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Thread: Good program for polling all the IRQs, DMAs, I/O hex addresses?

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    Question Good program for polling all the IRQs, DMAs, I/O hex addresses?

    PC compatible AT, 386.

    I'm adding a SCSI controller card to use a magneto-optical disk drive that a friend gave me. Plugging in the board makes the computer not boot. Story of that era, of course, but--

    It would be most helpful if I could have a program that polls all the IRQs, DMAs, I/O hex ports, etc. Does anyone know of one?
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    There is no 100% safe way to do this, so programs use a variety of methods to try to detect this without your system locking up. The results can have false negatives (ie. something not in use when it is). The best way to determine this information is to know what each of your cards are set to.

    If you want to try anyway, you can try running Manifest (comes with QRAM and QEMM), Checkit, and the free program INFOPLUS.
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  3. #3

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    I've got CheckIt, so I can try that.

    There is no 100% safe way to do this...
    Please define "safe."
    Sattinger’s Law: “It works better if you plug it in.” 🤯 Corollary: “It works even better if you plug it in correctly.” 🤯🤯
    "The simplest solution is the most likely solution." --My paraphrase of Occam's Razor
    "You can get [a computer] like yours at a garage sale for, like, fifteen dollars," --Strong Sad, sbemail #33

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    "Safe" as in probing random I/O ports on some gear will hang the system or create other unwanted side effects.

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    Some other issues:

    * The RAM on some network cards does not appear in the motherboard's memory space until the driver for the card is loaded. Therefore, if the driver is not loaded, resource-reporting utilities may show the memory space used by the network card as free/available.

    * Refer to [here]. Some BIOS expansion ROM's have their 'ROM size' byte set to a size less than the amount of ROM mapped into the motherboard's memory space. Therefore, resource-reporting utilities may report some of the memory space used by the subject ROM as free/available.

    * Some resource-reporting utilities make assumptions. A common one appears to be: if a serial port at I/O 3F8h is found, then assume that it is set to use IRQ4. Likewise, if a serial port at I/O 2F8h is found, then assume that it is set to use IRQ3. Yes, that it is the norm, but variation is possible (which includes misconfiguration by user).

    * Example: A 'nonstandard' card uses, say, IRQ7, and for operation, the card requires that a TSR to be loaded. If the TSR is not loaded, the IRQ7 vectoring is not used/hooked, and consequently, resource-reporting utilities will be unaware that IRQ7 gets used by the card's TSR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-kun View Post
    I've got CheckIt, so I can try that.
    For best results, you should pull each card and look at it (if it uses jumpers or DIP switches), and/or consult your config.sys and autoexec.bat to see how drivers and TSRs are setting things up. That's usually the most foolproof way to determine this. The only configurations that you may not be able to figure out from doing that are cards that store their config, such as a network card (port, IRQ, memory range). But, no generic info gathering program would be able to determine that either since they don't have information on every card that did that.

    It's a good learning exercise to pull cards and check them.
    Offering a bounty for:
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    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

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    Norton SysInfo was always my go-to back in the day

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-kun View Post
    I'm adding a SCSI controller card to use a magneto-optical disk drive that a friend gave me. Plugging in the board makes the computer not boot. Story of that era, of course, but--

    It would be most helpful if I could have a program that polls all the IRQs, DMAs, I/O hex ports, etc. Does anyone know of one?
    Actually, no. The result of conflicting resources was rarely a system that would no longer boot at all. It would make the conflicting devices not work or the system freeze when trying to use them, but it would still boot normally.

    SCSI controllers are also by default set to resources not used by other standard stuff (well, apart from a NIC, which may use 300h as well). What SCSI controller card is it and did you test it separately to ensure it's actually not broken?

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    Not to mention that there's a fair number of devices whose drivers are perfectly capable of sharing an IRQ or DMA.

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