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XP won't let me change IRQ numbers!

By Master Toddy ยท 58 replies
Jan 30, 2003
  1. I need to change the IRQ number of my sound card or video card because they are the same and causing me porblems with playing DVD's. I have Windows XP, and I go to Device manager and go to the resources section of the sound card properties, but it won't let me un-check the use automatic setting for the IRQ #, it's greyed out, so I can't change it. So how do I fix this?
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    It might be quicker and easier to just move your sound card to another slot. the first and second PCI slots are the only two that are shared IRQ's I believe.move your sound card to the third or fourth slot.
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    With the ACPI Hardware abstraction layer, you CAN'T really change IRQs in the operating system. And its likely if you change settings in the BIOS, it will just ignore those as well. Moving the card MAY help to change the IRQ, I don't know but again it might well not. ACPI pretty much gives the OS license to do what it wants with IRQs, and you will probably find loads of PCI devices lumped onto one IRQ and governed by ACPI. This is by design so that IRQ conflicts become a thing of the past. But as you have discovered, sometimes it becomes necessary.

    Here is how you could overcome this.

    You Do This At Your Own Risk.

    1)Right Click My Computer, Select Manage.
    2)Opens Management Console.
    3)Select Device Manager.
    4)Click on the + next to Computer (Top Icon under computer name)
    5)Reveals "Advanced Configuration and Power Interface PC"
    6)Right click that, select properties.
    7)Go into "Driver" tab
    8)Click "Update Driver"
    10)Display a list of known drivers for the device
    12)Click "Show all hardware of this device class"
    13)Under (Standard Computers), select "Standard PC"
    14)NEXT, NEXT, etc...

    15)Reboot and pray.

    Hopefully all will be well when you reboot. A number of things will be different. One will be that some advanced power management things DO NOT WORK. Particularly, its likely that if you select "shutdown" from the start menu, it will just shut the OS down, and you will be left with the old message "its now safe to turn your computer off" instead of the actual power going off, i.e. you will loose the ability to power down using software and will have to press the power off button on your case. You may also get IRQ conflicts because you will have lost advanced IRQ management and will instead have to rely on the BIOS trying to do the best it can to make everything work. Try to set "Plug and Play OS installed" to NO in your BIOS if you have such a setting. You might also want to run a "Reset ESCD Data" as well first time round.

    Good luck. You might need it.
  4. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    How about changing it to an APM PC, instead of a Standard PC? Would this work? If it does then you should at least have some power management AFAIK.
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    To tell the truth, I was actually looking at Windows 2000 server whilst i wrote the instructions. Its likely that there are APM HALs in Windows XP. You could try one of those, yes. Thanks for correction, Th3M1ghtyD8.
  6. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    How about to start, disable ACPI. It is the root of many hardware conflicts, IRQ and otherwise. Then use the tips from Phant and Th3M1ghtyD8.

    Moving PCI cards alone isn't enough because some cards will try to use the same settings no matter where you put them and you'll still need to force the settings.
  7. Master Toddy

    Master Toddy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Thanks for trying to help me. I used your suggestion and changed the computer from acpi to standard pc. It found all my hardware, EXCEPT the mouse. My mouse is a USB mouse, Microsoft Intellimouse Optical. I had to leave before I had the time to see if reinstalling the drivers would work, but I was able to use it without the drivers before. Is this normal?
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Weird things WILL happen. I am sure that reinstalling the drivers will work. USB mice do not require the ACPI HAL specifically as far as I am aware.
  9. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Or you could save yourself 37 instructions of trouble, and simply assign the IRQ you want to use to that particular PCI slot in the bios ;) XP will designate that device to use that IRQ first because it will be the first supplied to it from DMI for that slot.

    You may have to uninstall/reinstall the device to make that work.
  10. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Oh btw a good majority of my boxes are set to "Standard PC" and have proper APM support anyways. They shutdown completely, work properly with WOL, can go to / resume from standby, et cetera. The PC type will not neccessarily prevent those functions from working properly.
  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    I was sure that ACPI overrides any IRQ settings in the BIOS. I am sure that it works by lumping lots of devices onto one IRQ - on my ACPI enabled Windows 2000 installation I have many devices all on IRQ 7.

    ACPI moves the device management to the OS and not the BIOS, so it stands to reason that it can override BIOS settings.

    I've not tested this, and I can't be bothered. But I am fairly sure.

