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Everything posted by Wunderbar98

  1. Well then as you say, maybe just a good CMOS and system reset was all that was needed. Me no expert, general consensus appears to be thermal paste drys out over time. Makes sense, it's applied moist and is repeatedly exposed to high termperature. On systems that haven't been refurbished in a few years it takes alcohol (solvent) and elbow grease to remove. Definitely in a 'drier' state than initial application. My goal is to preserve hardware indefinitely so it's not worth taking a chance. Fresh paste is applied every few years, usually every 3-5, to avoid risking a gradual or sudden overheating event that may fry the processor. If the BIOS is equipped with temperature sensor alarms, these are activated too. I have seen before where the heat sink becomes 'unglued' from the CPU, probably a combination of jarring and dried out paste, then it can no longer effectively dissipate heat. Sorry to hear your life isn't interesting. Chin up, there's always a (computing) adventure even in messed up times. I've been a bad boy lately, staying up half the night working on various computing projects, always something to tinker and learn, never enough time during the day.
  2. Hi @UCyborg, good to hear your success. For me blowing out dust isn't adequate, everything gets pulled and reseated. Often a crimped cotton swab with alcohol to get inside contact points. Possibly dust or corrosion on the ethernet jack contacts fixed by re-plugging for a fresh connection. No idea but still good you're freshening up. I've been putting off maintaining an ~25 year old, old-school stereo amplifier. It's never been opened and has lots of nice cooling slots (dust collectors) on the top cover. Should be interesting, that sucker puts out a lot of heat.
  3. Finally finished 'In the Beginning was the Command Line' by Neal Stephenson. Good read, dated. Basic concept holds true for me, CLI will always rule. IMHO any system that doesn't readily allow boot to command line only for maintenance or troubleshooting isn't worth using. Big data project done. System performance was spectacular after moving 'My Documents' content into an alternative directory and configuring [vcache]. The 'My Documents' alternative directory was renamed from C:\DOCUMENTS to C:\DOCS so it lists nicely in DOS (8.3 filename). I will now set up all new systems similarly. Thanks again @Goodmaneuver for suggesting larger [vcache] settings. Still playing around with same-sized Min/MaxFileCache vs a range. Setting same size has the advantage of negating re-sizing yet a range is more flexible, which to me seems better suited for a multi-use system. Sessions here are sometimes file management intensive and other times large applications, such as games. Computer Hope recommends a Min/MaxFileCache range of 10 - 25% RAM. This seems reasonable but on my 384 MB RAM system still causes some slowdown when moving > 200 MB of data at a time. It is evident the user should test and decide for themselves what works best based on how much system RAM is present and how the computer is used. For some simply setting a MaxFileCache upper limit may be good enough. This will, at least, prevent the system from attempting to cache more data than available RAM during heavy file management, which can cause severe slowdown and even system freeze. Microsoft did a good job with Windows Explorer. Adding Favorites makes it a snap to change to frequently used or obscure directories. Clicking 'Up' from root C:\ drive conveniently displays 'My Computer', easy to find other partitions, CD/DVD, Printers and Control Panel. Clicking 'Up' one more time displays Desktop content. Old school brain here, toolbar buttons with text are much easier than playing icon guessing games. Funny DOS 'copy /?' usage switch information, hopefully all copy commands are 'written correctly' : /V Verifies that new files are written correctly It is no longer possible to use GMail's HTML-only email from DOS or RetroZilla, as the login screen now requires allowing a JavaScript domain that these browsers can't handle. Thankfully accessing this forum still works.
  4. Hi @winxpi. In RetroZilla your link loads, eats bandwidth for each check and displays ~360 green checkmarked circles. Clicking HTTPS link also loads and displays the same green checkmarked dots. Don't know this page, is this what you're supposed to see? Regardless, here RetroZilla still connects fine to almost all sites. This forum loads fine here on RetroZilla without JavaScript. Can even log in and post. Due to forum software updates PM access was recently lost, but the rest is good. I provided a userContent.css file earlier for download that better displays this forum, otherwise it's best viewed with View -> Use Style -> None. Upgrade packs and KernelEx aren't needed for RetroZilla. If you're running KernelEx you may want a newer browser. Assuming '98se machine' means running the OS on real hardware. Properly configured on supported hardware, Windows 98 boots fast, does not overheat or freeze. Sounds like a configuration or hardware maintenance issue. Windows 98 can, however, take a bit of customization and configuration to get running well.
  5. Thanks for the additional input @MrMateczko and @jumper. Issue fixed, yeehaw Windows 98 SE (Server Edition). Moved all 'C:\My Documents\' content to 'C:\DOCUMENTS\' and just finished another 3 hour data management marathon without an issue or even a hint of slowdown. Hundreds (thousands really) of files unzipped, moved, copied, pasted and deleted. Recycle bin viewed and deleted probably a dozen times. Two Windows Explorer windows open, on/off internet via RetroZilla, SCGT game setup and testing (addons). Shame on you MSFT for not issuing a fix, afterall 'My Documents' is for documents. ***** Enjoyed a recent build video. Running Windows 98 on a multi-boot 64-bit system (circa 2003) gets me excited, as my current systems are 32-bit and don't even support SSE2. This should allow running the latest web browsers for a long while via BSD or GNU/Linux while still enjoying Windows 98 for years to come. Me no hardware expert but specs were basically as outlined below. The only reported issue, don't know if the user got resolved, was some sort of memory error at shutdown. Biostar K8VGA-M (socket 754) AMD Athlon 64 3200+ 128 GB SD with SD -> IDE adapter NVIDIA GeForce 6600GT 128 MB 1 GB DDR 400
  6. Multiple thanks. I like many file managers @Drugwash, preferably split pane, but for me it's got to be Windows Explorer in Windows 98 SE :) Thanks for the software tip @jumper, this system is already set as a 'Network server' with ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1. Although no issues were experienced with the lower setting @Goodmaneuver, based on your feedback FileCache was just increased. Will test and adjust as necessary once most system software has been utilized. C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI: [vcache] MinFileCache=32768 MaxFileCache=32768 Took another look at SHELL32.EXE patch and decided against it. Replaced BROWSELC.DLL and BROWSEUI.DLL with Internet Explorer v5.5 release. This resulted in a non-booting system, obviously not compatible with this current setup. Regardless, memory management is better now. RAM no longer maxes out and system slowness is less during long sessions. Did a 3+ hour heavy file management session without needing to reboot or even restart EXPLORER.EXE. Query whether 'My Documents' has a capacity limit or bug that cripples file management performance. Two Windows Explorer windows were utilized during the long session [1]. One was accessing 'Program Files' (3-5 directories deep) and the other 'My Documents' (7 directories deep). 'My Documents' sub-directory access was noticeably slower than 'Program Files' as the session progressed. So a new C:\WORK directory was used with good result. Issues with 'My Documents' was noted before: https://msfn.org/board/topic/45565-mydocuments-opening-slow/ To test whether the issue is with 'My Documents' proper or the number of nested sub-directories, some files were copied and unzipped in the directories below after a fresh boot with no problems: 1. C:\My Documents\one\two\three\four\five\six\seven\eight\nine\ten\test.zip 2. C:\one\two\three\four\five\six\seven\eight\nine\ten\test.zip Current hunch, a bug that involves handling a certain large number of files, affecting 'My Documents' moreso than other directories. Seems to be supported, may try the DESKTOP.INI 'fix' later: http://web.archive.org/web/20030121213054/http://the-it-mercenary.com/forums/Help/posts/8929.html Simple test would probably be to move all content from hard-coded 'C:\My Documents' into a newly created 'C:\DOCUMENTS' directory to see if the issue resolves. Never liked directory names with spaces anyway. [1] Opening two Windows Explorer windows then right-click taskbar for 'Tile Windows Horizontally' makes a decent twin file manager.
