Some of what you may not know about the NEC Ready 7022
So you've got a Ready machine and you're having problems that the built in help,
well, doesn't help. Now what?
Here're a few titbits that I've run into over the last few years. Sections are
divided into general problems, reinstalls and upgrades
- Can't quit the call manager when you want to use the bundled copy of
Explorer or Netscape? Use the right mouse button over the iconfied button that
represents it in the tool bar along the bottom and select the close option. It
- Trying to plug anything into the second serial port? Go into the BIOS
settings that appear on boot up. Select the "Advanced Options", go to
"Integrated Peripherals", go to the COM B Mode option and select "Serial Port"
instead of "IrCD". This enables it. A word of warning -- if you use the Infrared
controller and port B simultaneously, you stand an excellent chance of crashing
- Added a PnP card which won't work? Remove it (physically) and its drivers,
and then open the Control Panel. Choose the System Settings icon. Then select
the Device Manager Tab, then double click on the Computer icon. Finally choose
the IRQ settings and see if you have an entry with the words "In use by an
unidentified device." If you do, try to set the card onto a different IRQ --
Windows 95 doesn't appear to notice that when installing PnP cards resulting in
them not working.
- If you're online, *don't* whistle into the supplied microphone. It's still
alive and will knock you offline if you do (experience talking here :))
- If you're playing an audio CD the the sound seems very echoey, double click
on the little speaker icon to the bottom right of the title bar; that brings up
the sound control window. Click on advanced. Unselect the SRS-3D checkbox.
- Want to run "Command and Conquer: Red Alert" or any other DirectX game on
your Ready? NEC does not support DirectX at all and it appears Microsoft's
distribution pack does not come with DirectX drivers that work. Fortunately Alliance Semiconductor, the makers of the
Ready's Promotion graphics
hardware, do. NEC in their infinite wisdom seem to use the generic drivers
written for the ProMotion 6422, so feel free to grab ALSC's update. It
works fine here, but you will need to adjust your monitor settings slightly. To
use it, unarchive, and then go to the control panel. Use the change driver
option and go to the directory you unarchived in. There should be one file there
that's highlighted so choose that. Then save your settings and watch some games
- It's not that easy though -- DirectX requires sound drivers too and our good
fiends over at OPTi don't do DirectX sounddrivers for the NEC's sound chips...
- You can upgrade the NEC to Windows'98. I strongly recommend starting with a
fresh install of Windows'95 from the Recovery CD. Do not change the drivers if
you can help it. The newer ones do work, but seem to be a bit flakey.
- You can install Windows NT 4, but don't ever expect to get it working
- Messed up install? Can't get the CD-ROM to reinstall the software
successfully? The easiest answer (which isn't mentioned anywhere) is to
*un*write protect the boot floppy. Otherwise you get a bizarre write protection
error message which doesn't lead you anywhere.
- Want to do a selective reinstall? Under DOS you can't. You can only restore
the applications or completely reformat and reinstall everything. Under Win95
you can do the same thing including most of the Windows files -- with the
exception of files currently in use which are typically the ones you want to
replace. It's pretty bogus, but that's NEC for you.
- For what it's worth, the Recovery CD can be used on the 7022, 9012, 9022,
9522 and 9532.
- Font list completely messed up? Deinstall the Plus pack. It doesn't seem to
like Corel Draw 6 too much.
- Reinstalled from something other thn the Recovery CD and you don't have any
drivers? Take a look at generic drivers for the Promotion 6422 on the Alliance Semiconductor page
for the screen, or on the Opti web site for the sound card drivers.
Update: Opti has sold off their sound division to Creative Labs (yes,
them of the Soundblaster) so their site is down at the moment and heaven knows
where any of the drivers are now...
- No, the CD-ROM is not connected to the Soundboard. It's connected to the
second IDE controller.
You could finally email NEC's Ready Technical
Support group. The quality is sporadic -- last time I used it, it was
excellent; previously it worse than useless. Good luck.
- Yes, the Ready does support the faster EDO SIMMs. You can mix and match
regular SIMMs and EDO SIMMS on the same motherboard, but only in pairs (i.e. two
regular and two EDO). You do however lose the speed advantage of the EDO
- If you can't run the machine in a decent high colour resolution, you need to
add more memory. I believe the machine only ships with a 1 megabyte graphics
board which is serviceable, but not overly usable. To upgrade it, you need two
256 KB by 16 DRAM modules. This information is in the online guide, but it's
nicely hidden. As far as the printed booklet goes, you may as well burn it for
all the good it does...
