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Need to force IRQ change

Posted on 2003-03-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I am a new A+ tech.  I have a sound card (Sound Blaster Live! Platinum) and new video card (ATI Radeon 8500LE) which insist on using the same IRQ but will not share, thus system freezes.

Device Manager will not let me modify the IRQ assignments, thus I need to force it somehow.  I tried diddling with the BIOS, but to no avail.  Is a registry hack my only alternative?  I've already tried numerous things, like getting updated drivers and putting different cards in different slots.
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Question by:MardiM2
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21 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8061084
Some CMOS setup (BIOS) allows you to assign an IRQ to a certain slot.
What is the make and model of your MB?
Some MB's slots share resources with another slot and there is no way to force a change, your only choice is to move one of the devices.
If you do not have enough free slots left then it may be time to upgrade to a newer/better MB or system.
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Author Comment

by:MardiM2
ID: 8061137
I checked the BIOS to see if I could resolve this, but apparently all I can do is set an IRQ to "Auto" or "Manual," and under Manual the only options are PnP or Legacy; i.e., I can't specifically assign an IRQ to a device.  I tried setting IRQs 5, 7, 9 and 11 to Legacy, but Win98 didn't understand (apparently thought they were reserved) and lumped everything into the remaining IRQs, which obviously didn't solve the problem.

MB is an AOpen Ak72.  I flashed the bios with the latest upgrade.

I've tried swapping devices around among different slots, no improvement.  
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8061179
Did you try removing the sound card and see if it was OK?

I have had problems trying to run ATI video cards with MB's that had the VIA chipset and I am wondering if this could be part of your problem also.
Did you check for an updated VIA 4in1 driver? this sometimes helps.

Also do not put anything in the top PCI slot, I am not sure in this case yet but some MB's share resources with the AGP slot and the first PCI slot.
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Author Comment

by:MardiM2
ID: 8061335
Thanks for the info and the link!

The sound card worked fine until the new video card install last week (you might remember helping me with this).

Don't know if I have a VIA chipset; I have an AMD 750.  How does one determine the chipset and model number?

Your link says to be sure to uninstall old version of 4in1 driver.  Where would it be on my system /what is it called?

There is nothing in the top slot, other slots used by sound card (slot 4), modem (slot 2), and two ethernet cards (wired and wireless).

Your download link also has audio drivers.  Which should I consider, the first or second one?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8061360
You shouldn't need that audio driver, the 4in1 is the main driver you need, download it and run the install. It should ask if you want to uninstall the old one, if so answer yes, if it does not then just let it install over top of the old one.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8061383
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8061388
There is also link to download manual if you do not have one, it explains how to set the IRQ's manually.
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Author Comment

by:MardiM2
ID: 8061404
Yes, I flashed the BIOS last week (according to ATI Radeon recommendation, because of known problems with this MB).  I will now download and install 4in1 and let you know.  Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:MardiM2
ID: 8061437
Also, I am unable to locate the following files online.  They are SoundBlaster files (I assume, because they're referred to in their manual) but they're not on the CD (that I can find).  If I can find and download them, I should be able to use them to manually configure the SoundBlaster:

sbeinit.com
sbecfg.exe
sbeset.exe
sbego.exe


I googled for them, but only found pages referring to them -- no actual download sites.  And, of course, I'm unable to find them at creativelabs.com or soundblaster.com.

Any ideas concerning where they might be found?
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:rayt333
rayt333 earned 100 total points
ID: 8061627
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Author Comment

by:MardiM2
ID: 8061712
I installed the 4n1, then installed Sound Blaster (it had been uninstalled before).  This time, install made it almost all the way through (before, system would freeze after joystick driver install).  This time, I made it to the "you have successfully installed Sound Blaster, wanna reboot now" message before the system froze.  On manual reboot, system now freezes at Windows spash screen.  I rebooted into Step-by-Step Confirmation" and received no failure messages.  Then I booted into Safe Mode, and Device Manager is not showing any conflicts (and shows that Sound Blaster is installed).  However, clicking on any of the SB features gives a message saying the card isn't installed.  Sheesh.  I'll download the files from your latest link and see if they're of any help.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

by:stevenlewis
ID: 8061761
Just for fun, in safe mode, go to astart -->run and type msconfig
uncheck process autoexec.bat and config.sys
reboot and see if it'll boot up
If so, rem out the soundblaster lines int he autoexec.bat and config.sys (in safe mode, after re-enabling them)
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LVL 3

Accepted Solution

by:
cumbo earned 100 total points
ID: 8061915
MardiM2,

Another thing you might try is disabling the COM ports in the BIOS (under Integrated Periferals usually). Try disabling COM 2 first or both at once if you are not using either. Check your IRQ settings first to see if IRQ 3&4 are used for anything except the Com ports.

A lot of times the sudden availability of one or two IRQ's will cause Win 98 to reassign other IRQ's.

The other way to reassign IRQ's is moving the Sound Card to another PCI slot.

Cumbo
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Author Comment

by:MardiM2
ID: 8062158
No SoundBlaster-related commands made it to autoexec.bat or config.sys.

Will try disabling COM ports tomorrow.  Tonight, I'll be reading the stuff I've printed from the Web to study, and will also try those suggestions tomorrow.  

I'll report back when something changes.  Thanks to all who're trying to help!!
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:PublicFatality
ID: 8062726
Have you tried moving the PCI Slot the sound card is using (if possible ofcourse)  Motherboards ussually prefer to set an IRQ with a PCI slot.  Just an idea

Kris
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:PublicFatality
ID: 8062731
sorry missed the swapping comment, ignore my previous
post...
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Expert Comment

by:MichalJ
ID: 8066924
SB Live installs SB16 Emulator. Disable it in Device Manager. At power on some BIOSes report IRQ assignement. Hit Pause/Break and make notes. My SBLive did not like share IRQ with modem and Nvidia. After analysing IRQ Routing in motherboard manual I was able to find PCI not sharing for SB. I am not shure about ATI but most video cards do not need any IRQ. BIOS allows to disable "Assign IRQ to AGP(video)". After shuffling arround you should be able to find PCI slot for your SB.

If you are using original SB installation CD and it is more then two years old and you have CPU faster then 400-500MHz than installation will always fail. I think Creative removed information about this problem from KB. Download fresh drivers from SB site, clean up temp file and run downloaded file. Afterwards you will find installation files and the one you are looking for.

But first you must find lone IRQ.
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Author Comment

by:MardiM2
ID: 8098353
It WORKS!!  (BIG sigh of relief!!)

Taking a little of most everyone’s advice (gleaned from this and other trouble-shooting sites), here’s what I did:

I read somewhere that SoundBlaster REALLY wants IRQ 5, so I freed as many IRQs as I could.

I disabled on-board sound by changing jumper (which freed IRQ 11);

In BIOS, disabled serial port #2 (freeing IRQ 3);

In BIOS, disabled parallel part (freeing IRQ 7 (or 5, depending upon which reading you look at));

In BIOS, disabled onboard sound (freeing IRQ 5);

In BIOS, disabled onboard modem;

Pulled ALL cards except video and Sound Blaster;

Uninstalled all device-related software;

Reloaded SoundBlaster and it WORKED!  (It took IRQ 9 and 10, but what the heck.)

Also, I figured out that the main probable reason the system was freezing on startup was because the wireless NIC card was installed prior to its software installation (installation manual says install software first, but who reads directions? <grin>).

Thanks for EVERYONE’s advice and suggestions!!  Just shows to go ya that teamwork really helps!
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