This article was previously published under Q93169
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The Microsoft Windows for Workgroups Setup detects certain networks and
allows for specific IRQ and I/O address settings for individual network
interface cards (NICs). Setup does not accept any settings other than those
it provides. This behavior can be a problem if you are using a network card
that allows an IRQ or I/O address setting other than those provided by
Windows for Workgroups. This article includes procedures that may help you
work around such problems.
To change the IRQ or I/O address for a single installation:
- During Windows for Workgroups Setup, install the appropriate
network card and select any of the available settings.
- Open the PROTOCOL.INI file in an ASCII text editor, such as
Microsoft Windows Notepad.
- Locate the network card section for your card. Section headings
appear as follows:
where "netcardname" is a unique identifier for your network card. (For
example, the heading for an Intel EtherExpress 16 is [ms$ee16], and
the heading for an NE 1000 compatible card is [ms$ne1clone].) If you
are not sure what the identifier for your card is, check the [netcard]
section of the NETWORK.INF file. This section contains a list of
supported network cards and their corresponding identifiers.
- Once you locate the [netcard] section, find two lines similar to the
Note: The exact wording of these lines varies from card to card.
- Change these lines to reflect the settings that your network card is
actually using. The IRQ value must be a valid number between 0 and 15.
The IOADDRESS value must be a valid hexadecimal I/O address or must
take the form 0xNNN, where "NNN" is the address, (for example,
- Save these changes, then reboot your computer.
Note: If you regenerate the PROTOCOL.INI file by reinstalling Windows
or by removing and then reinstalling the network card in the Network
dialog box of Control Panel, these changes are lost.
To change the IRQ or I/O address for multiple installations:
Note: The changes below affect all subsequent installations of Windows
for Workgroups that have the specified network card. Be sure to make a
backup of the NETWORK.INF file before you make any changes to it.
- Open the NETWORK.INF file in a ASCII text editor, such as Microsoft
- Locate the [netcard_protocol] section for your network card. These
sections generally have the following form:
[netcardname_nif] or [netcardname_xif]
where "netcardname" is a unique identifier for your network card.
- Once you locate the [netcard_protocol] section for your card, find
the following two lines:
where "type" is the parameter type, "range" is the range of values for
the parameter, and "default" is the default value or the parameter.
Note: Some fields may be missing in the actual statements. The
following is an example:
The following table describes the common type, range, and default
Type Range Default Definition
Static Default N/A The value cannot be changed
Text "Value, value,..." Yes List of text values
Int "First, last, step" Yes Integer range
Hex "First, last, step" Yes Integer range in hexadecimal
- The values for the I/O address or the IRQ can then be modified by
changing the values inside a text list or the first, last, or step
values of an integer or hexadecimal range. For example
irq=IRQ,,text,"3,4,5,9",3 can be changed to include irq 7.
io=IOADDRESS,,hex,"0x280,0x3f0,0x10","0x300" can be changed to include
I/O address 200h by lowering the first value as follows:
Note: The default value following the range MUST be a value in the
- Save the changes to the NETWORK.INF file. The Setup program then
displays the setting that you added as a selection in the appropriate
For more information, refer to Chapters 5 and 6 of the "Windows for
Workgroups Resource Kit" manual.
Article ID: 93169 - Last Review: October 14, 2013 - Revision: 1.0
- Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.2
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