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4 Com Ports (Serial) with Win 95

Posted on 1997-09-28
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Question by:McDorman
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magigraf earned 250 total points
ID: 1697530
Tom,
It looks to me that you do have a conflict, you have not only to check the IRQ's but also the ADDRESSE's which may cause the problem.

First:
======
You said that you don't have any jumper on your modem, that's fine beacuse most of today's modems are jumperless, and this would mean that the modem came with a utility disk which will allow you in DOS mode to set the IRQ and address you want for the modem.

Two:
====

In my opinion you should have your modem set to IRQ3, COM2, 2F8, this is where your modem should not conflict with other devices (hopefully).
You should let then windows detect the other devices and set IRQ's, addresse's automaticly after you setting the modem on com2

I would want you to try this and post your result.

I just asked you on the mouse question to remove all the mouses driver and let windows detect it. Post also what happened.

Regards

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by:McDorman
ID: 1697531
Magi,

I am at work while reading this. I will test this when I get home.  I am 14 hours ahead of California time.

I did check both the IRQ's and addresses.  Each one showed up as follows.

Device    Com    IRQ    Address
Modem      1      4      3F8      Hayes Accura Internal Modem
Port 1     2      3      2F8      Visoneer Keyboard Scanner
I/O Card   3      4      3E8      Nothing attached
Port 2     4      3      2E8      Label Printer

The Device Manager says that the conflict ocurrs due to IRQ being used by another device.  (Not the exact words used, but it meant the I/O card was using IRQ4)

I have looked for a utility application on the floppy without avail.  I will look again.

Write to you again soon.

McD
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697532
McD...

I need you to do something for me, it's not a gift but I need it for me to be able to help you:

1) Click on Start
2) Select Settings
3) Control Panel
4) Double click on the System Icon
5) Click on the Device Manager Tab
6) Highlight Computer or anything else if you have changed it's name.
7) Click on PROPERTIES
** There you'll see four radio buttons which the first one selected is:
  a) Interupt Request (IRQ)
then you have:-
  b) Input/Output (I/O)
  c) Direct Memory Access (DMA)
  d) Memory

Up to here it's fine, the tedious part is to copy each one and post it here for me to consult.

I am positif that the problem could be fixed easily once we straigten up these IRQ's, addresse's etc...

I know it's frustrating, but this is some routine that I have to go through to get you out of there.

Regards


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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697533
Tom: Disable the Com port on the I/O card. If you can't do that physically on the card, then go into device manager and scroll down to that device and click on the "+" sign and check the assignments. If windows shows the com port as part of the I/O device, then click on the Com port itself (within windows) and disable the I/O card com port device. This should bring your modem back on-line.

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by:magigraf
ID: 1697534
Dew...
Right you are, but I wanted to make sure that they will be no more conflicts somewhere else.
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697535
Magi,

I tried to find a utility that came with my modem to change the com setting.  No luck.  So, I started over and removed the modem and I/O card.  I manually set physical port 1 to Com 1, IRQ 4, 3F8, then physical port 2 to Com 2, IRQ 3, 2F8. Then I installed the I/O card, rebooted and made it Com 3.  So Far so good.  I removed all the drivers for the modem, shut down, and reinstalled the modem and rebooted.  It found the modem and automatically assigned IRQ 5, and 0100h-0107h.  IRQ was previously held by my dual channel SCSI card, but now it is shown twice on IRQ 9.  I think this is just fine, due to its 2 channels.  Everything works!!!  Just for an education, I did try to set the modem to be Com 4, IRQ 3, but it did not like that.  So my last comment, or question is:  What happened to Com 4?

Many thanks to the thoughts and possibilites that you have helped to initiate in my mind.  Please let me know your thoughts on Com 4 and I will complete the grade tomorrow.

Regards,

McD
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697536
Maggi,

I will write down all the items you requested tomorrow.  Wow, its a lot of stuff.  Interestingly enough, there are some small blue "i's" showing up. Now what?  Shall I post as another question, or add to this one?

