Common Soundblaster problems

PROBLEM - Many customers are having a great deal of trouble configuring their Sound Blaster 16 adapters with IBM Token Ring shared RAM adapters. Problems range from system hanging to failures initializing the Token Ring adapter.

Machines AFFECTED - All Valuepoint machines

SOLUTION - the I/O base address for the IBM shared RAM Token Ring adapters as well as many OEM Token Ring adapters is A20. This I/O address is hard coded and cannot be changed unless the Token Ring adapter is switched from primary to secondary. The sound blaster 16 adapter defaults to I/O base address 220. Intuitively their shouldn't be an I/O address conflict between the two adapters, but there is. I/O address 220 is very similar to I/O address A20. The only difference is address bit 11. From inspection of a sound blaster 16 adapter it does not decode address bit 11. As a result, the sound blaster 16 adapter will respond to I/O accesses intended for the Token Ring adapter. This results in an I/O conflict and the problems listed in the problem description.

temporary workaround - Switching the Token Ring adapter from primary to secondary is not a viable solution since at least one Token Ring adapter installed in the system must be a primary. The only other alternative is to change the I/O base address of the sound blaster 16 card to something other than 220. Unfortunately moving the sound blaster 16 address from 220 may cause your existing games not to run.

IBM will be in contact with Creative Labs for a more permanent resolution to this problem.

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