CardWare with Adaptec SlimSCSI 1460 card

Adaptec SlimSCSI 1460 card supports very limited set of resources. Card Information Structure (CIS) allows to use only I/O address at base 0x140 or 0x340 and IRQ 9, 10, 11, 12 in ISA mode only (Level). If one of two I/O addresses is usually available the IRQ could be a problem on some of machines.

On today computer the IRQ 12 is never available (used by PS/2 mouse). The IRQ 11 is commonly used by PCI devices. The IRQ 9 or 10 is available on most of the system, but not on all. E.g. BIOS of Toshiba Satellite 1625CDT uses IRQ 9 for USB, IRQ 10 for Rockwell modem and IRQ 11 for ATI Rage VGA. Since SlimSCSI 1460 Card declares that IRQs should be used in ISA mode only (i.e. IRQs are not shareable) Adaptec card will be never configured by CardWare on such PC. The only remedy is to get a BIOS update for such machine.

In order to make SlimSCSI work you will typically need to:

  1. Edit [Resources] section of your cardware.ini as follow:
  2. ;I/O=0x140,0x20,E,10 ; Normally not used
    IRQ=9,E       ; Check if IRQ is available
    IRQ=10,E      ; Check if IRQ is available
    IRQ=11,D      ; Use IRQ 11 with dynamic share only since it's PCI IRQ
  3. Edit your config.sys as follow (assuming you start from floppy):
    SWITCHES   = /F
    FILES      = 40
    BUFFERS    = 20
    STACKS     = 9,512
    DEVICE     = A:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS X=D000-D7FF
    DOS        = HIGH,UMB
    DEVICEHIGH = A:\CARDWARE\SSPCIC.EXE <your platform switches set by CardWare setup>

It's very important that IRQ used by CardWare is free and match to the IRQ that you specify in /Q parameter of ASPI2DOS.SYS. You may check which IRQ is used by CardWare running DOSCARD /D. If IRQ selected by CardWare doesn't work, you may exclude it from cardware.ini by placing XIRQ record instead of IRQ record. E.g. XIRQ=10,E. After system reboots, check with DOSCARD which IRQ is used now and specify the same in /Q parameter of ASPI2DOS.SYS.

If you are trying to use SlimSCSI with IOMEGA JAZ device we recommend that you are using IOMEGA GUEST.EXE application rather then stack of ASPI drivers. It gives more compact image on the floppy.

In rare situations it happens that the above setup is not working. It usually due to one of two reasons:

  • Resource conflict. Please use any computer diagnostic program to check if the I/O range of 0x340-0x35F and IRQ 10 (9, 11, 12) are in use by other hardware. If they are and you cannot free them, there is no way to make 1460 work due to extremely limited set of resources supported by that card.
  • Improper setup of PC Card adapter by BIOS. If you are sure that I/O range of 0x340-0x35F on your computer is free and IRQ 10 are not in use, you may have have to adjust interrupt mode by adding some switches to SSPCIC driver. Please refer to the article Problems with PC Card 16 interrupt and initialization of PC Card Controller for details.

Please also notice that despite the fact that Adaptec documentation claims that I/O range 0x140 is supported, we were never able to use it. The I/O range 0x340 works fine.