There is not going to be a way for you to update to 488.2. A 488.2 controller is compatible with older versions anyway.
You said that there is an error message/code on the instrument. The manual should explain what that code means. Have you experimented at all with the 488.2 timing settings of the controller? You can adjust those in MAX. You can also psecify the termination. New instruments just require that EOI be asserted. Older instruments might also require another character such as a CR or LF. You can set the controller to add those as well.
I think Dennis is on the right track.
There aren't supposed to be any electrical incompatibilities between your old card and new card. There also shouldn't be any differences with the data being transferred over the bus, assuming you are configure the cards the same way.
The most likely difference is timing. We've seen a lot of older GPIB instruments that can only consume commands so fast--if you try to send the commands too quickly, they will give errors.
There are many ways to affect the timing... even to the point of putting delays in your code to account for the problems with the instrument firmware.
To understand why my Mux device display in his Front panel an error (LED), I have use an GPIB analyser GPIB-410.
The problem is that, when my Mux device display this error, it is not possible to send a new command. I have to swtich off the device.
This is the data generate by my old GPIB card :
'?' EOI ATN SRQ
‘ ‘ DAB
LF DAB EOI
LF EOI ATN
For information MY DEVICE ORDER string is : 1 Y1;
I program with LabView 8.2. Is it possible to build this message ?
Thanks for your help.