  7. Thanks for responses. Had another long data session. The [vcache] entries fix out-of-RAM but after moving a few hundred files the bug i believe you indicated @MrMateczko appears. Thanks to [vcache] the system now has lots of available RAM but Windows Explorer responsiveness, for example, slows considerably during intensive file management. The system has 384 MB RAM with Internet Explorer v5.00.2614.3500, so it's not just an Internet Explorer 6 related issue. Slowdown bug tests: Excluding limited hardware all these tasks should respond instantly: - Open Start menu - Create new text document - Move Up a directory in Windows Explorer Workarounds: - Reboot resets everything. - Three finger salute without reboot. Close applications including Windows Explorer then issue Ctrl-Alt-Delete. Select 'Explorer' then click End Task. Patiently ignore shutdown/restart popup then click End Task when 'Explorer is not responding' shows. Explorer restarts itself, resume session. Either way the system is then snappy again until several hundred more files are handled. On this system the slowdown is gradual. First snappy, then sluggish, then really slow, eventually non-functional. Use the workarounds above before feeling perturbed. As mentioned i've never done this much file management before in Windows 98, hence never noticed the issue in over 20 years. Most users probably don't handle hundreds or thousands of files in a session but me thinks we've become more demanding of our hardware and OS' over the years. Hot Tip: - Don't set up Windows 98 SE as a file server :) The @MDGx SHELL32.DLL patch link no longer works but if this is correct it can be obtained from below: http://web.archive.org/web/20210506070430/http://www.mdgx.com/files/SHELL98.EXE SHELL98.EXE 6.00.2800.1168 528,896 bytes --- Unofficial Windows 98/98 SP1/98 SE Explorer Lockups With Internet Explorer 5.xx/6.xx SHELL32.DLL 4.72.3812.634 Fix: * SHELL32.DLL Fix [517 KB, English]. * SHELL32.DLL Fix [520 KB, French]. * SHELL32.DLL Fix [522 KB, German]. * SHELL32.DLL Fix [520 KB, Italian]. * SHELL32.DLL Fix [521 KB, Polish]. This SHELL32.DLL Fix corrects Windows Explorer (and similar tools that use SHELL32.DLL APIs) lockups while trying to copy/create/move/delete/rename large number of files/folders with Internet Explorer 5.xx/6.xx already installed. --- Since this system is vanilla the SHELL32.DLL patch won't be used, an unofficial hack from an anonymous donor that affects a critical system file. I'm sure it's probably good but for me the workarounds mentioned above are adequate. The discussion linked by @MrMateczko, thank-you again, is convoluted. Although it appears replacing C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\BROWSELC.DLL and BROWSEUI.DLL from Internet Explorer v5.5 may also be helpful. Thanks for the suggestions @Drugwash. FreeRAM XP Pro v1.52 by YourWare Solutions (framxpro.zip, 605 Kb, March 2006) was downloaded from MajorGeeks but not installed. My systems used similar software a lifetime ago, query Cacheman. If possible i will avoid resorting to this type of software, time will tell.
  8. Huge enlightenment, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI [vcache] entries can make a big difference. Without specifying [vcache], Windows Explorer ate my 384+ MB RAM and PageFile during the biggest data project ever attempted here in Windows 98 (100s of large and small files, zipped and loose, copy/move/paste/trash). As a session progressed RAM was quickly consumed (and not returned) [1]. Symptoms included unreal RAM and PageFile consumption, severe system slowdown, 100% CPU use navigating directories, > 10 seconds delay opening even empty directories in Windows Explorer, system freeze and forced reboot [2]. Garbage, freak-out, thought my beloved Windows 98 was borked. Problem fixed, if life were so easy. RAM use is now negligible during file management and the system is snappier then ever. May test more later but this is what's currently entered into C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI. A ChunkSize=4096 entry didn't seem to make any difference so it's disabled for the time being. [vcache] MinFileCache=8192 MaxFileCache=8192 Seems odd Microsoft never included a 'safe' default entry for [vcache], probably me just misunderstanding the default setup. I don't know how to benchmark these settings, nor do i feel like spending a lot of time on the issue. It seems solved and performance is good. Suggestions and feedback welcome. There are lots of old threads and discussions on this topic here worthy of re-review. [1] TinyResMeter v0.95a configured to monitor UpTime, RAM and PageFile on desktop (like Conky). [2] Process Explorer v8.52, minimized to system tray, monitors CPU use.
