Wonderware, MB Plus ISA SA85 and WinNT


Thread Starter


Hi all,
I'm upgrading our Wonderware from ver. 5.1b running on a Windows 3.1 machine to WW ver. 7.1 on a Win NT4 (SP6) machine with an ISA SA85 card (Modbus Plus). This machine also has an internet connection via an ethernet NIC card. I loaded Modicon's MB+ Driver Suite 4.20 and was able to see all the nodes in our network. Then I loaded Wonderware and it's license. Next I loaded our existing application at which time WW converted it to this 32 bit version and all seemed well. Then I loaded WW's MB+ I/O server and entered the topics, slave path's and stuff the same as the old version was. I thought everything was going well but was not getting any live data. I viewed the Event Log and it said CARD SA85:0 Not Found, Bad NCB_LANA_NUM device not found. So I tried changing the address on the card (and in the MBX configuration) from D0000 to D8000 then C8000 and I get a message on startup that there was a driver failure. The Event log says "Test validating that MbpDrv0 was really a Modbus Plus adaptor card failed. The device is assumed not to be a Modbus Plus device and will be deleted." So what the hay am I doing wrong here? Should I just keep trying different addresses for the card or is there something else I'm missing here?
I've heard it mentioned in the past that the Wonderware and Modicon drivers don't coexist well. I remember someone telling me to use the programming software, you had to stop the Wonderware driver and start the Modicon one, and to use Wonderware, you had to stop the Modicon driver and use the one provided by Wonderware. Not sure if this is still the case, you might want to try it and find out.


William Hinton Sr. Electrical Engineer @

Windows NT and 2000 require an updated version of the SA85 card. The new number is 416NHM30030 for a PCI bus and 416NHM21234 for the PCMCIA version. Older versions of SA85 cards work just as you described, they just set there dumb and unhappy.
The SA85 WILL work with Windows NT 4. It will not work with Windows 2000. Windows 2000 does not support the ISA bus cards, only the plug and play PCI card. Windows XP has no support for ISA cards at all, the ISA bus is retired. So there you'll need a PCI card.

But the SA85 WILL work with Windows NT 4 and the latest drivers.

Thank you for the replies. I did get the system working today, WinNT 4.0 with ISA SA85 card. I do realize this is the end of the line for the ISA card, but hey, I just upgraded from a 66 mHz 486 machine with Windows 3.1 and InTouch version 5.1b to a 400 mHz Pentium II with WinNT and InTouch version 7.1 so this is a step in the right direction for us. The problem I was having turned out to be the fact that I had set the MBX driver to start automatically on startup. After I stopped it from running and set it to manual the problem disappeared. I did have to reload the WW MB+ I/O server because I found that the ModbusPlus.sys driver was missing (I guess that was what the viewer log was saying). I guess I had a misperception as to the need for the MBX driver suite to run Wonderware with the ISA card. Thank you very much CK for sending me in the right direction.

Richard Theron - FieldServer

Hi Chris

Using a FieldServer bridge with the Modbus+ and Modbus TCP/IP, a connection can be made to Wonderware running on any platform. For further information please have a look at http://www.fieldserver.com


Brian Nguyen

That might be true for the ISA card, but not the PCI-85. Wonderware MBPlus IO server requires the MBX driver, therefore you can run both drivers at the same time. If you have a dual channel PCI-85 card, then you can run both MBPlus IO server and Modicon PLC programming software at the same time, each using one channel. The reason is because you can't share one channel for both drivers.
I am sorry (or pleased as the case may be) that the above information is not correct.
I have a SOYO P41845PEISA pentium 4 motherboard with 1 X ISA slot running Windows XP Pro, Modbus Plus and Wonderware Intouch. I have installed the SA85 ISA card into the ISA slot, loaded the latest MBX drivers and am happy to say Intouch is communicating with the PLC via Modbus plus and the SA85 card. So don't go throwing away that SA85 ISA card as it can still be used.

Joseph Quinn

Fact: I have just updated all of my InTouch MMIs to version 9.0 and I am using Windows XP and the legacy ISA SA85 Modbus Plus Card (saving $1400 per machine). I am using version 4.2b of the WinCon X driver from Modicon with the latest version of the InTouch I/O driver for Modbus Plus. All of the MMIs are working just fine.
Could you please tell me what Drivers you used to run the SA-85 ISA on Windows XP? Thnak you for your help.