- You can only upgrade the processor to 100MHz. Any faster and your
motherboard doesn't like you. Since games seem to be moving to 90MHz Pentiums as
the *minimum* speed, that really doesn't bode much of a future for the machine.
To change the speed of the machine from 75MHz to 100MHz you have two choices:
first, you can overclock the P75 chip. That's what I've done here. It's easy
enough to do. Turn off the machine, open up the case, look to the top left of
the motherboard for a jumper labled 75/100 and set it to 100. Then turn the
machine back on and use it for a few hours. If the machine starts randomly
hanging, you'll have to replace the CPU to get the extra speed. If it doesn't
and the heatsink (that big spikey thing) doesn't get too hot, you ought to be
safe. If you want to replace the chip, go and buy a Pentium 100 PGA chip, open
up the case, unlatch the heatsink which then allows you to pop out the old
processor, insert the new chip and reverse the procedure. Big warning: please
don't do this while you're a) not grounded b) the machine is on...
- For what it's worth some people have actually figured out a way of getting
the computer to run faster. The Kingston Turbochip is apparently compatible and
runs at 200MHz on the motherboard's 100MHz setting. Please note that *only* the
chip will take advantage of that speed and any thing touching the L2 cache of
the PCI/ISA slots will slow down. Thanks to Doug Weaver
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for this one (I've not tried it, so
flames to him!)
- Another way of increasing the speed of the machine is to increase the Bus
speed used by the machine. There's a jumper in the centre of the motherboard
between the VRAM slots and the two Intel PCI chips. Settings are 50 (default),
60, or 66. The bus speed is independent of the CPU speed but check for
unreliability to see if you can safely run it faster. Normally problems will
crop up with poorly designed ISA or PCI cards first. Thanks to DrMac (email@example.com) for that one.
- Adding extra drives to the Ready is fairly easy. The default set up is with
the 1GB harddrive on the first IDE controller and the CD-ROM on the second. To
add one extra drive, just set its jumper settings to slave and plug it in on the
same cable as the first drive -- you may need to get a new IDE cable as some
Readys came with single connector cables. To add a third drive you'll need to
remove the CD-ROM, set its jumpers to make it a slave, set the jumpers on the
new drive to a master and plug them both back in on the second IDE controller.
Once you've done that, go into the BIOS settings (F2 at the NEC boot screen),
choose the appropriate entry (typically IDE Adapter 0 slave), hit enter and let
the autoconfig do the rest. Then save the BIOS settings and continue merrily on
your way. You may need to use Win95's Fdisk program to prepare the new drive for
use and then format it, but typically EIDE/IDE drives these days come with that
- Now for some Win95/NT related stuff about larger harddrives. Under the
Ready's BIOS, the largest supported partition size is 2GB. You can add larger
drives than that but that's the largest contiguous amount of space you can have.
However, it really is better to keep the partitions to 1GB or below. Under FAT16
(the Win95 main file system) the entire drive is mapped into a specific block
size. The larger the partition the larger each block is -- with a 2GB partition
each block is 32k; with a 1GB partition each block is 16k; with a 512MB
partition it's 8k. The main issue here is that small files (even if smaller than
a block) will take an entire block. It's possible for 800MB of small files to
eat up an entire 2GB partition... Large partitions are only really needed if
you're handling lots of large files and why you'd be trying to do that on an
underpowered Ready 7022 is beyond me... :)
- Want to replace the integrated
Promotion video board altogether? As far as I know it's possible as the BIOS
acknowledges that an ISA video card can be used. I've not done it and I don't
know about PCI support. If anyone else has managed this, let me know.
- There's no BIOS upgrade I'm aware of.
If you have any other tips or suggestions, please submit them via this form. Please note this is not an NEC sponsored site,
and I am not an NEC tech support person. If I get another flame addressed at me
about the irritating points of the Ready system I'm going to get rather annoyed.
Oh, all upgrade suggestions, etc, are done at your risk. I take no
responsibility for anything evil that might happen.
Return to the Ready main page. This page was last
updated on the 9th of June 2000.