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Author Topic: HELP >.... Some sort of IRQ conflict (I think) ... anyone andy ideas?  (Read 6442 times)
Carol Haynes
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« on: November 18, 2005, 07:49:40 PM »

I bit the bullet following recent hard disc problesm and bought a new pair of WD Caviar 260 Gb EIDE drive. (I have set the old drives up as two single disk RAID arrays - that way i can still grab data from them if I need to).

I have spent the last 24 hours copying partitions from the old drives to the new (and kept the old drives as above in case of any data corruption in the process).

Whilst I had the box in bits I also added  a second 512Mb of memory. That tests OK, so shouldn't be a problem.

Trouble is I am runninging inot a glitch now ...

I am getting periodic pauses where mouse/keyboard don't respond for a few seconds and then play catch up when they become respsonsive again. It's really annoying and I suspect it is an IRQ setting problem.

Being Windows XP it doesn't seem possible to tweak the settings manually.

Anyone any idea how to fix this before I go barking mad ... ? (IRQ list below)

I know there are disabled devices (they are 1394/Firewire netwrok interfaces that I don't use).

No device on the system reports an IRQ conflict, but as you can see there are a number of IRQs which share 3 devices - and they are all hungry devices (RAID / Enhanced USB, aka USB2 / Wireless Network Card / Graphics card etc).

The other really annoying thing is that a number of bits of software are demanding to be reactivated - just beacuse I changed my hard disc:

RoboForm Pro
NitroPDF
iTunes

iTunes and Nitro both reactivated fine, but RoboForm have changed their activation system and it won't let me reactivate (says I have activated too many times). There is no option to deactivate RoboForm - so what do they expect you to do? Really pi****ed off with this sort of behaviour. Why is it that companies now seem to think that it is OK to bugger about with genuine users who have purchased their products, knowing full well that anyone who wants to a cracked version can do so without all this hassle!!

WindowsXP and MS Office both behaved perfectly - for once MS gets this right.

Anyway ... IRQ list:



* sgrab.gif (28.8 KB, 664x611 - viewed 261 times.)
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Innuendo
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2005, 12:27:02 AM »

Oh, geesh...you have a VIA chipset I notice.

You may want to reinstall the latest VIA chipset drivers and see if that doesn't fix it. If not, we'll try something else.

EDIT: I just noticed double trouble...you may wish to ensure you have the latest Promise drivers as well.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2005, 03:36:10 AM »

Yes, I'll try the latest VIA drivers.

As for Promise Drivers ... it's difficult 'cos I have combined trouble here - the mobo is an MSI K7T266Pro2-RU which is otherwise excellent (if getting a bit long in the tooth now). Trouble is the RAID support os for Promise Lite - which is fine for what I want., however you can't use standard Promise drivers - you have to use MSI versions and they haven't been updated since 2001 !!!

I can update the mobo BIOS to release the 'full RAID' version (it is basically hobbled in software) but when I tried this a long time ago I got some disk write errors which were a bit of a mystery. There don't seem to be errors in the 'Lite' version so it could be a BIOS issue.

I also have an ATI Radeon AIW graphics card - and am using the latest 'recommended' version of their Catalyst drivers. The later versions will apparently work with my card but aren't recommended. I don't play games much (and none that require top notch graphics) so I can't see the point of upgrading the graphics card for the sake of it, but it doesn mean drivers are a bit static.


By the way interesting response to my Roboform reactivation issue. I complained that this sort of draconian protection really only affects customers ... here is what they said:

Quote
William replied (2005/11/19 12:30 am EST)   

if you do not want to reactivate often then do not reformat your disk.

our proctection scheme will not change -- eveb if you do not like it.

Hmmm ... so much for customer service.
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2005, 03:38:39 AM »

my god that is an insane response.  are they trying to lose customers?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2005, 03:48:12 AM »

I suppose they would argue that they gave me quick easy access to reactivate again (even though their system said I had reactivated too many times). This is true.

