Commate S7AX - Sound Card - USB Scanner - Printer PROBLEM

I have a Commate S7AX Supersocket 7 motherboard that has capability for USB on the board. The pinout is 10 pins,
but according to the schematic, only 1-4 and 6-9 are functional. I have installed a belkin F3U001 cable (strap). I have
done so correctly according to the schematic from belkin and my motherboard manual.

I have enabled the Award 2.7 Bios to see the USB (On-Chip USB Controller -Enabled). Upon bootup, I get two found devices the USB to PCI bus and the root hub. I have no way of testing to determine if these are correct (or functioning properly).

I have a Umax Astra 2000U scanner, that I plug in using the 3 foot UMAX USB cable. One port appears to not work at all. The other port appears to work sometimes. Neither port will work if I extend the cable to a 6' aftermarket (Belkin) cable. (I wanted to put the scanner on the other side of my desk)

Once I enable the BIOS, unpredictable things begin to happen. I occasionally get a stall load on Windows 98 that says
something about CONFIGMG not initiallizing. Sometimes the sound card will work, other times it causes Windows to
load for a long time (I guess as it attempts to play a .wav that won't play) Also, the Printer functions fine when the BIOS
is NOT enabled, but when I enable, the printer gives me an out of paper error. I have to turn it off and then on again,
before it will print.

A Note on the sound card, it works fine ONLY if I completely shut down the system and start it back up.  If I choose "restart" it gives me an exclamation point at the MPU-401 driver. This happens whether the USB is enabled or not. (it currently is disabled)

I have a Canon BJC-240 (latest driver downloaded yesterday), same for my Iomega Parallel Zip Drive. The Printer is plugged into the Zip drive which is plugged into the Computer (was that way on my previous system, as well as this system) It functions fine when USB is disabled. My Sound card is a Labway Corp card with a Mach One EV1935 chipset. (I have tried to find latest drivers, but the website had only Win NT and Win95 drivers.)

I have PNP OS set to Yes in the BIOS, but have experimented with No and turning several IRQs to Legacy ISA (the printer port and the sound port).  The sound card moved around when I did this (first being reported on IRQ 10, then after I turned it to Legacy ISA, it went  to 9 then 11, as I turned them also.  Now the Multimedia Device lists as NA, but the sound works fine if I reboot.(big red switch)

I haven't the foggiest where to continue (as I have started). If you could give me some "did you check" hints I would
appreciate it and perhaps we can come closer to solving this problem.

A working solution would be that the USB works (both ports), the scanner is found on either port and works fine, Meanwhile the sound card continues to play (whether I restart or reboot).  Finally, the printer works without the paper out error.

Thanks Scott

I am editting as I appear to be unable to comment further?

All is well with my sound card, currently.  I have determined that I can make it fail by restarting before all of the loading is finished.  Other than that, it is difficult to get it to fail.  I have a list of IRQs and all appear to be normal and without conflict.  This may be in the fact that I have disabled USB in the BIOS.  I am awaiting what is supposed to be the CORRECT USB cable for my motherboard.  I should have that Monday the 14th and I will post further on that date.  I believe what is happening with the Sound card is that it is currently on IRQ 10 and when USB is added to the mix, the BIOS assigns USB to that IRQ and it attempts to put the Sound card on IRQ 5 which already has my modem on it.  The only IRQ free is 9, so hopefully on Monday, you all will have ideas as to how I can force the sound on to IRQ 9.

Thanks again for all the help so far. Don't give up on me just yet.
Scott

OK!!!! Time for some more questions:

Does EACH USB port require an IRQ?  If I pull the COM port plug from the Motherboard, will it give me an IRQ back?  I see no jumpers for disabling the on board COMs (2), I don't use either of them.

Here are my BIOS settings as reported by BIOS (at bootup) and by Windows 98.

USB disabled:                                                                 USB enabled:

BIOS:                                                                              BIOS:
IDE -14/15                                                                      IDE 14/15
Multimedia Device 10                                                      USB-11
Display Controller 11                                                      Multimedia Device -5
                                                                                       Display Controller-10

Windows: (leaving out obvious)
3 COM 2                                                                          SAME
4 COM1                                                                           SAME
5 Modem (ISA)(COM3)                                                     SOUND & PCI Steering
7 LPT1                                                                             SAME
9 free                                                                              ALI PCI to USB Open Host Controller \ IRQ Holder
10 Sound Card                                                                Video Card
10 PCI Steering                                                               SAME
11 Video Card                                                                  MODEM COM3
11 PCI Steering
12 PS2 Mouse                                                                   SAME
14/15 IDE Primary\Secondary                                           SAME

OK so you see some of the switching that takes place.  Also note that I have no free IRQs after enabling USB.  I will install the USB Cable (the "correct" one) tonight.