  9. First month of tethered mobile done. Keeping household data consumption under 10 GB per month is no big here, adequate for news, weather, comics, research, logins, general browsing, music, lower definition video and updating several GNU/Linux systems and browsers. The current network is only 3G so speed is relatively slow but functional. Though 10 GB of monthly data consumption isn't much by modern standards, in the Windows 9x era it would fill more than 7000 floppy disks (1.4 MB capacity). Windows 98 seems good at resolving a network connection during runtime if the router isn't available at boot. ***** Reviewed Windows 98's 'Automatic Skip Driver Agent (ASD)'. Running C:\WINDOWS\ASD.EXE provides a GUI popup listing any issues. Here 'MSTCP' and 'USB Hub' are flagged. Not sure why TCP was flagged on this seasoned system, probably when deciding whether to put it online or swapping network adapters, don't recall. Re-checking MSTCP and rebooting removed this ASD flag, ethernet works fine here. The USB flag is being ignored, intentionally disabled for this Windows 98 build. What is ASD (Automatic Skip Driver Agent)? ASD stands for Automatic Skip Driver Agent, is a Microsoft Windows 98 built-in utility that allows you to bypass troublesome devices so that Windows 98 can successfully boot. How it works The Automatic Skip Driver Agent (ASD) identifies device failures that caused Windows 98 to stop responding on previous attempts to boot the system and marks these devices so that the boot process skips them on subsequent boot attempts. Once you have finished troubleshooting a device problem, you can use ASD to enable the device to see whether the device has begun to function properly. If the device fails again, ASD will again disable it. Disabled devices can be viewed and reenabled by running ASD again from the command line with the command asd.exe or from the System Information utility in the System Tools program group. Device Manager shows disabled devices with a yellow exclamation point. During startup, Windows 98 tries to load device drivers for installed hardware. ASD keeps track of device driver failures by identifying which devices cannot be enumerated during startup. If attempts to load the device driver for a device fail two times, ASD disables the device so that Windows 98 can start properly. ***** FreeDOS formally released v1.3 recently after five Release Candidates, long live DOS.
  10. Posted via Windows 98's DOS 7 running Links v2.26, recently released, seems to work well, changelog link first post.
  11. Hi @UCyborg, ignorance is bliss for sure, agree JS in't going away but i don't like it. Personally i think developers should be given older hardware so they focus on site performance. What takes just a couple seconds longer on latest hardware can take minutes on an older system. I don't mean older like ancient, i mean hardware that people in the real world still need to use every day if they can't afford to buy a new system every 1-5 years. To me any performance gain is a plus/plus, customers log in/out faster, get the information they need and aren't left frustrated by the experience. System time has been an issue here multi-booting between new and old operating systems. UTC is good but doesn't seem to cooperate well with the old operating systems. Sometimes the OS clocks essentially fight each other, hard to tell correct time between OS boots, even causing difficulties updating GNU/Linux repositories. What i do now for these multi-boots is basically run from the BIOS clock, good old fashioned way. Daylight savings time changeover date has changed since old Windows releases, so disable 'auto adjust for daylight savings time' in the old Windows OS'. In these old Windows OS i also disable the ability to sync time over internet, if this feature is available, as many of my Windows OS don't go online, some do and some don't. In GNU/Linux NTP and TZDATA are installed. Run 'dpkg-reconfigure tzdata' to update the timezone. Then change /etc/adjtime from 'UTC' to 'LOCAL'. Reboot system and manually update the BIOS date and time. Then cold fresh boot into every OS on the system to confirm they are using the correct time. In GNU/Linux also confirm /etc/adjtime still indicates LOCAL. It's a minor hassle, BIOS clock needs to be manually adjusted twice a year for daylight savings time and periodically if time drifts. At least all the OS' know the correct approximate time (within one minute or so). Above is from rough notes but 3 new multiboot installs last few months and everything is good.
