the driver from this CD, it does not offer me the choice recommended in the Knowledge Base article (ESS Maestro 3i (Audio Only)/M3WUA09A). It only offers me a Crystal driver.

Is there a driver that will help me with this problem? If so, how can I find it? Any other suggestions?

Thank you for the help.

A: just install the A02 version and it works just fine.  I just figured it out.




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