Adapter Configuration

Adapter Configuration

To add adapters to past generations of ISA computers, a variety of switches are provided on the adapters. These switches control the assignment of computer resources such as interrupt request (IRQ) lines, direct memory access (DMA) channels, and memory address ranges. Determining how to set switches for (or configuring ) these resources can be complex. Plug and Play adapters and devices make this task easier.

Plug and Play Adapters

Plug and Play  adapters are easier to install and set up because they are auto-configuring (no jumpers or switches) to set. A Plug and Play adapter comes with built-in identification and configuration specifications set in the adapter memory. This information is sensed by the I/O bus and interpreted by the computer BIOS. The BIOS routines the automatically configure the adapter around the resources already in useby other devices.

PCI adapters are generally Plug and Play devices. Many ISA adapters are not Plug and Play devices. If the adapter you are installing is not a Plug and Play adapter (a legacy  device), you must configure it manually.

Legacy Adapters

ISA adapters that are not Plug and PLay devices are reffered to as legacy  devices. The Configuration/Setup Utility program can help you manually configure legacy adapters.

The Configuration/Setup Utility program screens show the legacy recources typically required by adapters:

Resources not currently being used by adapters already installed in the computer are highlighted. From these screens you can select available resources for the adapter you are installing. Set the resource used by installed legacy adapters to not available  This enables the Plug and Play code to configure around legacy adapters. Then you can make the appropriate jumper or switch settings on the adapter. Using this procedure helps prevent conflicts with other adapters.
Refer to the adapter documentation for information about required resources. If the computer comes with preinstalled software, you can also select these resources using the Plug and Play icon.

NOTE: The Plug and Play feature uses memory addresses ED00h to EFFFh. If you install an ISA legacy adapter or use a memory manager program, do not use the addresses within this range

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