McD
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697537
Add to it, why waste points.
We wanna solve your problems. By the way that should take care in the same time of your Kensington mouse problems.
Regards
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697538
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697539
McD: First, you need to undestand how your Bios and Windows works together to handle COM and LPT ports. Starting with the Motherboard and Bios, your system has only (1) LPT port and only (2) Com ports. Some Bios versions will permit (2) additional COM ports, however they must not cross or be accessed at the same moment, eg: to modems, one on COM 1 and one COM 3.
On the other hand, when you enable PnP Aware in the Bios (if available) Windows is capable of setting up *addtional* "virtual" COM ports, 3 through 8.
When you hard coded COM ports 1 and 2 and then set the I/O card to COM 3, you disabled Windows ability to create virtual ports in the initial COM area, eg: COM 1 through 4.
There is a way to correct this, however it takes some patience, possibly several reboots and maybe a search or two with the add new hardware feature in control panel.

1. Shutdown your system and remove the I/O card.

2. Check you Bios/Cmos setup and enable Plug n Play Aware if it isn't already.

3. In your Bios/Cmos setup, set your two COM ports to Auto or PnP depending on what type of Bios you have.

4. Let windows 95 assign the COM ports for your keyboard, Modem and Label printer. This may take a couple of restarts and maybe a "find new hardware" search, but windows will set it correctly.

5. Once you have the three items noted running properly, either disable the COM port on the I/O card or let windows find both the LPT port and the COM port, and in device manager, disable the COM port on the I/O card.

6. Presuming that windows has eventually found everything, you should have a *virtual* COM 4 available for something else and the small circle with question marks in device manager should go away!

What's this about a Kennsington mouse?

Best regards,
Dennis
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697540
Dennis,

Very informative about "virtual" and *addtional* "Virtual" Com ports.  Since my system is working with Com 1-3, and 5, if I were to shut down and reset the Com ports in Bios to Auto, would my system re-establish the correct ports? (In your opinion).  I will try and let you know, then I will try your other suggestion above.

Does anyone know of a good handbook on this stuff?

Thank you and regards,

McD
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697541
Dennis,

Very informative about "virtual" and *addtional* "Virtual" Com ports.  Since my system is working with Com 1-3, and 5, if I were to shut down and reset the Com ports in Bios to Auto, would my system re-establish the correct ports? (In your opinion).  I will try and let you know, then I will try your other suggestion above.

Does anyone know of a good handbook on this stuff?

Thank you and regards,

McD
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697542
The Windows 95 Resource kit is an excellent source for this information. Give it a shot McD.
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697543
Oops, sorry bout that McD. Yes, reset the Bios/Cmos, but note the way I set that procedure up.
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697544
Magi, Guys,

Am I asking for big trouble if I were to add multiport Com and Parallel port card?  The one I am looking at allows Interrupt Sharing, has 4 Com, and 2 Parallel ports.  Sounds great in the catalog.  Or, I may be better off with a network for my printers, but I don't know if I can run multiple Serial devices from a Network...yet.
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697545
McD...

Frankly everyone has his opinion, but I still prefer using the A/B box for printers specially when you want to avoid trouble in solving these IRQ's and Adresses's problem.  I do recommend them to all my clients who do not wish to have someone open their computers install a second LPT card etc...

Now your unit sound interesting, but like others, in the catalog they say it's great and the reality remain a question mark.  I have no experience with such a device and therefor I sustain giving you an opinion regarding this subject.

Regards
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697546
McD: Mag has his opinion as I am sure we all do, but frankly a plain vanilla LPT I/O card will work just fine. They normally run anywhere from $22 to $39 depending on who makes it and they bolt right up as long as your sure all other resources are setup properly and have a succession of boots that affirm windows has installed everything properly.
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697547
Affirmative Dew.
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697548
Dew,

The issue with a simple I/O Card is that I have 5 serial devices, and 4 parallel devices.  I do not need to use all at the same time, and I did consider a switch box.  However, a friend of mine who is a PC king of guy advices against it.  He also advices against what I have already done.  But my goal is to become my own expert on PC's and trial is my best way of learning.  I really want to understand what it takes to get several Com ports, and LPT ports installed on my PC.  Once I have this mastered, I plan to switch to Win NT, or more likely buy another PC and implement NT on it.  I understand that NT will really  be challenging!  That's how I learn, plus exchanging communication with you guys.  

What are the pro's and con's of the swithing box versus the fancy I/O card?  Is there any technical reason my friend is justified in advising me not to use an A/B type box?  Obviously a box means one item at a time.  Is switching while the computer is on an issue?  I know that disconnecting a SCSI connection while "hot" can cause serious damage to the SCSI card and/or the motherboard.   Are there similar risks with the A/B card?

