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Eclectic-Dean
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Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

My brand new inspiron 660 desktop computer will not detect any of the PCIe TV Tuner cards that I have tried. This includes a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 card (which Dell recommended) and an AVerMedia model# A188 part# MTVHDDuet. The cards are all detected and work in an older e-machines computer but are NOT detected in any of the PCIe slots on the i660. The BIOS has been updated to version A11 and the Mother Board was replaced by a Dell field technician this morning. The TV Tuner cards do no show up in the Windows Device Manager list. If I install the 64-bit Windows-7 drivers manually then they report a code-10 indicating that the cards can not be detected and did not start. A old IEEE 1394 expansion card is detected in the PCIe slots so I am now pretty sure that the problem is some type of software compatibility issue and not two Motherboards with bad PCIe interfaces. I noticed that other people have reported the same problem with the HVR-2250 TV Tuner and the i660 desktop. I also found that the Dell XPS8500 had a problem detecting some PCIe cards which was resolved with version A09 if its BIOS (item #5 on the list of fixes). I have spent a significant amount of money and many hours (actually days worth) of time with Dell's technical support trying to get these cards to be detected and function. At this point, their best advice is to buy a USB TV Tuner card and try that. I was really hoping to get the dual TV Tuners cards to work. Unfortunately, I can no longer take back this computer to OfficeMax for a refund.
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14 Replies
Eclectic-Dean
1 Nickel

RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

Follow-up:

Per Dell's technical support recommendation, I reformatted the hard-drive and re-installed the Windows 7 operating system.  Per their instructions, I only installed the LAN driver from the Dell driver disk.  I then downloaded and installed the latest Chipset drivers from the Dell website.  The HD reformatting was required because the latest Chipset drivers would not install in place of the existing older Chipset drivers.   This did NOT correct the problem.  I am now spending all of my time re-installing programs and backed-up files and trying to remember various software settings and configurations.

Not giving up; I ordered a HVR-2250 TV Tuner card from Dell (after they assured me that it would work).  Thankfully, it was immediately detected and works great.  I did notice that the original HVR-2250 card was marked "REV C3F2" while the newest one from Dell is labeled "REV C4F2" (note 3 versus 4).  I contacted Hauppauge to ask them about the problem.  Their reply was: "The older revision will not be recognized on newer motherboards which use Gen2 or Gen3 PCIe slots."  I  have been unable to find anything related to the PCIe revision compatibility on the Hauppauge web site.

I believe that the Dell Inspiron 660 has Gen2 PCIe slots (because it uses an Intel B75 Chipset).  I thought that the various PCIe revisions are supposed to be backward compatible so that older PCIe v1.x cards will still function in motherboards with later generation 2.0 slots.

At this point I do not know if the problem is with the previous three TV Tuner cards (from two different manufacturers) or the Dell Motherboard hardware or the Intel Chipset or drivers.

Eclectic-Dean
1 Nickel

RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

This is the reply that I received from Hauppauge asking for more information about the defect in their product.  I do not know if this is the same issue with the two other AVerMedia TV Tuner cards that were also not detected....
Hello, 
There is no revision information on the web site.  There was only a small run of HVR-2250 with this particular issue.  When it started to occur we simply swapped out the affected cards.  If you purchased the board within the last 2 years (the warranty period for the card) and can provide proof of purchase we can go ahead and swap the card out for you. 
 
The problem occurs when the PCIe root complex (North bridge of the chipset on the motherboard) and the PCIe end point (in this particular case the NXP chip on our cards) do not finish the training sequence (TS1,TS2) and the bus traffic between the root complex and the end point are keeping busy in a retrain loop. This is caused by the  North Bridge register "Target Link Speed" (TLS ) setting not auto changing from 5Gb/s to 2.5Gb/s, which is required for 1.x backward compatibility.  When the problem cropped up a few years back some motherboard manufactures released new BIOS which corrected the problems but many didn’t bother since the older Gen1 PCIe chipsets were being phased out by manufacturers such as ourselves.
 
Regards,
Ray Rodriguez
Technical Support
Hauppauge Computer Works
New York
http://www.hauppauge.com 
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8 Krypton

RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

Hi Eclectic-Dean,

Good to hear you've resolved it.

Happy New Year!

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Eclectic-Dean
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RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

Happy New Year, indeed.   Dell Technical Support called me again to follow up on the problem.

They wanted the part number and revision code from the first Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 card.  During the conversation I learned some more information:

* The BIOS (& Driver software) is unique to Dell and is NOT the same as the Motherboard's (or hardware) OEM software.

* Only the products purchased from Dell are guaranteed to work with the Dell PCs.  Products from other vendors (even with the same model numbers) may not function properly.

It is too bad that Dell paid to replace my motherboard (and I wasted several days of my time) since the cause of the problem appears to be an incompatibility with how the Dell BIOS handles some older PCIe-1.X cards. 

I must say that I am impressed with how much effort Dell has made to make sure that I am eventually satisfied with their product.  Hopefully Dell's Technical Support will use this experience to help other customers when they have problems moving their older PCIe TV Tuner cards to their new Dell PC.

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8 Krypton

RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

Glad Dell was able to help you sort out this problem.

And thanks for posting the details you learned while exploring the fix. emoticon.Yes.title  Your info will certainly help other users who have reported issues with TV tuner cards.

There seem to have been a number of issues with PCI-e cards, aside from tuner cards, when Intel switched to newer generation processors and chipsets.  Guess the PCi-e card manufacturers didn't keep up. emoticon.Wink.title

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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IrvineDave
1 Copper

RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

Looks like I'm now stuck with a used HVR-2250 that I bought on eBay to use in my New Dell 3847.  Should've bought new for $30 more. Oh well, at least I know what the cause of it not being detected is.  It's detected fine in an older PC I have, FWIW.

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rx35285
1 Nickel

RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

Received a defective HVR-2250 today.  Got apologies from customer support, tech support, etc.  No assurance that the replacement will work.

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rx35285
1 Nickel

RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

The replacement HVR-2250 arrived late last week.  Inspiron 660S will start up with the card installed in either slot.  The PC will NOT start with the card installed in either slot if I shut the PC down and then try to start it.  Nothing happens when the power button is pushed.  I have removed and installed the card several times paying close attention to getting a good connection and installing the mounting screw.

I allowed Dell Tech Support to "remote in".  The card could be seen on the device list so they thought their job was complete.  I'm going to give them one more chance.

I think the software is not fully installed because I want to use the WinTV software and I didn't have the $9.95 disk from Hauppauge.  Hauppauge tech support didn't think software is the issue.  He thought it is a Dell-Hauppauge hardware conflict.

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8 Krypton

RE: Inspiron 660 incompatible with internal TV Tuner cards and possibly many other PCIe cards

You may have a motherboard problem.

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