Installing Windows 95: Xircom parallel port ethernet adapter
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Installing Windows 95:
Xircom parallel port ethernet adapter

Parallel port network adapters

Parallel port network adapters are available from a small number of manufacturers, for both token ring and ethernet networks. Plugging in to a standard 25-pin parallel port, these adapters allow virtually any PC to be connected to a network, regardless of its bus architecture or lack of expansion ports.

The most common of these adapters is the Xircom PE series of ethernet adapters. I purchased two of these recently from Doug Mashek. If you're not using the same device as me, the following instructions should still be generally applicable.

Windows 95 driver installation

First, download the latest drivers for your adapter from www.xircom.com. The latest version available when I checked was v3.53.

  1. Execute PS2 _@LPT BI from a DOS prompt to set the parallel port to basic bi-directional mode
  2. Control Panel - Add new hardware - have disk, feed in latest driver diskette
  3. Select manufacturer Xircom (not OEM) - select PE3 Win95
  4. Shut down and restart - you must fully power off to ensure the PE3 is properly reset
  5. My Computer - Properties - check parallel port (LPT1) driver installed & note the I/O & IRQ resources used
  6. Control Panel - Network - Xircom PE3 - Properties - Advanced - set resources to the ones you noted for the parallel port (probably IRQ 7, I/O 3BC)
  7. Check protocol bindings, identification & addressing all as required - depends on your network protocols etc.
  8. Shut down and restart (power off then on again)
  9. The Xircom adapter should be working now - any remaining networking problems are (hopefully) to do with your selections made at step 7.

A few caveats spring to mind:

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Written by Daniel Basterfield. Images found on the internet. Enjoy!