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Field Notice: CDP Driver Has Binding Problem with ICM 4.5A, NT 4.x, and Certain PC Hardware

March 1, 2002

Products Affected


ICM, NAM with version 4.5A

Problem Description

There is a flaw with the Windows NT 4.x driver installation process which fails to properly bind the Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) driver to an adapter card on certain hardware configurations. The improperly bound driver is causing blue screens.


CDP is a device discovery protocol that runs on all Cisco manufactured equipment (that is, routers, bridges, communication servers, WBU switches, and so on). Each device sends periodic messages to a multicast address. Each receiver enabled device listens to the periodic messages sent by others in order to learn about neighboring devices and determine when their interfaces to the media go up or down. All Cisco ICM server nodes install the CDP protocol driver as a send only device. This enables neighboring CDP aware devices to discover the ICM nodes.

  • Cisco devices (and other devices which implement CDP) need to discover each other in a protocol/media independent way.

  • Network management applications need to dynamically discover Cisco devices which are neighbors of already known devices, especially neighbors which implement lower layer "transparent" protocols.

  • Network management applications can retrieve the device type and SNMP agent address of neighboring devices. This enables the applications to subsequently send SNMP queries to the neighboring devices.

  • There are a number of other protocols which need to know if and when that protocol is enabled on a neighboring device. Rather than have each such protocol send its own periodic "hello" message, such "hello" messages can be piggy-backed on CDP packets.

  • IT managers and analysts can use tools that support the CDP information, such as CiscoWorks 2000, for configuration monitoring, topology discovery, and fault analysis.

Problem Symptoms

ICM 4.5A CDP driver install error can result in blue screen.


When installing ICM 4.5A software on a Windows NT 4.x system for the first time, we highly recommended that you first pre-install the CDP driver using the following procedure:

  1. Insert the ICM 4.5A CD and select the \DRIVERS\NT4\CDP folder. Copy the entire contents of the folder to a folder on the local hard disk. For example, C:\CDPINSTALL.

  2. Rename the CDPSETUP.INF file to OEMSETUP.INF.

  3. Launch the Network Configuration tool by right-clicking on the Network Neighborhood icon located on the desktop and select Properties from the drop-down menu.

  4. Select the Protocols tab and then click the Add... button. A dialog will appear with a list of available options.

  5. Click the Have Disk... button. A dialog will appear requesting the path to the source installation files. Enter the path to the directory that you created in step 1. For example, C:\CDPINSTALL. Click the OK button.

  6. The Select OEM Option dialog will appear listing a single option for the Cisco Discovery Protocol. Highlight this item and then click the OK button. This will install the necessary CDP software. The Cisco Discovery Protocol will now be visible in the Protocols tab. Click the OK button to close the Network Configuration tool. The binding process will now occur and you will be asked to restart the computer.

  7. Click OK to restart the system. Once the system has restarted, you can proceed with installing the 4.5A ICM software.

Although you may never encounter a problem if you simply run the ICM 4.5A installation without doing the steps outlined above, we still highly recommended that you follow the procedure as described. This will ensure that the driver is properly bound to the network adapter(s) on your system. The ICM 4.5A install will detect that the CDP driver is currently installed and will not attempt to re-install and re-bind the driver.

The new driver detects for invalid or missing bindings and no longer causes a blue screen. The driver will log an error to the Event Viewer noting that it can't start due to a failure and will gracefully exit.


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ICM 4.5A CDP driver install error can result in blue screen

For More Information

If you require further assistance, or if you have any further questions regarding this field notice, please contact the Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center (TAC) by one of the following methods: