ISA buses on a modern PC?

ISA buses on a modern PC?

Welcome to dISAppointment! Well, it has been disappointment for anyone wanting to use old retro sound cards or attach 5.25″ floppy drives or MFM/RLL hard drives in modern computers. They all relied on ISA controllers, which have not been supported for over a decade now. But is that about to change?

I recently read about this really clever hacker’s adapter.  TheRasteri found he could still access the ISA bus lurking latently in modern computers through the Low Pin Count (LPC) bus which is exposed on the TPM port in many modern motherboards. He created a hardware interface board that connects to the TPM port, exposes an actual ISA slot.

He plugged in a Sound Blaster card via the adapter – and voila! It worked.

More details on his YouTube site, or you can follow the active development thread on Vogons. No word yet if he’s producing any for purchase; but he does want to open source the work and wants to see if he can partner with PCBWay to develop them.

I for one would absolutely buy a few of them.


Fintek makes the F85526 PCI Express to ISA Bridge IC.

  • PCI Express base spec 1.1 compliant
  • Fully ISA bridge support except bus master

It seems promising, but it is unclear if anyone has built a functioning device around the chip. Vogons even discussed it on their thread that also mentioned the dISAppointement ISA device.

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