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IRQ settings in WinXP

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  • IRQ settings in WinXP

    Quick question here...

    Recently Installed Windows XP Professional... and all things are fairly smooth . Just one issue that I am not too comfortable with and am hoping that someone might be able to shed some light on the subject for me.

    On my previous OS's (98, 98SE, ME) each of my various cards (sound, video, network) all had different IRQ's. and if they didnt, I was able to assign them each their own IRQ. However, in Windows XP, I have several cards and On-Board Controllers all sharing the same IRQ. example posted :
    IRQ 0 System timer OK
    IRQ 1 Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard OK
    IRQ 6 Standard floppy disk controller OK
    IRQ 8 System CMOS/real time clock OK
    IRQ 9 Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System OK
    IRQ 9 NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS/GeForce2 Pro OK
    IRQ 9 VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller OK
    IRQ 9 VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller OK
    IRQ 9 Linksys NC100 Fast Ethernet Adapter OK
    IRQ 9 Creative SB Live! (WDM) OK
    IRQ 9 Promise Technology Inc. Ultra IDE Controller OK
    IRQ 12 Logitech-compatible Mouse PS/2 OK
    IRQ 13 Numeric data processor OK
    IRQ 14 Primary BM Ultra DMA Channel OK
    IRQ 15 Secondary BM Ultra DMA Channel OK

    Now what I want to do is to separate the IRQ assignments for the various items on IRQ 9 to some of the unused IRQ's. When I go to the Device Manager from Control Panel.. and go to properties.. and attempt to modify the settings.. I get a message saying that the values cannot be modified.

    I also tried to assign them in my Bios... but XP just seemed to ignore my assignments and lumped them all into IRQ9

    so ..

    1) is this normal?
    2) how can I change it to assign each device its own IRQ?

    System Info if needed :
    ASUS A7V 133 MoBo with Promise Raid Controller and USB Onboard
    Athlon 1Ghz
    512 MB PC133
    2 x 20GB 7200 Maxtor
    GeForce 2 GTS 32mb AGP
    Sound Blaster Live X-Gamer
    Linksys NC100 NIC

    any help greatly appreciated..

  • #2
    WinXP (and 2k) uses ACPI to make most of the devices in your system share IRQ's. If your bios allows it, you can turn off ACPI support and reinstall XP. I have heard of ways to remove ACPI without reinstalling, but I don't remember them, and they were for 2k so I'm not sure about XP. Either way, once you do that you should be able to fool with your IRQ's as much as you want.


    • #3
      best way to stop this is to leave apm/acpi support enabled in bios, but re-install the OS and when it says press F6 ... thats when u press F5, this will bring up a list for you to choose "Standard PC"

      this then does not install the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) so winxp/win2k will then get the IRQ settings from bios (note does not allow u to change irq's in xp still, but u can change em in bioos)

      this way, the acpi and apm enabled bios and related drivers are installed, but the HAL isn't used, its very efficient and i have used it on over 20 installations of winXP to date, just remember to go into the APM tab in power settings to enable apm support so u can power-down ya PC properly...


      • #4
        Thanx all :thumb:


        • #5
          If yer not havin trouble, my personal advice is to leave the damn thing well be. Experience has taught me not to mess with ACPI. This is totally natural, and you shouldn't freak out man.


          • #6
            not mess with it? thats why you DISABLE it then it wont cause you problems... ever
            SileNceR, Messenger of the Dark and the Night. To post quality, or not to post at all, THAT is the Question - Never again ask what can my post count do for me besides increasing my ego, but instead ask what can I do to help someone else!
            Overclockers Melbourne (


            • #7
              yeah I agree, leave it alone.

              These days there really aren't enough irq's available, hence the introduction of ACPI. It's got some really nice features and if you turn it off you won't get 'em. :(

              2000 & XP utilise this feature pretty well so there's no need to mess with it. However if you must, then go into device manager --> Computer --> Advanced Config.... (ACPI) PC

              change the driver to standard PC.

              Cheers !


              • #8
                Oh, and, be prepared to do a reinstall at this point. That's where I hosed my system beyond recovery.


                • #9
                  I have mine disabled both on the BIOS and the OS, and everything works fine.
                  Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
                  My Toys


                  • #10
                    You did that without a reinstall? Lucky you, sucky me.:(


                    • #11
                      I always run with ACPI functions disabled. I am now using WinXP and still have the functions disabled. No compatibility problems, no crashes, no need for reinstall... just smooth sailing.

                      Dunno what to tell you unless you had some stuff dying anyway and the settings you played with were the straws that broke the camel's back.
                      Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
                      My Toys


                      • #12
                        The difference may have been that I did this in Windows instead of during the install. I should've clarified this earlier. I just leave ACPI on, no problems. Whatever you do, just don't change to or from ACPI within Windows, even if you disable it in BIOS as well. I have not had success doing so. If you don't want ACPI, just disable it during a reinstall.


                        • #13
                          I never said that you would get incompatibilities, I just think it's better enabled ! If you have new hardware and don't require too many IRQ's then as you pointed out everything will run just fine with it disabaled.

                          You can change from ACPI to standard PC after you've installed, well I did it under 2000 anyway... it was going back that caused me problems ! I was trying to fix up some usb problems with my old mvp3 board.... I HATE that chipset with a passion never will I or can I ever say a good thing about it, although strangly enough everyone else seems to love it to death. I shall try not to get started about that though :D

                          Anyway main point is unless you have a reason to change it, leave it alone. Neither setting will cause any problems (provided you have enough IRQ's etc) and it just comes down to personal preferance.



                          • #14
                            I had this problem as well. Heres what i did to remedy it (btw, some devices do not like sharing IRQs, soundblaster and geforce cards are most notorious, so are some network cards)

                            In your bios look for 'INT Pin x Assignment' (where x=a number from 1-4)
                            Have a fiddle with can assign Pin1 an IRQ and pin2 and IRQ etc...give each a different IRQ number and then reboot.
                            I have mine setup like so


                            Also, if you dont use a COM port, then disable it. These take up IRQ numbers even if you arnt using it. You can disable COM ports in the bios as well as onboard sound/midi/gameport (if your mobo has onboard sound etc) devices.

                            Currently- my devices under WinXP are all using their own IRQ and I have ACPI on in bios/OS
                            However- if I enable my 2nd COM port, then network card and sound card piggyback on IRQ9 and I get the stutters.pops&clicks when playing sound :(


                            • #15
                              lol, well I've actually had LESS problems with my devices are using the same IRQ than I did under 98 with them all on seperate IRQ's !

                              Under 98 with different IRQ's my sound was pretty crap, but under 2000 / XP with all devices on the same IRQ everything has been sweet ! (creative sound card and a GeForce, although it isn't a SB Live which is what has the problems I think).

                              That could also just be 'cas compared to 2000 / XP, Win 98 is a piece of crap !