Might be a simple solution, but wanted to give history (sorry if it runs long)
This whole parade of headaches started after rebooting from an SP3 install. XP suddenly lost most of it's device drivers - including, but not limited to, USB ports, Ethernet, parallel etc. I started simple and went to replace all the drivers. Most were not longer on the drive (???) so I pulled them off of the XP install disc. Found very few, got the rest downloaded, but very few would take.
There were many "Unknown Devices" visible via the Device Manager and, after learning about Vendor IDs and PnP IDs, I was able to identify all of the unknown devices. All four were motherboard related (details on which later).
I was able to identify the motherboard and found the proper chipset (Intel 850). Was able to fix one instance of it - the Processor to I/O Controller. The other three will not load. Each fail gives me a wanring that it "cant find the proper software" or "the INF in missing an entry or the
driver was written for Win95 or later". Mind you these are the most recent drivers.
I cannot for the life of me get the system to take any new driver at this point. I have tried many things; different versions of drivers, uninstalling them and rebooting the sys, checking the registry, deep viral scanning, researched a ton, solved a few, rest are pain in butt.
Got some mild help on another forum, but not very helpful. It lead me to read up on things myself. Found out about BOIs PnP slot allocation and IRQ numbers. My attention was drawn to this as I was seeing issues, similar to mine, that pointed to BIOs PNP.
What I found was this, in BIOs setup here is the current IRQ config:
ATI VGA Adapter - #3
USB Adapter - #9
Serial Bus - #10
Network Card - #3
Network Card - #10
Cirrus Logic Multimedia - #IRQ 11
It strikes me that two items should not be assigned the same slots. It might be normal, but I just don't know. Thoughts? Experimentally, and without saving changes, I toggled the values of some of these. The ones with the same numbers changed simultaneously - meaning two entries are linked. Is that normal??
I got curious and read up on BIO PnP and slot allocations - at this point my brain went *pop*. I am by no means a computer guru - just a quasy-savy user with an all too common [Windows losing drivers] problem.
I am needing some pro advice on what the problem is, or someone to point me in the right direction.
With hands clasped, I pray, NAY, BEG for help!!
((I am x-posting this to other sites))
List of Devices I cannot fix: The extra info is from where i was doing research
16550 - PNP0501 / PNPBIOs 1
Serial Devices - 16550A-compatible COM port
Floppy Controller - PNP0400 / PNPBIOs 3
ECP 1.x parallel - PNP0400 / PNPBIOs 2
Parallel Devices- Standard LPT printer port
ISA DMA - PNP0200 / PNPBIOs 9
DMA - AT DMA controller
SP3 can be uninstalled via Add/Remove, and before re-applying i recommend downloading new versions of drivers and maybe patches for software and giving the computer a clean with add/remove (do you really need all that crap (hey i don't know it might be a 2006 HP!!! then cleaning with Ccleaner and defraggler oh and kill your restore points, defrag then turn it back on and create a point before applying SP3