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Setup MS Client 3.0 with 3COM 3C905B-TX (V0.4)
Author: Johnson Lam


I've tried several times to install a 3C905B-TX card in all kinds of DOS environment but failed. During installation MS Client ask me to insert "Windows for Workgroup". HEY! I'm not installing WFW! ... Sometimes I can finish the installation but MS Client complain "Fail to bind", I got mad! What the hell with 3COM and M$!!

After spending lots of time to test, finally I got a solution, now running with MS Client with 409K base memory which good enough to run most of the DOS programs.


1) NIC : 3COM 3C905B-TX
2) MS Client 3.0 : Can be download from M$'s server, it's free to use personally. Extract the zip files into floppy disks
3) NIC Driver : For safety, download both Disk1 and Disk2
4) Text Editor : Actually delete two lines only

MS Client or LAN Manager's file don't exist in driver!

Congratulations! Finally you know why I need to write this ...

Here's few simple step to solve the problem:

1) Extract the 3COM "3C90X2" into a floppy disk
2) Goto into directory "NDIS2/DOS"
3) Open the file "OEMSETUP.INF" with your favorite editor
4) You'll see the lines below

;; 3Com Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Inf file for 3Com EtherLink PCI NICs (3C90X)
;; Copyright (c) 3Com Corporation, 1991-1998
;; %VER v5.1.0


    1 = \wfw311 ,"3Com EtherCD for 3Com EtherLink PCI NICs", el90x.38_

;  key = description, MSID, type, media, mode, install, protini, style
tcm$el90x="3Com EtherLink PCI NICs (3C90X)",0,ndis,ethernet,0x07,tcm$el90x, tcm$el90x_nif

; 3Com Fast EtherLink XL / Etherlink XL Adapter.

param      =DriverName,"",static,"el90x$"
slot      =SLOT,"Adapter Slot Number", int,"1,64,1",1,0x32

The whole file contain only a few sentence, wait a minute ... this is not for DOS? This is an .INI file for Windows 3.11 workgroups! That's right, but don't worry, since Windows 3.11 is run ON top of DOS, all we need is is to modify it for MS Client.

Now look at the section [tcm$el90x], DOS only need the NDIS2 driver, so others can be deleted (ndis3 and mlid).

ndis3=1:el90x.386 <--- Delete
ndis2=1:el90x.dos <--- Delete

Remove the whole line and save this file.

Now you can run MS Client "setup" from the floppy disk, when it show a list of NIC, choose "*Network adapter not shown on list below ..." and insert the 3COM driver disk, after some files copy and everything will be done within minutes, that's it!


MS Client will ask you about optimize memory (maximize memory for application) or manually. Please let it did the job, after it changed your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT, take a look into both file, you can squeeze a bit more memory by manually loadhi, but it may or may not working depending on the hardware or driver itself:



They work properly in my system even loaded high, if you fail to login after loading them high, please let me know.


In several combination of DOS and hardware, sometimes the drivers will fail! I've failed to load MS Client in FreeDOS environment, luckily I got a solution from FreeDOS developer Tom Ehlert:


Freedos EMM386 doesn't support VDS yet, and NET.EXE tries 'auto load high'
try "LH /L: NET INIT"
to force loading of network driver into low memory.

[End Quote]

Thanks Tom! When any driver got choked, try 'LH /L:'.

** Revise in v0.4, now JEMM386 (fork from FD-EMM386) have a complete implementation of VDS and much better compatibility, please download from Japheth's homepage (in my 'Links' page), you may not need to force loading low the "NET.EXE".

Revision History
0.42006-12-01 Page now in HTML format.

Now target for generic DOS environment, that means this document can apply to other popular DOS such as Enhanced DR-DOS and LZDOS ... etc.
0.32005-07-14 Minor changes to text and layout
0.22004-07-29 Workaround for LOADHI issue
0.12004-03-26 Initial release