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ISA sound is not possible on new MB with ICH6 and later :( (Users)

posted by RayeR(R) Homepage, CZ, 02.01.2008, 21:45

Hi,
as I wrote about my new MB Commell P4LA, I tried various drivers and 3 different ISA cards but nothing really works. Card is detected but no sound or system hangs. I mailed with Commel tech. support and here's a short and clear reply:

> Currently I have problem with running ISA soundcard under DOS. I have
> ESS1868 ISA PnP card fully SB Pro compatible (it worked fine in
> PIII-iBX440 mobo with ISA slot). When I run the ESS configuration utility
> it successfully recognize it and set proper IO, DMA, IRQ but I cannot hear
> sound. All programs hangs when playback should start or don't recognize
> soudcard. It seems that I/O ports decoding works fine because I can set
> mixer options and other things in DSP. But maybe problem in IRQ/DMA.
> What I tried:
> a) use various DMA 0,1,3 and IRQs 5,7
> b) set IRQ 5/7 to be reserved for legacy card in SETUP/Plug&Play options
> (to prevent other PCI devices use this IRQ)
> c) disable APIC
> d) disable ACPI
> e) under Windows98 works only sound from windows apps not from DOS apps
> f) I tried original Creative SoundBlaster AWE64 ISA but with same result
> (driver initialization OK but hangs/no sound)
>
> What I should set in SETUP for maximum ISA compatability? Or do I need
> some special tool for initialization the PCI/ISA bridge? Is the onboard
> ISA really fully compatible or it have restrictions to DMA/IRQ signals?

(5) Intel's chipset no more support ISA DMA Mode.
therefore some ISA Card will not be support.

I googled and must agree they are true accrding to this intel document:
http://www.intel.com/design/intarch/papers/318244.pdf
It tells some important signal releated to ISA DMA has been removed on ICH6 and later so it's impossible to fully connect the bridge to support ISA DMA.
But I was not warned about it, it's not written in manual and specs. this is ommited. So take it as warning from my mistake. The latest working mobos should be some i845/865 with ICH5 and ISA bridges.

I don't know if there may be some workaroud to route ISA DMA somewhere like on LPC or IDE DMA...

---
DOS gives me freedom to unlimited HW access.

 

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