Scott
--------------------------------------------------

OK, here is my problem.  I installed the "correct" USB cable and STILL only have one working port.  I turned off one of my COM ports in the BIOS (just to see) and currently everything is working as it is supposed to with the notable exception of the other USB port.  As I see no need for more than one at this time, I am not too concerned.  I would like to award the points but am unclear if we have actually resolved anything.  I don't want anyone to read this later and assume that a clear answer has been achieved.  I am interested in awarding the points to two people.  What is the consensus on what I should do?

Scott
---------------------------------------------------------------

All answers were helpful, problem was not "solved" by any one person, but by joint effort.  I have awarded the points to one person, but if you are having similar problems, READ ALL THE RESPONSES.  I would also be open to discussing it with you at sjung@bigfoot.com
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WilyGuyAsked:
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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
I have also noticed that in Netscape, midi's used to play, but now they don't despite them playing outside of Netscape.  This may have something to do with upgrading to Windows Media Player 6.4...
Scott
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swwelshCommented:
I would leave the PNP OS setting to No. Make sure the Iomega drive and Canon printer are not loading 'monitor' or other utilities at startup - they seem to cause problems on some systems. Next I would try the system file checker and possibly scanreg/fix to make sure there is not a problem with 98. If it was me, I would get all my driver disks together, then go into safe mode and remove all drivers listed for the sound card, usb and any other devices that have duplicate drivers listed. Disable usb in the bios, and install other drivers one at a time, checking each time to see if things are stable. Are you sure you have the right cable for the usb? - a 10 pin header with the usb ports? I have the same board and was able to find a header for the usb at a local computer store.
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Alisher_NCommented:
very dramatic story ;)

1) question

you wrote "sometimes one of USB ports is working", this means when it works it works completely normal ? (you can scan or use other devices)

2) suggestion

I think you have a lot of hardware mixed and yu can not determine what cause problems. I would do this: remove ALL extra hardware, leave only motherboard, CPU, HDD and RAM of course ;)). REINSTALL windows completely to new directory (or use another HDD so far) so you can get clean system. I think you have A LOT of garbage in registry files...

now, if you get it working without problems start to add hardware (USB first) and test everything after new hardware+drivers installed. step by step you will find a source

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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your posts.

I have now completely reloaded the devices giving problems.  I installed FIRST the USB, then the Sound card, then the printer, then the zip drive.  I used only the original drivers.

The sound didn't work, but after updating those drivers (I had tried it before, I guess it didn't take), the sound works.  I still have the problem with embedded midis in Netscape after Media Player 6.4 (gee, IE plays them just fine!)

The USB problems are limited to one port.  After running many tests, I have come to some conclusions:

The straps work and make a good connection to the cable (I have not tried to use the 6' cable)

The pins 6-10 are the problem.

I switched the actual ports (as they each have a 5 pin connector) and the one plugged into pins 1-5 consistently works!!! YEY.

The one plugged into pins 6-10 consistently does not work. BOO!

Now the question becomes, why?  Is it the actual pins on the motherboard? are they broken and whatever strap set I attempt to use will fail on one side, or is it the strap set and the schematic?  I have in my book that pins 1 and 6 are Vcc
pins 2 and 7 are DATA-, pins 3 and 8 are DATA+, and pins 4 and 9 are GND.  No mention of pins 5 and 10.  A further e-mail from tech support at Commate sent me a schematic that showed 5 and 10 as GND as well.  Belkin has a schematic for both types see:

http://www.belkin.com/products/product_index/USB/usb_catalog_pages/motherboard/usb_motherboard_assembly.html

My question goes to swwelsh....you say you have the same board, what strap did you use and how many pins does it ACTUALLY use?  (When I talked to Baber (a US reseller of commate boards) they said to order the 9 pin cable????

Thanks again,
Scott
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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your posts.

I have now completely reloaded the devices giving problems.  I installed FIRST the USB, then the Sound card, then the printer, then the zip drive.  I used only the original drivers.

The sound didn't work, but after updating those drivers (I had tried it before, I guess it didn't take), the sound works.  I still have the problem with embedded midis in Netscape after Media Player 6.4 (gee, IE plays them just fine!)

The USB problems are limited to one port.  After running many tests, I have come to some conclusions:

The straps work and make a good connection to the cable (I have not tried to use the 6' cable)

The pins 6-10 are the problem.

