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Dell Notebook computers sharing IRQ 11

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sheets, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. sheets

    sheets Guest

    I have a dell notebook and it's firewire port shares IRQ 11 with:

    IRQ 11 Dell C840 OK
    IRQ 11 Intel(R) 82801CA/CAM USB Universal Host Controller - 2482 OK
    IRQ 11 Intel(R) 82801CA/CAM USB Universal Host Controller - 2487 OK
    IRQ 11 3Com 3C920 Integrated Fast Ethernet Controller (3C905C-TX Compatible) OK
    IRQ 11 Texas Instruments PCI-4451 CardBus Controller OK
    IRQ 11 Texas Instruments PCI-4451 CardBus Controller OK
    IRQ 11 Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller OK

    I'd like to move it over to:

    IRQ 4 - Com Port
    IRQ 5 - Modem
    IRQ 6 - Floppy Controller

    (Since I don't use either of these devices.)

    Any idea how I can accomplish this?
    sheets, Jan 8, 2004
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  2. sheets

    Kirk Roy Guest

    I will hazard a guess... If you're not using the com port, modem, or
    floppy controller see if you can disable them in the bios (I know the bios
    on my dell latitude doesn't allow this level of control but...). Then,
    back in windows, go into the device manager and manually change the
    configuration on the resources tab for the firewire controller. You might
    also try removing the firewire controller through the device manager and
    then restart windows and seeing if it uses an open IRQ when it's found
    after windows gets going again...

    Which windows are you using?

    Kirk Roy, Jan 8, 2004
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  3. I believe you might see the most improvement by moving the ethernet
    controller off of irq 11.

    Kings_Avenger, Jan 8, 2004
  4. sheets

    DKID Guest

    On 8 Jan 2004 07:52:21 -0800,
    (sheets) wrote:

    I went through something similar last year just to finally give up on
    the interface/software combo in my laptop.

    Can you tell me what the problem is? Wwhy you want to move the IRQ?
    What Firewire interface and DAW software are you using?
    DKID, Jan 8, 2004
  5. sheets

    Andy Peake Guest

    After struggling with this same issue for several months, I was told
    by a Dell upper level tech support person that I cannot change the IRQ
    assignments on my notebook. That conclusion has been supported by a
    number of other sources since that time. Pretty dumb, huh? I also have
    many items assigned to the same IRQ. It sucks! I just got an A+ PC
    computer certification, wherein I learned how to reassign IRQs but
    found out it (for the most part) can only be done on desktops. Dell is
    not the only brand that leaves the notebook owner with no change

    The most recent issue of EQ magazine touches briefly on the laptop/IRQ
    problem and simply states that you must research different brands to
    learn the IRQ placments.

    I have an M-Audio Quattro USB interface. It was a nightmare! M-Audio
    has since made some patches available which have helped the
    performance of the interface dramatically. I now have a Firewire 410.
    It operates much better even though it still shares the IRQ with USB,
    video, PCMCIA, ethernet etc. etc.

    Anyway, depending on your unit, you may be stuck. It's a sucky
    situation. I was so angry since I had just opted for an Inspiron 5100
    with 2.4 GHz P-4 with firewire and XP-Pro as what I thought would
    solve all my laptop/audio problems---wrong! It is working fairly well
    now with the FW-410 but it's been a hassle. Clearly, Macintosh seems
    to have the edge with issues like this.

    You are welcome to contact me if you have any other questions. I've
    been through a lot with this question.
    Andy Peake, Jan 9, 2004

  6. I don't think I can with mine either, but I haven't sweated the issue
    because it works just fine the way it is (I'm using an MBox with a Sony
    laptop and external Firewire drive). Makes we wonder if sheets has an
    actual problem that needs solving, or if his efforts are more of a
    pre-emptive strike aimed at "potential" problems.

    Which "issue" is that? We've got both and so far I've yet to establish
    any clear advantage to one or the other. The Mac may not have IRQs to
    contend with, but it's got its own configuration issues. Six of one,
    half a dozen of the other.

    Lorin David Schultz, Jan 9, 2004
  7. sheets

    Arny Krueger Guest

    I think that some people would be really surprised to hear that the old IBM
    mainframes, with zillions of I/O devices all over the place, many running
    fast and furious, routed essentially all I/O through 1 IRQ. They did this
    with clock speeds as low as 1 MHz or less.
    Arny Krueger, Jan 9, 2004
  8. sheets

    Marc Reinig Guest

    Unless your device that is performing poorly needs a truely huge amount of
    processor power (Gigabit ethernet or equivalent is about the only thing that
    comes to mind, and what would that be doing on a laptop ;=) ), there is
    little reason to try and change IRQ. If a device really requires that,
    either it is so poorly deisgned as to be considered broken or the driver is
    likewise poorly designed.