I just feel that this reactivation lark is getting beyond a joke.

If it carries on this way it is going to take hours over days for people to get their systems up and running properly after a hardware change as they wade through dozens of apps that need to to be reactivated.

Even worse is that lots of apps now are trying to enforce one (or limited numbers) install only - this is true of things like Audible Manager, iTunes and biggies like Adobe Photoshop CS (I have not upgraded from version 7 for this reason) - in fact all Adobe products now  to name just a few.

Some (most) software doesn't have a deactivate function so that you can move it from one machine to another and for those that do - how does this help if you have a hardware fault that stops deactivation.

Strikes me that ultimately this is madness for everyone - legitimate users and software companies. Ultimately users are annoyed and alienated, and companies need to employ sufficient staff to man reactivation desks 24/7/365 to try and mitigate that irritation. Meanwhile anyone that wants to get a hacked version can find any numbers of copies with a couple of mouse clicks.
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2005, 09:03:59 AM »

When I ran out of activations with roboform. I sent them an email and was up and running again in minutes.
Whatever, the point I make is that roboform have ALWAYS been most helpful with me.

As for hardware, check your drive controllers are not using PIO mode.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2005, 09:36:26 AM »

Carol, the reason I point at looking at the VIA & Promise drivers first is that I have seen your exact problem on both VIA systems and systems with Promise controllers. Changing the drivers usually fixed it. That you have both puts you in I believe what the Brits call a sticky wicket.

One version of the Promise drivers had a setting that would alleviate the pauses. Searching through Google and Google Groups for the words Promise and "mouse stuttering" will show you that hundreds of people have had the same problem you are having now. The solution is not always pretty.

As for ATI is concerned, at least with older versions of the Catalyst drivers, it seems the ones with the normal control panel are best & the Catalyst Control Panel is a little flakey.

Finding faultless VIA drivers may be a trip into madness. The newest aren't always the best. You'll have to find the version that works best on your hardware.

The Roboform people are being unreasonable, IMHO. You bought the software & you are entitled to it. Fortunately for you, though, there is an activator out in the wild. If the Roboform people will not see reason you will be able to go to the shady side of the street for a bit & activate that to which you are legally entitled.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2005, 09:54:28 AM »

I have updated to latest VIA drivers - reapplied the MSI BIOS update (hacked version) and installed the latest version of the Promise Drivers (from their site) which date from 2002 !!!

I'lll see how it goes.

Still not sure about this IRQ sharing though - it's very strange because some IRQ lines aren't being used at all, and others have three devices to manage ??? I know IRQ mapping in WinXP is virtual and so it probably doesn't make any difference but when you have high-resource impact devices sharing it seems to be a likely source of trouble.

I don't know how WinXP allocates its IRQ table - but sharing USB2 (potentially with multiple discs including hard discs/DVD burners/card readers/digital cameras etc), wireless network, RAID array drivers and Graphics card drivers seems pretty mad to me !

Re: RoboForm - I may have expressed myself badly. They quickly reset my account to allow me to reauthenticate. My argument is that changing a bad hard disc only (and installing all files from a backup) should not force reactivation in the first place. If they are going to tie the product to a single computer (which doesn't work anyway) they should use something more constant like network MAC value, CPU ID, IDE interface ID ... choosing something like a Hard Disc as a key seems plain daft as HDs are almost considered consumables these days!
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2005, 10:39:32 AM »

i agree wrt hard disk requiring reactivation.  very annoying.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2005, 11:55:31 AM »

It's interesting reading about the mouse stuttering problems - but I am not sure that is what i am experiencing.

I don't seem to be getting audio dropout and 99.9% of the time the keyboard and mouse work fine. Just very occasionally the keyboard doesn't respond for a couple of seconds. The keystrokes are input intot he keyboard buffer however and appear when the 'freeze' ends. At the same time it doesn't accept mouse clicks, but again these seem to queue up and are acted on when it unfreezes.

