GPIB Driver problem

Greetings all. This issue is a bit complex, so I will try to explain it as well as I can. Please respond with any other questions that you might have. This is a work related problem. I am trying to get an old motion control system operating once again. The system is a VME based system that houses a Microprocessor, Hard Drive/Floppy combo, PMAC VME motion control board and an Infranor Servo Motor Amplifier. The original Processor was DOA and new hardware was purchased that is supposed to be 100 Compatible. It is made by the same Mfg and is simply a newer Processor Board by Xycom VME. The board has a Modular I/O carrier in which a National Instruments PC-104 GPIB board is plugged in to. Upon initial boot-up, after the installation of the new Processor board, I was pleasantly surprised that virtually the entire system worked. The only problem is that the system reports a GPIB System Error. An attempt at a GPIB Diagnostic reports that there may be an Interrupt conflict. According to the Processor Data sheet, the GPIB Base address (2C0 Hex)is available, as is the Interrupt (11). I have tried everything I could think of to get the system to recognize the board, to no avail. A call to the Processor Mfg resulted in the following: According to them, the system needs to be rebuilt from scratch for it to work. I can't believe this. I am cringing at this because the PMAC VME requires several dozen settings that I know nothing about to be configured properly. I have tried to figure out how to remove all traces of the driver while still keeping it on the system in a new folder but I just don't know enough about NT to do it. So.... that is my problem. I need to get this system to recognize the GPIB board. I think if I can remove it and all traces and re-install it might work, but I don't know how. A total rebuild is a MAJOR undertaking and truly in the realm of absolute last resorts. One suggestion was to do a re-install of just NT, but again, I know just a little more than nothing about NT. I do have a floppy disk set for install... I think lol

LVL 30
Who is Participating?
ChipM0nk JGLeaderCommented:
My guess is that you may have a conflict with the IRQ and/or address of the board.

If you remove the board form the system and remove all the drivers you may be able to avoid a complete rebuild.

To remove the drivers, first remove anything related to this board that you can using the regular uninstall methods, if there are any.  

Once that is done, you will need to manually remove the drivers.  To do so, you will need to use Regedit and find the entries under \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Hardware, \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software and \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet that correspond to the GPIB and remove them- I recommend that you create a backup folder somewhere on the disk and export the keys to files in this folder and then delete them.  

You should note any files (usually .sys but possibly .dll or .exe) that are referenced by the entries that you delete.  Move these files to that folder once they are no longer referenced - this will ensure that your new install does not use any of the existing files and copies over fresh files for use.

The article here: is informative and provides a good crash course on NT 4.0 setup issues.
flubbsterAuthor Commented:
I have some new information. I was asked by my boss to go ahead and do a completely fresh install of Windows NT 4.0 After a successful installation, I then installed the latest and greatest driver for the GPIB card from National Instruments. I still have the same problem. The driver installs fine and the software is detected along with the hardware. It is not able to initialize the driver however. I have recently just found the older version of the driver and want to try that, but I am now stuck with trying to uninstall the version already there. How can I know if I get all the driver stuff off the system???

ChipM0nk JGLeaderCommented:
It really sounds like an IRQ conflict.

Check the board for any physical jumpers and see if you can set it to a different IRQ that is not used by any other hardware.  IRQ 11 is often used by video cards and SCSI controllers.

For getting the drivers off of the system, please see my first post.
ChipM0nk JGLeaderCommented:
BTW: NT 4 does not support "plug and play" auto configuration.  With NT4, you really DO have to figure out all your IRQs and Addrs in order to make sure your hardware is going to work together.

If your system is Plug and Play, you might need to reserve the IRQ in the BIOS setup, so that the board will work.
flubbsterAuthor Commented:

It did turn out to be an IRQ problem. What made it so hard was that I tried every IRQ that was avaliable and it still did not work. I even tried reserving an iRQ in BIOS, but that caused a failure to boot problem. The Mfg now admits that there is some bug in the board that they need to address. I got it to work by using the IRQ that is normally used for the printer. No printer is used for this system so that was an allowable solution. Thanks for your help.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.