To add adapters to past generations of ISA computers, a variety of switches are provided on the adapters. These switches control the assignment of computer resources such as interrupt request (IRQ) lines, direct memory access (DMA) channels, and memory address ranges. Determining how to set switches for (or configuring ) these resources can be complex. Plug and Play adapters and devices make this task easier.
Plug and Play Adapters
Plug and Play adapters are easier to install and set up because they are auto-configuring (no jumpers or switches) to set. A Plug and Play adapter comes with built-in identification and configuration specifications set in the adapter memory. This information is sensed by the I/O bus and interpreted by the computer BIOS. The BIOS routines the automatically configure the adapter around the resources already in useby other devices.
PCI adapters are generally Plug and Play devices. Many ISA adapters are not Plug and Play devices. If the adapter you are installing is not a Plug and Play adapter (a legacy device), you must configure it manually.
ISA adapters that are not Plug and PLay devices are reffered to as legacy devices. The Configuration/Setup Utility program can help you manually configure legacy adapters.
The Configuration/Setup Utility program screens show the legacy recources typically required by adapters:
See > PCI (PnP) Vendor-IDs
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