TTFN, (ta ta for now)

McD
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697549
McD...
Is your question to Dew, or anybody can answer??
I'm running an A/B/C/D box here with four printers plus an A/B box for mouse and Keyboard.
Regards
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697550
Magi,

I am sorry, anyone can answer if it is ok with you.  I swear that I had typed your name also, but it obviously is not there.  Sorry.  I was replying to Dew only because of his comment earlier.  I will take all the help I can get, and do not mean to exclude you, or anyone else.

TTFN,

McD
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697551
Magi, Dew

I just left a message on my mouse issue, but will briefly repeat it here.  I found a setting in my BIOS which indicates "PNP OS Installed"  Yes or No  My system was set to "no!"  Do I fix it and reintalled all my hardware?  Award BIOS.  Is there a good reference on BIOS settings?  The manual provided is vague at best!

Regards

McD

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by:magigraf
ID: 1697552
McD...

I'll post this message here and in the mouse section too:
AWARD BIOS (V4.51PG)should be set to as the following:

In your PNP/PCI Configuration:
==============================
PNP OS Installed : NO  (what it should be)
All your IRQ's 3 to 15 should be PCI/ISA PnP (unless you make it Legacy ISA if you have an old card that is not a PnP or if you don not want WIN95 to control that specific IRQ automaticly)

In your BIOS feature setup:
===========================
PS/2 mouse function control : Disabled (what it should be)
Video Bios Shadow : Enabled (what it should be)
All the rest : Disabled (what it should be)

In your power management settings:
==================================
Turn off power management if you have it on (Disable)
Also Disable all DOZE modes for Hard drives, IRQ's... they should all be OFF.

In your Integrated peripherals:
===============================
Onboard Serial Port1 : 3F8/IRQ4
Onboard Serial POrt 2 : 2F8/IRQ3 (if you have a modem it should be Disabled)
Onboard Parallel Port : 378H/IRQ7

I hope I did cover most of it, if you have further checking,
Let me know
Regards.
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697553
McD: Since Mag started this question, I'll leave the issue of the Bios setup between you too, although I disagree, and here's my reasoning. Assuming that you indeed enable a PnP aware OS, which Windows 95 is, windows can no do virtually anything it wants. This info is commonly available on most competent motherboard sites. Second, by using a PS/2 mouse, you free up a com port. Now I understand that this may not be compatible with your Kennsington Mouse, nevertheless that's the reason they put the PS/2 port on the board.
Essentially, it's an issue of choices. My personal machine uses twin modems in multilink and I too have a serial mouse on a com port. As for parallel ports, I have 3, one on-board and a twin ported I/O card for two other printers. Why? I don't want to have to turn switches to change printers, and sine I share all 3 with other systems here, they would have to walk to my machine to turn the switch. Plus, I don't like putting little sticky tags on the switch boxes indicating which printer is which. Such is life!
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697554
McD
As everybody says "The plumer syndrôme"....

Try whatever you want, some people like I said before do not like to switch boxes, and stick labels to it, ASSUMING you know what you do, now for the others who are not in the computer industry as a business should take the least complicated PATH unless they have a good support.  Now it's in your hands to make a decision on what you want to do.

Regards
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697555
McD: While reading again your comments here and in the Kensington mouse question.  I would like you to try the following:-
In your PNP/PCI Configuration make the PNP OS Installed : YES
then go to your Integrated peripherals and in the Onboard Serial POrt 2 : 2F8/IRQ3  DISABLE IT, then reboot and tell me if your system still hangs when your modem initialize like you said.
Post reply when you can.
Regards

P.S.:By the way in the AWARD web site, they left out the section PNP/PCI Configuration without any recommendations as it's up to the users to configure it..
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697556
Magi, Dew

I already replied to the Mouse reply before reading this one.  I really value both of your opinions, so please keep both coming!  In my other message I have told you some interesting findings about the boxes as used in our factory, they caused problems.  So I am going the I/O card route, but for two major reasons.  One is  the one I just mentioned, but the other reason is to learn what you guys have learned.  I know you did not just pick up this stuff, and it is my personal goal to master PC's.  Hence, I am going the difficult route.

Magi, I did not think about checking the Award web site.  Thanks for the idea!