  12. Thanks for the response and tethering link @UCyborg. Quick search, Canada seems about top 10 for most expensive internet. Canada search, my province is one of the most expensive. Since it's now an essential service, it is beyond me why there isn't a government mandated minimal internet package for those on low income or with simple needs. As mentioned there are cheaper plans, usually 2 year introductory price, some customers just swap every couple years. I think the cheapest here is about $50/month CDN with no phone or television, need to purchase or rent one of their modems, sometimes activation fees, most of these providers are unknown to me (non-mainstream). Surely not many use manual methods, probably just a few grey beards. I'm a minimalist who likes learning how things work. If something needs a 'front-end' often an alias or small script is adequate. One drawback, tethering is noticeably slower, good excuse to learn more tweaks.
  13. Thanks for all responses. Gone mobile. Over the years my Windows 98 connected via 56k dial-up [1], probably coaxial [2], DSL and now mobile. My old DSL service provider is force upgrading from DSL to fiber. The fiber 'upgrade' will also do away with traditional landline phone, now requiring a special interface with a battery backup. Sheesh. To each their own, i'm tired of subsidizing peoples HD video streaming so i voted with my wallet. Here < 10-20 GB of data is consumed monthly when being wasteful. My old DSL plan allowed for 150 GB/month and a minimal new fiber package is 400 GB/month. Internet is apparently expensive in Canada and i think this is true [3]. The basic DSL/landline phone package was $100/month CDN (grandfathered plan, long distance extra) and fiber will start at $130/month [4]. My mobile phone costs $50/month for unlimited calls, texts, long distance and 10 GB of data. If the data cap is reached, throttled internet remains available. My internet is now truly mobile for vacation or evacuation. Poorly motivated i couldn't get USB tethering to work directly between the mobile and Windows 98 tower. USB worked (NUSB.EXE), new hardware wizard identified the phone's hardware and tether attempt but the driver would not install. Probably just a configuration issue with the INF file. The URL below is dead but the development kit (rndisusb1-1.exe, 1 MB) can be downloaded from archive[dot]org specifying 2006 era: --- The RNDIS drivers (RNDISMP.SYS and USB8023.SYS) are in-box for Windows XP and greater. The drivers for Windows 2000 (RNDISMPK/USB8023K), Windows ME (RNDISMPM/USB8023M) and Windows 98 (RNDISMPW/USB8023W) are available in the RNDIS developer's kit. Also included in the kit is a template INF. Just change the device ID and strings, etc... http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hwdev/resources/HWservices/rndis.mspx --- Nevertheless this isn't ideal as i don't want to manually configure tethering for every OS and i prefer a hardware firewall between the tether and my systems. So now tethering is done centrally through router for all connected OS, including real mode DOS web browsing - yeah. Aside, in GNU/Linux with Android-based phone direct tethering is as simple as running 'ifconfig -a' to identify the tethered interface and commands similar to below to toggle tethering: sudo ifconfig usb0 up && sudo dhclient usb0 sudo ifconfig usb0 up && sudo dhclient -r usb0 I'm using an inexpensive flip phone running 'Linux' (not Android proper) and it tethers out of the box with both my GNU/Linux towers and Asus router. Asus routers are good for 3G/4G tethering with Android via router's USB port. [1] Remember when V90 was a thing. [2] Don't recall if Windows 98 was connected at the time or just Windows 2000/XP. [3] Not complaining, most Canucks are spoiled, i realize this. [4] Non-mainstream ISPs are available for less money. The savings are less significant when all items and charges are accounted for. Alternative DSL providers will be forced to fiber here when the copper lines get deactivated. Even coaxial ISPs are caught up in competition here and are going fiber too, probably to the house not just community switchbox.
