I've just installed 10/100 network cards in each of two PCs. One is a P3-866, Asus CUSL2-C, 256 SDRAM, Win98 (first edition). The other is a Cyrix 166+, god knows what mobo, 32MB RAM, Win95. The main purposes of this network were to share a printer and a (dialup) internet connection.
Both NICs are plugged into a Netgear 10BaseT hub. I've installed all the relevant drivers and (I think) all the relevant protocols; the two computers appear on each other's Network Neighbourhoods. I tested the network first of all by creating shared folders on each, and dropping files across. Transferring a file from the Win95 machine to the 98 machine worked fine. When I tried to do the reverse (not the same file, unfortunately... the scientific-methodology part of my brain was not functioning at the time), it got part of the way, then the 98 machine froze. Keyboard and mouse did nothing. After a few seconds (including frantic Ctrl-Alt-Delling, but see below) it rebooted.
I decided to dismiss this as a fluke, and tried to get printer sharing working. The 95 computer could see the printer (on the 98 machine), but when I tried to install it as a network printer, it froze at the copying-drivers-across stage. (It got about 20% of the way through the transfer before the 98 comp froze.) Then, without my taking any action, the 98 PC rebooted itself.
I assumed that ICS wouldn't work, since that would presumably involve the sharing computer to send data... I did manage to play a few rounds of Hearts across the network and it didn't crash, so I guess it may be related to the size of the transfer in some way...
I didn't have time to perform as many tests as I would have liked, but I'm guessing that either the 98 comp has problems sending data, or the 95 comp has problems receiving it.
Both computers are quite stable, and everything else still works as it did before I installed the NICs. I have in the past had an odd problem with the 98 comp, where the (optical) mouse cursor would suddenly start jerking, as if Windows were running at 10fps, and then freeze completely. (Symptomatically somewhat similar to the current problem, though occuring at different points.) I was able to "fix" it by plugging various USB devices (Zip, scanner, printer) into different USB ports (?), and using the PS2 converter for the USB mouse. I never worked out why this was happening, and it has (once) recurred with the rearranged setup.
Could this be some kind of PCI problem? (Guessing completely here.) Or does anybody have any ideas as to why this might be happening, or how to fix it? If you need more information, I'll be happy to provide it. I don't have access to these two comps at the moment, unfortunately, so I can't try any solutions straight away.
I would appreciate any suggestions.