You have both assigned me with a lot of homework tonight.  It is Friday evening here now and a major storm is dumping rain, so no doubt, I will not have power tonight.  So it may be a day before I get back to you.

Is there any way I can fax you guys to send you all the information on the device manager settings for "my computer"  It is a lot of stuff to write down, but I could print the screen and fax easily.  I promise I would not abuse your fax number.

Please see my comment in the Mouse question regarding Legacy.

Talk with you soon.

McD
 
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697557
No problem McD, I remember what it was like there 69'-72'

Fax 973-702-7001

Best regards
Dennis
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697558
Magi,

What happened to the points I had given on the mouse question?  I saw that the points were reduced when I graded the question. Was there some reason it changed to 10 points?

Regards,

McD
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Author Comment

by:McDorman
ID: 1697559
Dennis at Dew

Got your fax number, thanks.  Will see how much I can solve first before faxing.  

Is it safe to send fax numbers like that?  I was not thinking about security when I asked.  If you need to, you can send any messages to my Email.  I have been told it is more secure than this.  Tom_McDorman@notes.seagate.com

Regards,

McD
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697560
Tom...
I don't care what happened to the points or grades, I only think to get you guys out of trouble.
Regards
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697561
No problem here McD!
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697562
Raouf, Dennis

My system if functional without the modem card installed.  I belive it to be "uncooperative" with my motherboard.  I am leaving for the States for a week and will get another internal modem, one that I can set the IRQ's for.  I will try it when I get back and update you then.  

See another question regarding CD-ROM-R

Regards,

McD
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697563
Raouf, Dennis

I have faxed to you the details on the I/O card that I told you about as well as my system details.  The card requires software that support IRQ sharing. Is this going to be super advanced stuff, or mildly advanced?

Looking forward to your reply.

Regards,

McD
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697564
No fax came here McD!
Dennis
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697565
*Neither here...
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697566
I re-sent the faxes.

Do you know where I can download Win95 version OSR2, build 1111 or higher.  I need it to be able to use my 4 gig disk drive with one partition.  I could not find actual file on Microsoft's web site.  

Thanks

Tom
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697567
Sorry McD, cannot be done. There are no download sites for OSR2.
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697568
Guys.. My ISP is having problems, I'm not sure even if this message will make it. I'll be back ASAP.
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697569
Raouf,

Got your message about your ISP having trouble.

Did you guys get my fax?

Tom McD
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697570
I have it McD! Are you sure you want to use this Blastronix? It would be so much simpler to add a plain vanilla Parallel I/O card!
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by:magigraf
ID: 1697571
Tom...
Both solutions are possible, from the specs on that board it looks tricky but achievable.

It's up to you to decide wether it's easier for you:
1) Data switch box
2) Plain Vailla Parallel I/O card
3) Blastronix board

**I still recommend the data switch box, unless you wana open your computer, install and configure the second LTP which we are will be doing on one of our client machine as per his request.

Regards
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by:McDorman
ID: 1697572
Raouf, Dennis

I guess I would like to find a simple PnP I/O card with several serial and a couple parallel ports, but I have not been able to find one.  Hence I purchased the Blastonix.  I also have no issue keeping the blastronix in my "computer museum of recent useless purchases".  I am on a quest to master this stuff, so I would rather open up and install, and understand the I/O card method.  Any particular brand, and source to get the card.  I can mail order it.  For the blastronics, do I need to buy the "interupt sharring" software, or is it burried somewhere in Win 95?

Thanks,

McD
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1697573
McD: Windows 95 supports interrupt sharing as it creates virtual serial and parallel ports as it makes available up to 8 serial ports and 8 parallel ports even though motherboards in general support only 2 and 1 respectively. My concern comes from this new card creating havoc with existing ports that are functioning just to enable the use of an additional parallel port. Before you start you will have to determine the ports you need and their addresses, decide which ports can be shared among themselves and which cannot, and those that cannot, which other irq's can be shared on a non-exclusive basis. The Blastronics board as a straight forward configuration based upon your fax, but to use the board you will have to remove anything using these port addresses and in essence start from scratch and rebuild the connections and their addresses.
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Author Comment

by:McDorman
ID: 1697574
Guys,

I will go ahead and close this out for now.  Thanks for all the effort. I need to do some more trial and error.

Keep in touch.

McD
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