    IRQ Number Device
    9 Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System
    7 NVIDIA GeForce3 Ti 200
    7 ALi PCI to USB Open Host Controller
    7 Sigma Designs Hollywood Plus MPEG Decoder
    7 Advansys SCSI Host Adapter
    7 Creative SB Live! Value (WDM)
    7 Realtek RTL8139/810X Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC
    7 3Com EtherLink 10/100 PCI TX NIC (3C905B-TX)
    7 AMI MegaRAID IDE 100 Controller
    14 Primary IDE Channel
    15 Secondary IDE Channel
    8 System CMOS/real time clock
    13 Numeric data processor
    6 Standard floppy disk controller
    4 Communications Port (COM1)
    3 Communications Port (COM2)
    12 PS/2 Compatible Mouse
    1 Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2

    You can see there 8 devices sharing IRQ 7, including graphics card, sound card, network adapters, etc. Next time I reboot I will try to change this in the BIOS, but I am fairly certain that with ACPI you CAN'T.
  12. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    That is the way it works Phant. ACPI overrides the BIOS settings and lets the OS have control over IRQ. There are many hardware problems that are easily solved by disabling ACPI. I think this has been discussed before to great detail.
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    It MAY be possible to change the IRQ that ACPI has lumped all of the devices on, but with ACPI I don't think you can prevent these devices from sharing an IRQ.

    The IRQ model belongs to an older age, and part of the thought behind ACPI is that it overcomes the problems of running out of IRQs, IRQ conflicts, etc.

    But as has been discovered here, this can still cause problems and as such some people don't want to use an ACPI HAL.
  14. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    You won't run out of IRQs if

    1) if you use NT-based OS

    2) You have set your computer type as "MPS Uniprocessor PC"

    3) You have APIC (it's not a typo) enabled in BIOS.

    IRQs will go up to 128 that way.
  15. Master Toddy

    Master Toddy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Okay, lets see if I can fix one problem at a time here: I checked out display properties, and it had an exclamation point next to the via rev 5 or later usb host controller. It gave me a code 10 error and said that the device cannot start. That would explain why the mouse is not working. My motherboard is a Soyo K7V Dragon Plus (via kt133a chipset). Where can I find the drivers to install for the usb controller (I can't really do anything until my mouse is working again - I looked for an old ball mouse but couldn't find any around the house).
  16. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

  17. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    The error code 10 tends to require reinstalled drivers as you have identified. The would make sense if the HAL has changed.

    There should also be usb drivers on your windows xp cd. its just called usb.inf I think.

    But there is indeed the link that Michlan posted.
  18. Master Toddy

    Master Toddy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Okay, so I tried the drivers that were posted, they didn't work, tried the default windows drivers, didn't work either, I'm still getting a code 10, so I figure that I should probably switch it back to ACPI since my mouse won't work. But now I have a problem. When I go to change the drivers from Standard PC to ACPI, it only lists Standard PC, it doesn't list ACPI, so what do I do?
  19. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Erm, I think....

    12)Click "Show all hardware of this device class"
  20. Master Toddy

    Master Toddy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    I tried that :( I have no clue why it's not working, but it isn't, all I see listed is standard pc.
  21. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    can you post a screenshot?
  22. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Maybe it is hidden? In the menu bar of Device manager click View and select "Show Hidden Devices".
  23. Master Toddy

    Master Toddy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Yeah, I tried that, but it isn't there. I think I'll probably have to reinstall windows today. *sighs*. Ya know, XP is great when it works but when it decides to quit working it's a pain in the ***.
  24. Master Toddy

    Master Toddy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    How do I fix this damn IRQ thing? I just reinstalled windows. I can't move the card to the top three slots on my motherboard because it won't work since the agp slot is too close to the pci slot - the card won't work. I can't put it in the fourth pci slot because that's where my tv tuner has to go since if I put the tv tuner in the fifth pci slot, THAT card won't work. And if I have it in the fifth pci slot (the sound card) it assigns the card the same irq number as the video card! I've tried the sound card in the fourth pci slot, and it assigned the cards different irq numbers. And I won't try converting the pc to standard pc again because that didn't work. So what the hell ('scuse the language, but I'm extermely frustrated right now)? Do I do? I just paid $112 for this sound card, and I'm not in the mood to be sending it back. I had my previous sound card in the SAME slot and it worked PERFECTLY FINE (even though it was an Aureal card).
  25. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Well, if you have tried all the different things we have suggested, I really don't know what to tell you because in my experience, disabling ACPI in the BIOS usually works. You may still have to shift some cards around a bit but it should have let you change enogh that you could get it all working.
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