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I moved my ISA board to a new computer and now my program no longer works. What can I do?

Question :

I moved my ISA board to a new computer and now my program no longer works. What can I do?

Answer :

Product(s) :
PCI/ISA Plug-In Boards: various 

Question : I moved my ISA board to a new computer and now my program no longer works. What can I do?

Answer: The most common cause of this type of condition is incomplete or incorrect configuration information on the new computer. Make sure you have identified and relocated all supporting configuration files from the old computer to the new one. Check the autoexec.bat and config.sys files on the old computer; these system files can give clues about any special drivers that were loaded when the computer boots up.

For an ISA bus card, you'll need to determine how the application gains access to the plug-in board: uses a Keithley driver or does direct register level control. Since ISA cards have been around for many years, there are often several choices of driver software: Mode call drivers for DOS, Standard Software for DOS, Advanced Software Option (ASO) for DOS or for Windows, and also sometimes a DriverLINX driver. You need to have the driver that the application makes use of properly installed and configured. If your application makes use of ASO, then installation of DriverLINX would provide no benefit.

In any troubleshooting exercise, 'divide and conquer' is a good strategy. Maybe the application program will not run because of an underlying hardware conflict on the new computer that was not present on the old one. Make sure the resources (I/O range, IRQ and DMA) the board is using are available on the new computer.

To help solve software issues, most driver software packages provide utility programs for hardware performance verification. First check that the hardware and driver software works correctly using the supplied test panel program for your installed driver (ASO Control Panel or DriverLINX AIOPanel, etc). If these test panels give error messages, correct any configuration problems before trying your own application code.

Pay attention also to the operating system on the old and new computer. For operation in Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP, the drivers that access the hardware require a "kernel mode privileges". Drivers that were written for DOS or Windows 3.x or Windows 9x will not typically have this required kernel mode. An application that makes use of DOS drivers or ASO drivers for board access, will be restricted to Windows 98 or less. So if the old computer ran Win3.x or Win98, but the new computer runs WindowsXP, you may not be able to make use of an older application that uses drivers not designed for kernel mode access to hardware.

If DriverLINX was the driver used by your application, then the chances are good that you can migrate to WinNT or higher by also installing the DriverLINX driver onto the new computer. The exceptions are DriverLINX for DAS-8 or DAS-16 or DAS-1600 Series of boards. These particular implementations of DriverLINX are limited to Windows 3.x or Windows 9x. However, the application code written for these boards will operate with other ISA or PCI boards with a minimum of code changes.

Bottom line, moving the hardware and software to another computer is not a trivial exercise and can pose challenges to getting the system up and running again.

©Copyright 2003, Keithley Instruments, Inc.

This FAQ Applies to:

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FAQ ID 71451

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