Intel Web Page Intel Chipset and Driver Support

About these pages.

In response to all the emails and newsgroup postings I end up responding to regarding AGP conflicts, bus mastering IDE drivers and support for various Intel chipsets, I've decided to post all the information on GWeb. Most of the information on this page comes directly from Intel, specifically the excellent Troubleshooting Common System Configuration Issues document they've published. Check out the following links for each of the GWeb Intel pages.

Identifying Intel - how to identify your Intel chipset and/or processor.
INF Installation Utility - what it's for, addressing the AGP memory conflict, and downloads.
Pentium 4 - some specific software and information for Pentium 4 owners and upgrades.
Bus Master IDE Drivers - what they're for, removing the drivers under '95 and '98, and downloads.
Troubleshooting document - download.

Chipset Drivers - the INF Installation Utility

So what are these 'INF updates' for then ? Well, as each new chipset is released by Intel, the existing operating systems like Windows 95 simply can't know how to use the new technology that's built into the chipsets. Take the original LX chipset, for example - it was the first chipset to support the AGP socket we now know and love. Windows 95 couldn't possibly support it without some information telling it how to use the new interface, because AGP simply didn't exist when 95 was put together.

So, Intel released a simple update utility which modifies some of the INF files in your Windows directory, telling the system how to talk to the new features of the chipset. This principle applies to all of the Intel's chipsets from the VX onward. What's more, with the advent of (for example) the Pentium 4 and Intel Application Accelerator, you'll be missing out on chipset-suppoted features if you don't take advantage of the INF Update Utility.

Things have gotten much more complex since the days when Windows 95 was regarded as a thoroughly modern OS, but the principle I'm describing here remains the same - your operating system needs to know how to configure your chipset.

Which Windows ...?

To work out which version of Windows you're running, either right-click your My Computer icon and select Properties or select the 'System' item from the Control Panel; the System Properties window that's presented will show your System version. These versions can be 'translated' as follows:

Windows... Version Also known as...
Windows 95 4.00.950 Original retail version
4.00.950a OSR 1, and the original retail version with Service Pack 1 installed
4.00.950b OSR 2.0 without the USB supplement, and OSR2.1 with the USB supplement
4.00.950c OSR 2.5
Windows 98 4.10.1998 Original retail version
Windows 98 Second Edition 4.10.2222 Original retail version
Windows Me (Millennium Edition) 4.90.3000 Original retail version
Windows 2000 5.00.2195 Original retail version
Windows XP 5.10.2526 Release Candidate 2

So do I need an INF update ...?

Which ever version of Windows you run, it's worth checking whether you need the INF updates or not. The answer to this question was originally dealt with in depth in the Windows 95/98 troubleshooting document; since the release of version 2.10 (the 810-chipset-supporting INF file updates), Intel simply state that all existing non-NT versions of Windows will require some element of the INF changes.

The release notes available for the utility describe the chipsets and Windows version supported, in detail. New features and issues resolved are also described.

The readme file which is packaged with the installer mentions the following 'features' which you'll need an INF update to support properly - core PCI and ISAPNP services, AGP, IDE/ATA33/ATA66, USB and the identification of Intel chipset components within the Device Manager.

Intel Resources

Once you've determined whether you need the INF updates, the links to the relevant Intel web pages are included below. When you've downloaded and unzipped the utility, you'll find a 'readme.txt' file among the files that are unzipped - check out this file, which includes instructions on running the utility (section 6, "Installing the Software in Interactive Mode").

Intel Web pages for the INF Installation Utility

INF Installation Utility The 'select your OS' page for the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility (INF Update to you and me). At the time of writing, v5.0.2.1003 is the latest available, and supports chipsets from 810 to E7505. There's also a Zipped version available from the download page.
With some versions, I have to manually extract the files from the executable (using WinZip) and then run Setup.exe myself; the update reports that some files were read-only. This isn't a problem (the update allows you to override the read-only 'protection'), but running the EXE on it's own, it exits as soon as I run it up. I imagine the EXE detects the read-only files and aborts automatically. This may not happen for you, but if it does, extract the files and run Setup.exe manually. In some cases, you have to run it twice before it'll let you in.

The Windows 95 AGP Memory Conflict

One of the most common questions I used to get asked about Windows 95 was 'how do I resolve this memory conflict with my new AGP card ?'. Once you've installed an AGP graphics adapter under Windows 95, you may notice that the Resources tab for your Display Adapter (in the Device Manager) shows a memory range conflict similar to the following:

This conflict is, in fact, completely normal - it's another case of Windows 95 simply not knowing about the way AGP works. It was resolved in Windows 98 - which means you won't see any apparent conflict reported - but it's perfectly normal to see this conflict in '95. If, however, you see something more like this ...

... in other words, a 'PCI to PCI Bridge' conflict instead of 'Processor to AGP controller', then your copy of Windows 95 hasn't been told what that AGP socket on your motherboard does. In this case, you should download and install the Intel INF Update Utility for Windows 95 - it won't get rid of the so-called memory conflict, but it will teach your operating system how to recognise the AGP socket.