  14. Sorry for late reply @UCyborg. Interesting you say that, i don't visit many sites anymore either. Got my favourites and wrote some web scraping scripts to efficiently fetch data. When the internet became readily available to us 'public', to me it was the greatest invention of my generation. Now i'm not so sure anymore. Sure there's lots of knowledge and information, wouldn't want to go back, but it's created lots of problems and complications too. My computing practices change over time too, less uptight about configurations. Aside from hardware firewalls, in Windows 98 a HOSTS file, disable JavaScript (broken anyway) plus a software firewall. In Windows XP a software firewall typically blocks all, web browsing is minimal. In GNU/Linux a HOSTS file, software firewall, most JavaScript blocked, prefer non-JavaScript capable browsers. Probably stems from my 'dial-up' days, most home systems don't need to be 'connected' all the time. My hardware is powered off when not in use and many tasks are performed offline. In GNU/Linux i don't install a 'network manager', saves installing at least 10-20 packages, the system already has built-in tools. Since a terminal is always open here, ~/.bashrc alias commands manually bring the network interface up/down: alias netstart='sudo ifdown eth0 && sudo ifup eth0' alias netstop='sudo ifdown eth0 && sudo ping -c 2 google.com' Similarly, alias commands to confirm connection(s), add as many hops as needed: alias pingy='sudo ping -c 2 router_0_IP && sudo ping -c 2 router_1_IP && sudo ping -c 2 google.com' alias ping2g='sudo ping -c 2 google.com' Aside, system updates are manually checked too, results in seconds, updates are efficient: alias update='sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade'
  15. Hi @jacksmith541, the Windows 9x Web Helper code (9xweb script) was pulled when the project was discontinued. Just tested and my Quick and Dirty YouTube script still works or use an Invidious instance. https://msfn.org/board/topic/183125-vanilla-windows-98-web-browsing-summary/
  16. Forgot to mention @UCyborg, CHORD.WAV from Windows 98 is one of my least favourite event sounds. I find it grating as it's associated with negative events like Asterisk, Critical Stop and Exclamation. My favourite event sound is START.WAV, a satisfying click that gets associated here with Minimize/Maximize, Open Program, Restore Up/Down, Select and Start Navigation. Seeding suffering and destruction i've never understood, even if it's an 'enemy', life is too short and already difficult enough. Welcome @teclillass. Imagine is all that is needed here in Windows 98. Image conversion i tend to use ImageMagick via command line in GNU/Linux so can't comment. My better half is fond of PrintMaster Platinum 11 (proprietary) for graphic work. It works well for image manipulation, conversion i don't know. It supports Windows 9x and runs fine in Windows XP. Lots of experienced users here, hopefully someone will have suggestions. Aside, an interesting old discussion at Stack Exchange, 'How did Windows ME "cripple" DOS?'. New Technology was no secret, Windows NT 3.1 was already released in 1993 and Windows NT 4.0 in 1996. It would have been interesting if Microsoft maintained a core DOS-based team after Windows 98/ME aimed at home users and hobbiests. Their decision makes sense though, new hardware development was leaving DOS behind. https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/3286/how-did-windows-me-cripple-dos A Real DOS-Mode Patch For ME 1.3 is readily available at sites like MajorGeeks, which does, in fact, patch the three files, whopping 10 KB patch. I don't use Windows ME myself, just think it's interesting. --- RELEASE NOTES : Did you ever wonder why Windows ME, which is based on the Windows 9x kernel, can't access Real DOS-Mode? Did you think that Windows ME architecture doesn't allow it? Well, it seems that Microsoft simply decided to hide this option in Windows ME, for some unknown reason... This patch will modify "IO.SYS", "COMMAND.COM" and "REGENV32.EXE" in order to unhide the Real DOS-Mode on Windows ME systems, resulting in a similar boot process to the one