Re: ISA slot detection on PCI systems?

From: Brian Gerst (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 15:46:43 EST

"Eric S. Raymond" wrote:
> Is there any way to safely probe a PCI motherboard to determine whether
> or not it has ISA cards present, or ISA card slots?
> Note: the question is *not* about a probe for whether the board has an ISA
> bridge, but a probe for the presence of actual ISA cards (or slots).
> (Yes, I'm working on a smart autoconfigurator. It's a development of
> Giacomo Catenazzi's code, but able to use the CML2 deduction engine.)

The problem with ISA is that it is too simple of a bus, and is virtually
transparent. It has no auto-configuration/detection standard (except
ISAPNP). Each card is detected in a different way, and you have the
problem with probing unknown ports causing potential crashes. Detecting
the ISA slots is impossible, except possibly from the BIOS.


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