legacy devices - help needed

  daba 00:33 13 Jan 2003
  daba 00:33 13 Jan 2003

With Win'95, it was possible to install and use a legacy I/O adaptor, specifying memory address, and interrupt. Later versions of windows have "shut the doors" on using such legacy hardware.

Does anyone know of a way to tell windows (eg 2000 or NT) to allow programs access to I/O ports at specific memory locations without grumbles ?

Surely Microsoft haven't really shut all the doors, preferring people to use the windows (slight pun there, but you know what i mean).

Any help or discussion would be appreciated.

  Lone Crow 01:11 13 Jan 2003

I have a PCI legacy card providing extra parallel ports which is plug-and-pray, but the oem driver software does allow for manual tweaking of settings, so perhaps the answer is that Windows of itself doesn't provide the facility but the card's oem software does? Just a guess. LC.

  Lone Crow 01:17 13 Jan 2003

Just remembered - go to Control Panel/System/Device Manager/ Ports/ Properties/ select whichever port/ Settings. That's where you can specify memory addresses if it's poss (not for all ports), etc. Happy hunting! LC

  wawadave 03:45 13 Jan 2003

if you cant in windows in bios you should be able to

  daba 23:26 13 Jan 2003

Thanks for those....

The basic problem is the software which uses the cards is DOS-based, and has to run in a DOS window, like a virtual machine.

Windows still blocks access to the machines I/O ports from anything that doesnt go via it's own drivers, presumably for security reasons.

But hey, it's my machine, it's my legacy DOS application, and I want to tell Windows to leave it be and let it use I/O ports I tell it too.

Is this too much to ask ??

  Lone Crow 21:05 19 Jan 2003

Having given your problem a bit of thought, why not boot into DOS proper if your version of Windows allows (up to 98se, I think, and Me only with modifications)? You can then try running your DOS-based application outside of the windows environment altogether. Alternatively, if you have a suitable copy of DOS you could partition your drive and use a boot manager to load DOS separately when you want to - or even boot from DOS on a floppy disk. In either case, there is an internal DOS command called ctty which can specify In/Out ports to assist in modifying your PC's setup. You could find out more by using the Help facility of DOS to look up ctty. Also, if you have the MS handbook for a standalone version of DOS you may find some help in that. LC.

  daba 01:14 25 Jan 2003

Thanks for that Lone Crow.

Unfortunately, that is exactly how I use the software now, but the ability to Window the application, and perhaps run another two or three concurrently in Windows (which was perfectly OK in W'95), is a tremendous productivity boost.

History is as follows:-

W95 allowed you to specify memory and interrupt, and load specific drivers to use them. EMM386 was used to exclude that memory area, (eg "EXCLUDE=D700-DFFF") and Windows was happy.

W98 seemed intially to let you do the same, but when trying to configure the memory address and/or interrupt it complained "this setting cannot be changed".

WinNT closed and locked the doors, not allowing any port configuration.

W2K has effectively double-locked the doors and thrown away the keys.

I think the crunch came when Windows became the OS, rather than being an application running under DOS.

Perhaps deep down in Windows, there still exists the ability to tweak this, and one day someone gifted may throw me a life-line.

regards, daba

  Lone Crow 22:26 25 Jan 2003

Hi daba, sorry I'm slow keeping up with this one but life's full at the mo! I'm not gifted enough to offer the advice you need, I'm afraid (wotdyer mean, u already guessed?!). So, although not the most elegant of solutions, why not partition the hard drive and have Win95 on one partition so that you can boot into it and run your apps as you used to do? It would get the job done at least! (If you needed to share the data the apps produce with your normal OS then you'd need a third partition in order to store the data separately from the OS partitions, of course. Works for me!). Cheers. LC.

  daba 13:55 26 Jan 2003

Sounds like a workable solution - I'll have to put that to our IT guys - see how they react.

Probably like this....

" You want WHAT on your PC ??? (rofl) !! "

Cheers for that.

I'll hang on a bit longer before "GT" see if anyone else can offer any W2K solutions.

  Lone Crow 20:34 26 Jan 2003

If you pay 'em, order 'em! If not, ask VERY nicely!! Cheers. LC.

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