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Old 17th December, 2004, 05:09 AM
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ACPI, IRQ Steering, PCI Tables, blah, blah

(specially for ET / Aedan)

ET likes to use the words "ACPI Compliant" a lot. ET likes to teach us things. Things are good. So, in order to give him an opportunity:

Could this be a reason in and of itself for XP to install the "Standard PC" HAL (as opposed to ACPI) by default? Or can a machine be ACPI-compliant even if IRQ Steering is disabled? Or is this a symptom of some root problem? What problems could happen if I forced the ACPI HAL installation (by pressing F5 at the "Press F6" prompt)? This is really a theoretical question that Google doesn't seem to answer.
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Last edited by jnansley; 17th December, 2004 at 01:23 PM. Reason: now I can spell Aedan
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Old 17th December, 2004, 07:04 AM
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With a modern day OS and mainboard it is best policy to use the ACPI Hardware Abstraction layer due to the electrical nature of the mainboard - i.e. it has STR circuitry that is happiest enabled, and has a chipset and BIOS that runs best when all systems are go so to speak.

In setting up a mainboard with 2K or XP, and installing chipset drivers, VGA drivers, audio drivers and WHQL drivers for any other devices, a system will be ACPI compliant provided that the memory at its settings is capable of STR functionality and the power supply is also capable of the same.

Detracting from this basic framework of integration will create a none compliant system and possible system instabilities, BIOS corruption etc.

If steering is disabled and the system has to manually grab the ACPI table data from BIOS, it will not be ACPI compliant since the system is merely grabbing the ACPI data as reference rather than using the data at kernel level.
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Old 17th December, 2004, 09:46 AM
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As ET alludes to, ACPI is actually pretty complex in that all components have to support it properly. There has to be ACPI descriptors for each bit of hardware (including the motherboard), and all the drivers have to indicate that they are ACPI complient. On top of that, the BIOS also has ACPI routines embedded in it that are specific to the motherboard.

When all three (hardware descriptors, software drivers and BIOS) are together correctly, then you have an ACPI complient system. As you can imagine, some manufacturers are less ACPI complient than others...

If there's no IRQ table found, then the system is not ACPI complient as I understand it. There's a number of ways of retreiving the IRQ table, including ACPI calls. Without this information, the OS doesn't have all the necessary information in order to be able to set ACPI up.

Note, I don't have a great grasp of ACPI! Its an interesting combination of hardware and software.
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