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Plug and Play

Plug and Play

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Published by Drift Gee

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Published by: Drift Gee on Feb 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ne of the key appeals to the IBM-type personal computer architecture is its functionalmodularity—its ability to accept a variety of expansion devices, such as modems, videocontrollers, drive adapters, video capture/TV boards, etc. Each device added to a system
Understanding PnP underWindows 95
PnPdevicesPnP BIOSPnP operating systemAn overview of PnP behaviorDevice types and identificationDetection vs. enumerationLegacy devices
Enabling PnP Under DOS
The PnPconfiguraton driverThe PnP configuration utilityBlaster variablesPotential problems with genericPnP configuration softwarePotential problems withmanufacturer’s PnP softwareHandling PnPconfiguraiton issuesunder DOS
Managing and Troubleshooting PnPDevices
Installing PnPdevicesInstalling legacy devicesUpdating device driversInstalling modems manuallyInstalling printers manuallyDisabling a deviceRemoving a deviceSymptoms
Further Study
needs to be “configured” to utilize unique IRQ, DMA, and I/O resources. Traditionally,devices were configured manually using a series of jumpers on the device. Althoughthis proved to be a straightforward approach, it also opened the way for many configu-ration conflicts (devices accidentally configured to use overlapping resources). Report-ing utilities are also imprecise, making conflict resolution somewhat of a tedious,“hit-or-miss” process. Current operating systems typically provide better tools for con-flict resolution (see Chapter 10), but resolving conflicts still demands a certain amountof patience and expertise.Designers have long sought to “automate” this device-configuration process, removingthe error-prone task of device configuration from the hands of end users and busy techni-cians. The results of this “automatic configuration” technology has become known as
 Plug-and-Play (PnP)
. First introduced with late-model i486 systems, PnP is now a stan-dard technology implemented in all current PCs. Although PnP simplifies much of the con-figuration problems with new systems, there are still many situations where PnP doesn’twork perfectly (especially when running devices under DOS, or using pre-PnP devices in aPnP system). This chapter describes the requirements for PnP, outlines the special require-ments for implementing PnP under DOS, and provides a series of troubleshooting points.
Understanding PnP under Windows 95
The first step in troubleshooting Plug and Play is to understand the issues involved in mak-ing it run. PnP is not one particular technology, but rather it is a combination of featuresall brought together. The three components are involved in a PnP system are: PnP devices,PnP BIOS, and a PnP-compliant operating system—each part must be PnP-compatible.
A PnP system requires one or more “devices:” the modems, video adapters, chipsets, driveadapters, and a myriad of other hardware elements in the PC. Ideally, every device in thePC will be PnP-compatible, and today’s systems do contain virtually all PnP devices. PnPdevices are capable of identifying themselves and their resource requirements to the rest of the system. The only wrinkles occur when non-PnP (or “legacy”) devices are mixed intothe system hardware.
A PnP system requires a PnP BIOS—especially at boot time. Because PnP devices ini-tialize in the inactive state by default, the PnP BIOS is needed to initialize the core PnP de-vices (i.e., the video adapter and boot drive) to complete the POST and launch theoperating system. Also note that the original version of PnP BIOS (version 1.0) was fi-nalized in May 1994. By October 1994, additional clarifications were added. As a conse-quence, older PnP systems are not fully compliant with the current specification. PnPsupport problems on older systems can usually be corrected with a BIOS upgrade. SystemPnP support can typically be enabled or disabled through the CMOS setup routine.
The PnP OS takes over where the PnP BIOS leaves off by identifying and configuring the re-maining PnP devices in the system, then loading the appropriate drivers needed to initializeand operate each respective device. The OS also must keep resources aside for non-PnP(“legacy”) devices, and report any changes to the hardware complement in the system. Win-dows 95 is generally regarded as the premier PnP operating system for end-users and general- purpose PCs, but Windows NT provides PnP support for networked and business systems.
 Now that you’ve seen the essential elements of PnP, it’s time to look at how it all works.A PnP system must be robust enough to handle several important functions. The major functions that must be handled by these three PnP components can be summarized as:
 Identification of installed devices
The PnP system must be able to identify each installed device. This requires the device to have a certain amount of on-board intelligence.
 Determination of device resource requirements
Based on the device identification, thePnP system must be able to determine the kinds of resources (IRQ, DMA, I/O ad-dresses, or BIOS space) required to support the device.
Creation of a complete system configuration, eliminating all resource conflicts
After all devices have been identified, and their resource needs evaluated, the PnP systemmust then allocate the required resources to each device every time the system initial-izes (without causing a resource conflict).
 Loading of device drivers
After the operating system starts, it then must load the ap- propriate device drivers needed to support every device in the system.
 Notification of configuration changes
Each time that a PnP device is added or removed from the PC, the PnP system reports the configuration change. When a device is added, thePnP system attempts to identify it and install the appropriate device drivers. When a de-vice is removed, the PnP system attempts to remove all traces of the device and its drivers.The PnP system starts with the BIOS at boot time—a certain amount of configurationmust first be performed by the system BIOS during system initialization. In order for thesystem to boot, the PnP BIOS must configure a display device, input device, and initial boot device (i.e., video adapter, keyboard, and floppy/hard drives). Then, the PnP BIOSmust pass the information about each of these devices to the operating system (i.e., Win-dows 95) for additional configuration of the remaining system devices.The operating system then continues the configuration process by identifying every de-vice in the system, and gathering their respective resource requirements. Each non-bootdevice (i.e., modems, video capture devices) must be inactive upon power-up so that theoperating system can identify any conflicts between the resource requirements of differentdevices before configuring them. When different devices require the same resources, thedevices must be able to provide information to the operating system about alternative re-source requirements. The operating system then uses initial or alternative requirements toassemble a working system configuration. Once any resource conflicts have been re-solved, the operating system automatically programs each hardware device with its work-ing configuration, then stores all configuration information in the central database

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