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ISA to PCI

Posted on 2002-05-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Is there any such thing as an adapter that will hold an ISA card and allow it to be put into a PCI slot. Or, is this even possible?
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Question by:pallidin
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13 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Wakeup
ID: 6987824
No there are no such beasts.  What card are you trying to preserve?
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 6988009
You'd be better off buying a PCI equivalent of whatever ancient old card you're trying to do this with than trying to do the impossible and adapt an ISA card into a PCI slot.
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

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jhance earned 50 total points
ID: 6988332
Well, this has been discussed before and while it's not technically IMPOSSIBLE, it is impractical.

The problem is that even if a PCI <-> ISA hardware converter were built (and that would not be all that difficult) any board you plugged into it would require NEW drivers to work.  So unless the person using the board were the developer of the board and wrote new drivers for it, the thing will not work.

As a consumer, you don't have the information about the board to write a driver.  So again, while it is possible to design such a converter, nobody has done so and marketed it since there is not much of a market for usless products.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 6988470
While not PCI, I have seen this widget for using ISA in new ISA-less machines:
http://www.allusb.com/products/P11324.html "full access to memory and I/O space of the ISA card and handling of IRQ and DMA events"
But never tried it myself, so no promises.  It might be worth a shot to call the manufacturer and make sure it will work with what you want to do (you neglected to tell us what ISA card you need to migrate).
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Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 6988516
Ah, the FAQ for that card I mentioned reads:

Q - Do you know if we can use a standard ISA driver to control our board if it is located on your card?

A - You need to convert your software to work on USB . We provide an SDK for this . There is no driver located on our card, it is on the side of the computer with USB .

So, do you have the driver source for your ISA card?  If not, nevermind because this is an OEM embedded solution.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:pallidin
ID: 6988620
OK, everyone, thank you for your time. I suppose I should indeed explain why I posted such an unsual question, given the fact that PCI cards are generally cheap enough to simply migrate from ISA to PCI.
In my case, I have a very high-end ISA diagnostic card from Ultra-X. From those in the know, Ultra-X produces arguably the finest PC diagnostics in the world. Anyway, as such, they are very expensive.
In fact, my Ultra-X PHD card literally costs more than most store-bought consumer home computers. Yeah, pricey!
However, the card is ISA, and I know that many mobo's have been going towards a non-ISA configuration.
So, that's the reason for my Q.

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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 6988823
I feel your pain, but you'll need to spring for a new UltraX card.  I assume you are a professional computer troubleshooter if you've bought such a beast, so at least you can tax deduct the price of the thing.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:pallidin
ID: 6989401
jhance has given me a remarkable explanation of the problems associated with ISA to PCI conversion; that is, it IS possible, but likely not practical without OEM involvement.
Thanks all !!
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jlauster
ID: 6989451
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 6989486
"jhance has given me a remarkable explanation of the problems"

LOL - You should have seen the original question on this topic where jhance and I slugged it out over whether there was such a thing.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 6989491
WHUPS!

That wasn't jhance I had that argument with:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/Q.20120127.html

That was with good old Otta who was unfortunately chased off EE by a certain jerk moderator COUGHcomtechCOUGH.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 6989497
Hah hah, in looking at that card Otta recommended that poor guy there are now a LOT more admonishments not to buy the things unless you are a professional hardware/firmware developer.  I guess they have a problem with clueless people buying them and complaining it doesn't work as a generic adapter.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:pallidin
ID: 6990057
Yeah, Otta was certainly the most unsual character I have come across on E.E. What an egotist!! I had a round or two with him myself. Indeed, his "beside" manners are not all that good, hmmm.., even less than not so good. Glad he's not a doctor!
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