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Changing IRQ settings in XP

Posted on 2003-11-05
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I can't change the IRQ settings in windows xp. They are greyed out, any ideas on how to activate manual settings??

thanks
/Kristofer
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Pete Long earned 50 total points
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Hi kristofer,
Knowledge Base  

A General Description of IRQ Sharing in Windows XPPSS ID Number: 314068

Article Last Modified on 10/4/2002


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The information in this article applies to:


Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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This article was previously published under Q314068
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 252420.

NOTE: This article is for informational use only. It does not contain any troubleshooting information. If you are searching for troubleshooting information that is not mentioned in this article, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base again by using keywords that are listed in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
242450 How to Query the Microsoft Knowledge Base Using Keywords

SUMMARY
This article offers a general description of how interrupt request (IRQ) sharing is managed in Windows XP. The description includes an explanation of why many of the devices on your computer seem to use the same IRQ and why Windows XP does not include resource rebalancing.
MORE INFORMATION
In Windows, peripheral component interconnect (PCI) devices can share IRQs. In accord with the Plug and Play capability that is defined by the PCI specification, adapters are configured by the computer BIOS and are then examined by the operating system and changed if necessary. It is normal behavior for PCI devices to have IRQs shared among them, especially on Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) computers that have Windows ACPI support enabled.

In Windows XP, Device Manager may list some or all of the devices on your ACPI motherboard as using the same IRQ (IRQ 9). (To view the list of resources, click either Resources by type or Resources by connection on the View menu). No option is available to change the IRQ setting. Windows takes advantage of the ACPI features of the motherboard, including advanced PCI sharing. The PCI bus uses IRQ 9 for IRQ steering. This feature lets you add more devices without generating IRQ conflicts.

Note that Windows XP cannot rebalance resources in the same way that Microsoft Windows 98 does. After PCI resources are set, they generally cannot be changed. If you change to an invalid IRQ setting or I/O range for the bus that a device is on, Windows XP cannot compensate by rebalancing the resource that was assigned to that bus.

Windows XP does not have this ability because of the more complex hardware schemas that Windows XP is designed to support. Windows 98 does not have to support IOAPICs, multiple root PCI buses, multiple-processor systems, and so on. When you are dealing with these hardware schemas, rebalancing becomes risky and therefore is not implemented in Windows XP except for very specific scenarios. However, PCI devices are required to be able to share IRQs. In general, the ability to share IRQs does not prevent any hardware from working.

The Plug and Play operating system settings in the computer BIOS do not generally affect how Windows XP handles the hardware. However, Microsoft recommends that you set the Plug and Play operating system setting to No or Disabled in the computer BIOS. For information about viewing or modifying the computer BIOS settings, consult the computer documentation or contact the computer manufacturer.

Manually assigning IRQs to PCI slots in the system BIOS as a troubleshooting method may work on some non-ACPI systems that use a standard PC hardware abstraction layer (HAL), but these settings are ignored by Plug and Play in Windows if ACPI support is enabled. If you need to manually assign IRQ addresses through the BIOS to a device on an ACPI motherboard, you must reinstall Windows to force the installation to use a Standard PC HAL. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
299340 How to Force a Hardware Abstraction Layer During an Upgrade or New Installation of Windows XP

Keywords: kbHardware kbinfo kbPlugPlay KB314068
Technology: kbWinXPHome kbWinXPHomeSearch kbWinXPPro kbWinXPProSearch kbWinXPSearch



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© 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


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