I just installed a new motherboard (an Epox MP2 based on the VIA MVP3 Apollo chipset). My old MB was also based on the VIA MVP3 chipset (it was an aopen ax59pro) so I did not anticipate problems ....
At first everything seemed to work. But, when I checked system resources using msinfo32, I discovered that my cards were sharing IRQs left and right (not good!!). I tried reinstalling the latest via drivers (including the miniport driver). I tried reinstalling the VIA IDE drivers, and then tried disabling IDE altogether (I have a scsi only system). Regardless, I couldn't seem to prevent my scsi controller from grabbing the same interrupt as my video card (disaster, I know!!).
Anyway, despite this things seemed to be working alright, until I started to use my DV card (which strains all system resources). The system just froze when I plugged in the firewire connection. No problem, I thought, just reboot.
Since then, however, I have been unable to reboot into normal win98 (even after disconnecting the firewire cable). The system freezes at different points, but always after the win98 logo screen (usually, it dies right after executing the win command -- I see only the messages from my path statement and antivirus scan (which complete successfully) on a black dos screen, then a bunch of disk activity then nothing; except sometimes I get a pure black screen with a blinking cursor, and other times I get all the way to a background windows 98 with a frozen hourglass). I havew to use a hard reset at this point, btw. I can boot into safe mode, but haven't been able to fix anything from there (have tried disabling and enabling IDE; resinstalling VIA IDE drivers; stepping through driver loading; compatibility mode disk access).
I have also tried changing slots for my scsi controller, and assigning irq's to specific slots via bios (how does one assign an IRQ to AGP? In any event this does not seem to solve the problem, though maybe I am doing it wrong; also, only four slots are reassignable, yet I have 5 pci, 2ISA and one AGP!! Which is which in bios assignment which is merely numbered 1-4).
Assuming right to left numbering of slots, beginning with the first PCI slot (not counting AGP slot), my system is:
VIA Apollo MVP3/Epox MP2 with 11/30/99 BIOS
Number Nine SR9 AGP video (grabbing IRQ 15) (AGP)
Adaptec 2940U2W (grabbing IRQ 15) (Tried slots 1 and 2, currently in 2)
Canopus DVRaptor (slot 3; IRQ 11, as I recall -- note I can't tell since I can't boot windows 98 in normal mode, so the rest of the IRQ assignments are guesswork)
Trident 4DWave PCI soundcard (slot 5; IRQ 7 but sometimes 5)
3Com ISA PnP 3c509 etherlink card (ISA slot 2, set via driver to IRQ 10)
USB Controller (with Belkin Hub and Iomega USB Zip 250 -- I have tried disabling USB with no change): IRQ varies
Note that: com2 and lpt1 are disabled. I use the lpt port via USB on the Belkin hub to connect to my printer, thus saving IRQ7.
Also, note that last time I was able to boot to normal windows, I had four free interrupts!! (and two interrupts being shared -- stupid stupid stupid win98)
Thanks in advance for any ideas!!