3Com Etherlink
3C523 Etherlink/MC
   Older versions not compatible with 486+
3C527 Etherlink/MC32
3C529 / 3C529-TP


3C523 Etherlink/MC


3C523  EtherLink/MC
3C523X.EXE V3.3 EtherDisk for ELMC/TP (8193-04) 
3C523N.EXE EtherDisk, 3C523 family w/latest patches, V3.4. 

3c523 Versions not Compatible with 486+
   The "old" 3C523 have a copyright date of 1987 on them and will only work properly in a 286 or 386. From my expiriences, it will only let the first 8MB RAM be usable no matter how much RAM you have installed.  The newer revision will have a 1990 or 1991 date on it.

From Peter
   Fact is: some series of the older Ethernet/MC have a microcode incompatible with 486-processors. (Bus signalling most likely - haven't tested that in depth)
   Symptom: they worked fine as long as they were used in Mod. 70/80 - but when the customer swapped them to the new bought 76/77 they went belly up and did not even pass the DOS-based diags test.
   These are older ones produced before 1990 - but ironically not all old cards are automatically affected. There was a diagnostic program available from 3COM (I think it came with the revised E/MC) which checks the microcode level and warns for possible incompatibilities. In addition some of the setup / diags and driver software had a problem with later OS-versions (did not run properly under PC-DOS 4.x and above due to "version conflict"). Whatever.

Component Differences, Old vs. New
>Is that a 3C523? ISTR that those (or most of them, anyway) wouldn't  work properly in anything  than a 386.

The original 3C-523 has a limitiation - the later ones (3C-523B) hasn't. Roughly the two can be differed by looking on the board:

Old Model
   Round "transformer", many "through-hole" chips and "classical" resistors, long DIL "i" (Intel) 82586 MCU, "(C) 1987 3Com" at frontside

New Model
  Square "3Com" transformer, mainly SMD chips with square QFP "i" Intel 82586 MCU, "(C) 1991 3Com" along the bottom/front.

The old one will most likely not run with anything bigger than a 386DX - the new one hasn't got this problem. Works with 486 and Pentium. Both cards have the same card-ID and use the same ADF, so you cannot tell which is which by the ID only.



3C527  EtherLink/MC 32
@0041.ADF - 3Com EtherLink/MC 32 Ethernet Adapter 
1B CSROM.EVN 5613-33
2B CSROM.ODD 5613-34
2D 80C186-12
5D 3Com 6399-01
6B 25.0000 MHz Osc
7B 2EEF7D
8D 82586-10
11C 3Com 6400-03
13D 3Com 6401-04
14D 3Com 6428-01
NE1 Neon Lamp
P1 AUI
P2 BNC
3C527X.EXE V3.3 Etherdisk for Etherlink MC/32 
3C527N.EXE E-disk version 3.4, includes NT driver
WFW501.EXE 3C501 or 3C527 (self extracting) 

WHY can't people use the standard "U" designation for ICs?



3C529 / 3C529-TP Etherlink III
@627C.ADF 3Com 3C529 Network Adapter 


Image from 3com
@627D.ADF - 3Com 3C529-TP Network Adapter 


Image from 3com

3C529 EtherLink III MCA
3C5X9X.EXE  V4.3 EtherDisk for 3C579 /3C529 Etherlink III  NIC
5X9C32.EXE  ODI-32 driver for EtherLink III 3C5x9 adapters
5X9UW.EXE Unsupported Unixware drivers for the 3C5X9 Ad
5X9NW.EXE EtherLink III 3C5x9 family NetWare 2.x server drivers, and IPX.COM workstation shell driver, with LANPATCH utility.

NIC Main Page

9595 Main Page

529-TP Network Adapter 


Image from 3com

3C529 EtherLink III MCA
3C5X9X.EXE  V4.3 EtherDisk for 3C579 /3C529 Etherlink III  NIC
5X9C32.EXE  ODI-32 driver for EtherLink III 3C5x9 adapters
5X9UW.EXE Unsupported Unixware drivers for the 3C5X9 Ad
5X9NW.EXE EtherLink III 3C5x9 family NetWare 2.x server drivers, and IPX.COM workstation shell driver, with LANPATCH utility.

NIC Main Page

9595 Main Page