available in Windows 9x. This will allow, for example, to reach DOS directly by pressing "Shift-F8" at boot-up, to use "CONFIG.SYS" and "AUTOEXEC.BAT" before Windows loads, and to set up a startup menu. Compability: - This patch was tested only with the final release of Win ME (build 4.90.3000). It might be compatible with other (future or previous) builds as well. - If you are using a NON-US version of Win ME you will probably not be able to use versions prior to v1.3 as the files that are patched seem to be country specific. We have updated our current release to reflect this. If you use the US version then you will not experience any differences between v1.1, v1.2 and v1.3. ---
  17. Imagine v1.1.3 is a nice, light image viewer. Downloaded from the link @Drugwash provided above, thanks again for the tip. Freeware (DonationWare) license, no install needed. Lots of features but very configurable to be as simple and non-intrusive as desired. Have fun with your Windows 95 project @Mr.Scienceman2000. As always thank-you for your contributions here. --- No link provided as there are lots of sources available, so sad: It has been reported that the Mariupol Computer Museum in Ukraine, a privately owned collection of over 500 items of retro computing, consoles and technology from the 1950s to the early 2000s, a collection nearly 20 years in the making, has been destroyed by a bomb. --- Gaming does require energy and a certain headspace, no doubt @UCyborg. I always thought this stage of my life would be more fun and games, but it's not. My preferred games are now short coffee break or single missions that can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Nevertheless it's sometimes a nice escape. Some DOS gaming again. Recently tweaked Dawn Patrol, MechWarrior 2 and USNF Marine Fighters. Interestingly the mission pack of the original USNF release (~1994) is the 'Ukraine Campaign'. A fictitious campaign that requires the player, a U.S. Navy Fighter pilot, to assist Ukraine against you-know-who. All games are running great here on real hardware. AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files are ever changing. Due to the memory limitations of DOS and the unique requirements of applications, highly recommend taking the time to configure a boot [MENU] via CONFIG.SYS. Although it takes setup effort, once configured rebooting to switch applications is a breeze. Example of my every changing CONFIG.SYS boot menu: [MENU] MENUITEM=DOS0,MS-DOS MENUITEM=DOS1,MS-DOS DOSKEY MOUSE -> Launch LINKS MENUITEM=RAIDEN, MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 SOUND -> RAIDEN WINGSTAR MENUITEM=DOS2,MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 DOSKEY MENUITEM=DOS3,MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 DOSKEY MOUSE MENUITEM=DOS4,MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 DOSKEY MOUSE SOUND -> MECH2 DAWNPATROL USNF MENUITEM=DOS5,MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 DOSKEY MOUSE SOUND CD-ROM MENUITEM=WIN,WINDOWS 98 (DEFAULT) MENUITEM=SAFE,WINDOWS 98 (SAFE MODE) MENUDEFAULT=WIN,3
  18. Just reporting 32-bit Windows XP (POSReady 2009 actually) installs and runs fine [1] on an Acer Aspire AX1400 mini-tower. I've only owned it a short while, a nice compact 64-bit Windows 7 tower circa 2010 or 2011. IIRC the AX1300 was the last official Windows XP release so getting Windows XP running on the AX1400 wasn't a big stretch. Official audio drivers from the AX1300 were utilized (32-bit Windows XP). The ethernet driver was from a 3rd party site, don't recall. Graphic drivers are official release GeForce 6150SE from NVIDIA. Driver install files used: Audio_Realtek_6.0.1.5591_XPx86_A.zip Ethernet_32-bit_MCP61_lan.zip NVIDIA_OFFICIAL_307.83-winxp-32bit.exe The system triple-boots. All hardware works in 64-bit Devuan GNU/Linux, using the 'nouveau' driver, and it's able to run all modern browsers without AMD's PSP spyware. [1] In Windows XP built-in Windows search is broken, always shows no results. Noticed this on two recent 32-bit Windows XP installs on 64-bit hardware. Interestingly Windows search works fine when same OS is installed on 32-bit hardware.