    Modern laptops should be able to cope with almost any combination of devices
    with no problems.

    Marc Reinig
    System Solutions
    Marc Reinig, Jan 9, 2004
  9. sheets

    DKID Guest

    Check out a notebook PC company called "M-tech". Their Notebooks have
    real Pentium 4 processors while most only have "Mobile" processors.
    They market themselves as Portable Desktops. I think - because of
    that, you can disable "Power Management" which automatically assigns
    IRQs. I recommend you call the company personally to check that out.
    Let us know what you find out?
    DKID, Jan 9, 2004
  10. sheets

    MusiPete Guest

    Yeah, this is what Dell says too. But while this may be true in
    theory, it doesn't fly in practical application. I have the same
    problem with a Dell C840.

    I have tried many different 1394 cards, storage devices, and input
    devices (preamps), as well as many different drivers for each device &
    all of them have problems. I have completely reformatted and
    reinstalled from the OS up 5 different times in failed efforts to fix
    the drivers. All this leads me to believe that there is an issue with
    the laptop. It works fine 90% of the time, but will glitch
    occasionally when recording to or reading from a firewire device.
    That isn't good enough for a critical live-recording situation.

    So I guess I'm back to the dedicated HDR...

    MusiPete, Jan 9, 2004
  11. sheets

    RB Guest

    Look this up in the MS KnowledgeBase (if your using Win2000) for an
    explanation of IRQ sharing (by design):


    And this one for those using WinXP:


    In short, here's what it says, and I quote:

    "In Windows, peripheral component interconnect (PCI) devices can share IRQs.
    In accord with the Plug and Play capability that is defined by the PCI
    specification, adapters are configured by the computer BIOS and are then
    examined by the operating system and changed if necessary. It is normal
    behavior for PCI devices to have IRQs shared among them, especially on
    Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) computers that have
    Windows ACPI support enabled."

    RB, Jan 9, 2004
  12. sheets

    Andy Peake Guest

    EQ Magazine, January issue, page 26 has the info box re: IRQs that I
    mentioned earlier in this thread. It leans toward the AMD processors
    for better IRQ configs.
    Andy Peake, Jan 10, 2004
  13. sheets

    Andy Peake Guest

    EQ Magazine, January issue, page 26 has the info box re: IRQs that I
    mentioned earlier in this thread. It leans toward the AMD processors
    for better IRQ configs.
    Andy Peake, Jan 10, 2004
  14. sheets

    Sheets Guest

    Thanks for the tip. Unfortunatley, they only make one model with UXGA
    (1600x1200) which I need for authoring my book. Even if it's a better
    machine, I can't justify the extra dough and their default warranty is a
    "mail-in" which I don't want to deal with either.

    Similarly configured with similar warranty, the Dell is $1300 and the m-tech
    is $2000.
    Sheets, Jan 10, 2004
  15. sheets

    Sheets Guest

    Those machines weren't processing 24bit,48k digital audio in real time
    Sheets, Jan 10, 2004
  16. sheets

    Sheets Guest

    Several folks want to know what the problem is...

    The problem is that periodically the FW410 will just stop working and its
    blue LED will blink rapidly. Hot-plugging does not re-establish the
    connection. I have to reboot the computer and the fw410, sometimes multiple
    times before it'll work. Apparently, m-audio flashes the firmware everytime
    the system boots up and the only docs I can find on the blinking led talk
    about the firmware not flashing properly. Obviously, this did *NOT* happen
    in the middle of a session where it was working fine up 'til some point.
    There must be some other situation that causes this problem but it's not
    documented and their tech support is unaware of this.
    Sheets, Jan 10, 2004
  17. sheets

    Sheets Guest

    1) I have no ethernet connection when the problems occur
    2) How do I move the IRQ?
    Sheets, Jan 10, 2004
  18. sheets

    Sheets Guest

    The IRQ is readonly in the resources tab.
    Tried that. Comes back at 11.
    xp-pro SP1A
    Sheets, Jan 10, 2004
  19. sheets

    DKID Guest

    That is surprising because everybody I know of recommends going with a
    standard intel chipset for best compatibility with the most devices
    and software.
    DKID, Jan 10, 2004
  20. sheets

    Arny Krueger Guest

    True most of the time, not that it wasn't tried and done. However, with
    interrupt processing, the biggest challenge is handling lots of interrupts
    from lots of disparate sources. A large IBM mainframe might handle 10,000s
    of interrupts per second, and from different competing sources.

    It might be good to remember that there can be as little as one interrupt
    per buffer, and that a buffer can hold 100's or even thousands of samples.
    IOW, an audio stream can involve only a few hundred interrupts per second.
    Arny Krueger, Jan 11, 2004
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