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IRQ Conlfict w/ NIC

Last response: in Windows 2000/NT
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March 19, 2002 10:56:59 PM

Hi,

I've got a strange situation regarding the IRQ assignment to my Netgear FA310 NIC on my Windows 2000 Pro box (plz see below for specs). For some bizarre reason my FA310 is sharing IRQ 11 with my GeForce2 and the VIA USB controller. This causes my system to freeze solid whenever I make any change to my network settings (which I do often). I've tried uninstalling the NIC through Device Manager, shutting down, and swapping through all available PCI slots. Each time, regardless of which slot I place it, Windows boots up and assigns the NIC to IRQ 11! Also, Device Manager will only allow automatic settings for the NIC's Resources. Any ideas on how I might force Windows to assign the NIC a unique IRQ? Any BIOS settings I can play with? I appreciate your advice. Thanx!

Specs:
P-III 1000MHz (on a slocket)
AOpen Ax63Pro (Award BIOS)
256MB PC-133
Netgear FA310
ASUS GeForce2 MX
SB AWE32 (ISA)
US Robotics 33.6 modem (ISA)
Quantum Fireball UDMA-66 7200 20GB
Windows 2000 Pro SP2 (plus all Hotfixes)
VIA 4in1 v4.37
nVidia 12.41

More about : irq conlfict nic

March 20, 2002 1:18:11 AM

With issues like this, you'll need to choose a different hardware abstraction layer (HAL), such as Standard PC, and switch from ACPI to APM power management. Then you'll be able to manually change the IRQ's.

This is not recommended by Microsoft, but sometimes, especially with older systems, there is no other way to solve a device conflict.

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q216251" target="_new">HOW TO: Specify a Specific or Third-Party HAL During Windows Setup (Q216251)</A>

This does have it's pitfalls, though:

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q237556" target="_new">How to Troubleshoot Windows 2000 Hardware Abstraction Layer Issues (Q237556)</A>

<A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/archive/onnow/apm.asp" target="_new">APM Support for Windows 2000 Professional</A>

Changing a Standard HAL often causes problems with power management in Win2K, and the computer may not shutdown using the standard Start\Shutdown procedure:

<A HREF="http://www.aumha.org/a/shutdown.htm" target="_new">RULE OUT ADVANCED POWER MANAGEMENT (APM) PROBLEMS</A>

Before changing the HAL, disable ACPI in the BIOS, and enabled any APM features. Then set PnP to Yes, so the BIOS controls the IRQ settings, instead of Windows. Then manually assign the IRQ settings in the BIOS.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 20, 2002 6:17:36 PM

Toejam31,

Thanks for the insightful tip there. Sounds like a weekend project indeed as it appears it will require a total re-install. One concern: from what I can gather from the MS links you provided, it appears that APM is designed with laptops in mind. Are there any problems with implementing APM on a desktop?

Also, I'm a little confused about something... my BIOS is ACPI compliant (even tho its a cpl years old). Why would there still be an IRQ assignment problem with Win2K? Could the conflict have anything to do with my legacy PnP ISA cards (modem & SB) perhaps? Would rather go buy a new modem than re-install everyhting. ;-)

Thanks again.
Keith
Related resources
March 20, 2002 11:46:49 PM

The older APM used to be implemented for the majority of systems, not just for laptops. I've owned, and built many systems that supported APM.

It's highly likely that if you had a new computer loaded with Win95, (for example) the mainboard was APM-compliant. Or it was meant to be, anyway.

Here's an interesting link:

<A HREF="http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/article07-044" target="_new">Dealing with Windows's Advanced Power Management (APM)</A>

It's possible that your legacy devices don't work well with an ACPI HAL, but this is more likely to be because of the driver, than the device.

I have noticed that NIC cards tend to have more problems sharing an IRQ on older systems with ACPI than other devices.

One of the things you could try, before reinstalling the operating system with a new HAL, is to disable all unnecessary devices that need an IRQ in the BIOS, such as extra serial ports, and if you have a USB printer, the parallel port.

Then you could uninstall and then reinstall the NIC with the latest drivers. This might allow the card to work properly, without crashing the system.

Upgrading the BIOS might also make a big difference.

Keeping PCI slot one free helps avoid conflicts with the video card.

Making sure that all devices have the latest drivers is a good idea.

If the system doesn't freeze with the sound card or the modem removed, you have several options. One would be an external modem, which could be serial or USB. Another would be a PCI or a USB sound card.

However, if after trying all else, if the conflict persists, loading the Standard HAL might be your only option. But like you, I can completely understand avoiding a reinstallation of the OS and all your programs, and so I'd try the other possibilities first, and go through the reinstallation if you have no other choice.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 22, 2002 4:55:27 PM

Toejam31,

Thanks again for the very helpful information. At least that gives me a glimmer of hope I wont need to spend the weekend rebuilding my system. :-)

I'll follow-up with the outcome so hopefully we'll both have something to add to our databases.

Keith
April 2, 2002 12:06:11 AM

Hi,
Just a follow up for Toejam31 and anyone else w/ an interest...
I cheated a little and dug up a spare HD to experiment on, rather than loose my current config entirely (thanks to a swappable HD kit I have in my system).
First, disabling ACPI in the BIOS and forcing a clean install of Win2K to use the "Standard PC" HAL - thus reverting to APM - eliminated the NIC card lock-up problem altogether! However, being the stubborn type, I had to play around a little with my original ACPI config also. I still haven't fixed the lock-up, but I'm listing some of the observations I made:
1) Disabling all unused ports and uninstalling/removing my legacy ISA cards didn't help.
2) Updating my GeForce2 video driver (to nVIDIA 21.83-WHQL)didn't help.
3) Installing a brand new NIC from a different manufacturer (D-Link) didn't help.
4) Even a clean install of Win2K with the ACPI HAL didn't help.
5) My system is rock solid stable otherwise.

So, my conclusions: I'm not sure if I even have an IRQ conflict afterall. The lock-up ONLY occurs any time I disable the NIC in any way. The ACPI config, otherwise runs just fine sharing IRQ 7 among the Video card, VIA USB Host Controller, and the NIC. At this point, I figure I just have to live with it, but I hate giving up! My "guess" for now is that the problem must be a bug in the BIOS or some obscure hardware issue. I would welcome any additional guesses from you. Thanks for reading!

Keith
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