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Problems causing Device conflicts
Published  06/21/2011 | Troubleshooting Computer | Unrated
Problems causing Device conflicts

A wide range of problems may be causing the above and other symptoms. Assuming that the hardware is not defective and has been installed correctly, at the operating system level the problems can be broadly classified as follows:

* There could be a resource allocation (IRQ/memory address) conflict. Two devices are allocated the same IRQ/memory address space. Usually, non-Plug and Play devices would give this problem. Since Windows is unable to detect these devices it may not allocate the resources properly and hence cause conflicts with an existing device.

Note: Some devices, such as PCI devices, can share a single IRQ without conflicts in Windows 2000/XP.

* The software device drivers may not be compatible with the operating system, or may have been corrupted, or may not have been installed. If you have recently upgraded from Windows 95/98, this would usually be the problem.

* A new software program installed is trying to use system resources allocated to other hardware devices or software programs.

Concepts
IRQ

Interrupt ReQuest lines. These are communication lines over which all hardware components talk to the processor.

DMA
Direct Memory Access enables hardware devices to transfer data directly from memory (RAM) without going through the processor.

I/O Ports
Input/Output ports: the connection points between the motherboard and hardware devices.

Memory Address
A specific physical location in the RAM chip.

Windows Registry
A database that stores all the configuration information of the computer.

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