I switched the actual ports (as they each have a 5 pin connector) and the one plugged into pins 1-5 consistently works!!! YEY.

The one plugged into pins 6-10 consistently does not work. BOO!

Now the question becomes, why?  Is it the actual pins on the motherboard? are they broken and whatever strap set I attempt to use will fail on one side, or is it the strap set and the schematic?  I have in my book that pins 1 and 6 are Vcc
pins 2 and 7 are DATA-, pins 3 and 8 are DATA+, and pins 4 and 9 are GND.  No mention of pins 5 and 10.  A further e-mail from tech support at Commate sent me a schematic that showed 5 and 10 as GND as well.  Belkin has a schematic for both types see:

http://www.belkin.com/products/product_index/USB/usb_catalog_pages/motherboard/usb_motherboard_assembly.html

My question goes to swwelsh....you say you have the same board, what strap did you use and how many pins does it ACTUALLY use?  (When I talked to Baber (a US reseller of commate boards) they said to order the 9 pin cable????

Thanks again,
Scott
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ga9ulCommented:
If your still having problems with your usb, even without the extra cables, then check the version of the stepping chip in usb properties, if it is version A-1 then windows 98 won't support it, (something to do with WDM) otherwise happy hunting!
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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
I spoke too soon on the sound card.  It appears that it is STILL bailing on a restart, but working on a reboot.

ga9ul, how the heck do I check the version of the "stepping chip?"
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swwelshCommented:
The usb header I bought had a single molded plastic connector that went on the board. I'll take the cover off and check for you when I shut down. I don't have any usb peripherals at present, but I have tested 3-4 scanners and 2 joysticks without problems, but now that I think about it, I never had more than one device attached at a time, so I couldn't swear that both ports work. The comment about the '9 pin cable' makes me think maybe it needs something like what I have. As for the sound card, the only difference between a warm boot and cold one would be that the bios initializes the cards on a cold boot - toggle the 'boot to pnp OS' setting to see if the behaviour changes.
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Alisher_NCommented:
actual USB connection uses ONLY 4 wires !

+5v DC
-5v DC
+data
-data

if you have 6 or 9 some of them just doubled.
if you don't afraid to experiment with motherboard,
you may measure and find +5 -5 pins, than try
+data -data pins (only 2 combinations)

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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
Again, let me say how appreciative I am of your help, all of you.

I am still bothered by the flaking sound problem.
I am set to completely remove the USB cable to see if the sound card begins to behave on restart.  I have toggled the setting for PNP OS from no to yes and the results are the same.  I am going to try to turn off the Power Management as well.  I thought I had the sound card working yesterday (both on reboot and restart), I had run many tests on both with no problem. But I had an instance where the system went to sleep and when it came back the sound worked, but on the next restart, it did not.  Then even after a reboot (brief) it still did not want to work!!! coincidence?


I will also try to disable the USB in the BIOS and see if that has any effect?  I will report my findings.

Thanks
Scott
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Alisher_NCommented:
I think it is sound card drivers problem also! did you try to get newest version ?

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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
As far as I know I have the latest drivers.  The website was www.ectiva.com (or something)
The card is the Mach One Chipset EV1935.

Scott
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Alisher_NCommented:
the name is quite suspisious ;-), I think Creative or something would work fine here...
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ga9ulCommented:
Check version of stepping chip by right clicking "My Computer" and looking at usb properties in device manager.
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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question.
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Alisher_NCommented:
well ;-)
there is also a trick - if sound refuses to work, try to change IRQ to other which is still free (if any ;-), some strange cards can start to work after that...

to change IRQ:
open control panel->system->device manager->multimedia->find_sound_card_here

then click properties->resources

uncheck 'use automatic settings', click to IRQ, then 'change setting'

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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question.
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Alisher_NCommented:
USB uses only one IRQ for Host controller, ports are childs of root hub
if you want to free IRQ from COM ports you have to disable them in BIOS SETUP
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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question.
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Alisher_NCommented:
;-))

if only one USB port is working, so it is related probably to motherboard hardware problem and you can not solve it
if you think that problem not solved completely, but only partially, I think you may want to decrease suggested points and break them to parts, than give to experts who have helped...
(have I ??? ;-))
(just want that T-shirt, you know ;-))


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ga9ulCommented:
I don't think you can decrease points to a question, you'll just have to award the points to the one you think helped you the most or leave the question open for further comments from more experts.
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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question.
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WilyGuyAuthor Commented:
See the body of the question.  Problem remains a problem, but Alisher_N was the most helpful of the  people responding.  Alisher_N stayed with the question long after others would have given up.
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