Data Acquisition (DAQ) and Control from Microstar Laboratories

Knowledge Base: Platform

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Q10044 Compatibility of old ISA-bus DAP boards with new PC systems

Tags: Help, DAP, PC, ISA, peripheral bus, interface, hardware compatibility, legacy systems

Applies to: Obsolete DAP models, recent PC systems

I have an old DAP board that fits in an ISA bus slot. If I can find a modern PC system with an ISA slot, can I run the DAP under Windows XP or newer Windows versions?

Probably not.

Please see the product lifecycle support page. ISA boards are obsolete and not supported. Not supported means you are on your own. The DAPtools Software version 5.00 and later do not support any ISA-bus DAP models. Try downloading the DAPtools 4.30 Software from the Microstar site. That is the last DAP software release that included copies of the legacy ISA bus software and support for Windows systems up to Windows XP. Given that the primary reason for new versions of DAPtools software is compatibility with new versions of the Windows system, and the Windows systems do not support ISA hardware, it should be no surprise that older DAPtools versions do not work with newer Windows systems.

ISA support is explicitly omitted in the Intel/Microsoft PC99 standard. This covers all PC systems from Windows XP onward, so Microstar has never supported ISA bus cards with Windows XP systems. ISA compatibility for more recent hardware depends entirely on the PC manufacturer's implementation, which might work fine, but often is very far from fully meeting ISA bus standards. If you have hardware that is able to carry Windows XP, fully supports the ISA bus interface, and has all of the appropriate device drivers, this combination might work fine.

For running old DAP boards on older Windows systems with older generations of PC hardware, older DAP software releases are available from Microstar on request, with no support and no guarantees. It almost always makes better economic sense to upgrade to current models, rather than trying to salvage old hardware systems. Contact Microstar for help identifying the most compatible current products for an upgrade.

The ISA bus is not supported at all in newer computer chipsets. Systems without the newer chipsets are unlikely to support Vista, Windows 7, or any of the newer Windows server systems. It is vaguely possible that a very sophisticated user could get DAPtools 4.30 working under XP Mode emulation in Windows 7, with some kind of compatible hardware and drivers. Such a configuration will never be supported in any way.