Strange ...

Still seems to be happening (though perhaps not quite so frequently) with the new VIA drivers and the last Promise drivers produced for the Promis onboard controller/BIOS I have.

Doesn't seem to happen particularly when discs are being accessed - at the mo I am using BeyondComapare to do a byte-by-byte comparison of all files in a RAID partition with an IDE partition and I haven't expereiences the freeze for a few minutes ???
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2005, 12:14:30 PM »

maybe its just some app using 99% cpu?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2005, 01:50:46 PM »

Doesn't seem to be
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2005, 02:58:34 PM »

In this day and age with modern equipment IRQ sharing is nothing like it was in the old days. Your screenshot shows you using IRQs higher than 15 so you are using a motherboard capable of APIC.

If you bring up the properties for your promise controller in the device manager do you have any possible options that could be set?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2005, 03:36:39 PM »

No I think the only option is to disable ACPI and use APM. All the options are greayed out - which is normal under ACPI.
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2005, 01:14:46 AM »

I'm running out of ideas that won't cost you money.

All I can think of now is to reinstall Windows, install the chipset drivers off the CD that came with your motherboard first before installing anything else. Then use the Promise driver off that same CD.
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2005, 01:21:09 AM »

you could buy an ide card for cheap and get the control of the raid off the mother board; that should solve your problem IF the problem is related to anything like an irq conflict.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2005, 07:57:14 AM »

It's probably due for a complete reinstall ...

Can't buy extra cards - no more slots  embarassed
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2005, 03:27:44 PM »

Gads! No more slots? What have you got over there taking up all your slots?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2005, 06:55:20 PM »

Actually not quite true - I have two PCI slots left but no space in my box to fill them as I have other addons that fill up the available slot exits.

I have 5 PCI slots with (1) sound card, (2) 1394/Firewire interface, (3) Network interface

There are also a daughter board for the sound card (which doesn't use a PCI slot but does need an external PCI 'exit' hole, my motherboard USB has two sets of ports (plus CPU status LEDs) which need somewhere to exit to the outside world and are designed to use a PCI style 'exit' hole.

Short of buying a bigger box with more holes, or drilling the case to make extra holes (neither of which appeal) my box is full to capacity. The box also has 4 hard drives, three fans, and 2 CD/DVD type drives. I have one 5.25" slot left so I suppose there may be some potential to poke out the USB ports there (and actually would be quite useful as they would then be front mounted). I might consider that - but I am not sure the cables are long enough ...
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2005, 12:38:13 PM »

Gads, that's a lot of stuff...you're almost as bad as me. I keep my boxes full all the time, too, but I have never run into anybody who has even half as bad as me.

I'm currently running 3 hard drives totalling ~900 GB of space, a 3.5" floppy drive I refuse to get rid of, and no less than 3 CD/DVD type devices. I'd surely add more, but my drive bays are all full. And yes, I need every bit of storage space and all three optical drives...and my floppy drive.

You may want to consider bringing some of those ports around to the front of your case. Companies sell really nifty break-out type boxes these days that will match your case color & fit in a 3.5" or 5.25" bay that could bring not only those USB ports to the front of your case, but also firewire & sound card connections for headphones, microphone, and line-in. Some even incorporate fan controllers and tempurature read-outs.

Buying one of these might give you some free PCI slots to work with.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2005, 04:46:17 PM »

 embarassed

We are not alone ...

Actually I have a large box on my desk too (part of the sound card setup) with an extra Firewire  port and optical connections/headphones etc.

Plus multiple USB hubs / multi-card reader / Printer / VCR / Scanner / various remote controls / 7.1 surround sound speaker set.

Add to that a full stereo system and a Polarising Microscope and there ain't much room to move ...

Oh and I forgot to mention the two cats who are always after some attention (usually by walking on the keyboard).
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