  19. Very good to hear from you @Drugwash. Sometimes survival is the only option, glad you found some good people to help you out. I will check out Imagine image viewing software, thanks for the tip. Yes 'xgamma' is deprecated but works well here in Devuan with a simple Window Manager, 'xrandr' works well too. CRT party indeed @ABCDEFG, posted via 15" CRT 1024x768 :) Hang in there @XPerceniol, the world's so much layered crazy. My post frequency is way down, world events have affected me too, this forum is sometimes a nice escape. Special thanks to @UCyborg, new Platinum Sponsor, for helping this forum stay alive and, of course, to all contributors and staff. Finally swapped out the NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 200 with an ATI, immediately worked well with Madden 2000 in Direct3D mode and Sports Car GT (SCGT) looks gorgeous too. Screenshots not shared to avoid jealousy trigger. Hardware labels indicate 'ATI OEM Xpert 2000 Pro 32 MB AGP' and 'Rage 128 Pro'. Device Manager indicates 'Rage Fury Pro/Xpert 2000 Pro' and the driver is ATI Technologies v4.13.7192 (circa 2000). The ATI driver in Devuan GNU/Linux did not work for this old card so the fallback 'vesa' driver is used. On multi-boot systems, this old hardware almost always needs an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. A graphic resolution is not specified on this system as the monitor and 'vesa' driver default to 1024x768. Devuan GNU/Linux xorg.conf: Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor0" EndSection Section "Device" Identifier "Card0" Driver "vesa" Option "ShadowFB" "off" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen0" Device "Card0" Monitor "Monitor0" EndSection Some modern games were reviewed while enjoying these refurbished CRTs. Some of them 'wow'. Glad i'm not young now, would probably become addicted and never finish school. One that really stood out was 'Red Dead Redemption 2' from Rockstar Games. Throttled YT still works here in Windows 98 SE (Stay-alive Edition) using a Bash script.
  20. Thanks for your feedback @jumper. Maybe but the first megabyte of memory is also important for system stability. Seems there's really no benchmark for any of this, end user needs to decide what works best for their hardware/OS/software combination and trial various settings to troubleshoot problems. Tom's Hardware 'BIOS for Beginners' (2005) recommends disabling System BIOS Cacheable and Video RAM Cacheable with a disclaimer note for DOS. https://www.tomshardware.com/uk/reviews/bios-beginners,1126-5.html In 2008 @MDGx recommended disabling below to troubleshoot or correct issues related to standby, doze, suspend, shut down, power off, errors/General Protection Faults (GPFs) and lockups. System BIOS Cacheable Video BIOS Cacheable Video BIOS Shadowing Video RAM Cacheable Video ROM Cache https://msfn.org/board/topic/116153-limiting-video-ram-in-win98/#comment-758306 Tweak3D's 'CPU/BIOS Tweak Guide' (2000) recommends below. Video BIOS Shadow - Turn this off. Most video cards have no use for this feature and it will probably only cause problems. Performance shouldn't be affected much. Shadow System BIOS - Enabling this can possibly give a system boost, so we recommend that you try it out. Most likely it will not increase performance significantly. Video BIOS Cacheable - This setting should increase system performance as well, if your video card is compatible with the setting. However, most newer video cards will not make use of this feature and enabling it can cause problems. Video RAM Cacheable - Depending on the system, and how fast the RAM on your video card is, and how much RAM your video card has, this may or may not increase performance. This is a good setting to try with older cards, but if your card has a lot of RAM on it, this setting may decrease performance. http://www.tweak3d.net/tweak/cpu/ Thanks for notifying regarding end of forum @Mr.Scienceman2000, sad, another chapter. In case of imminent shutdown, big thanks to all who have contributed to Windows 9x and this thread in particular. I've learned lots, had lots of fun and hope to run Windows 9x for many more years. Thanks for posting John Carmack's 28-Inch, 16:9, 1080p CRT @UCyborg. If you read this @D.Draker, SpellForce: Order of Dawn is 30% completed here. I'll do my best to finish the game and purge all content by the end of the year, then it's yours to lend out again. Thanks again for your generosity.
  21. Thanks for the Glide wrapper suggestion @UCyborg. I had previous wrapper success with other games. Even though Madden 2000 supports Glide none worked, trialed four (dgVoodoo, GlideWrapper, nGlide, OpenGlide). If this wasn't a multi-boot i would swap the card, an old ATI may be more successful. Rest in peace my favourite old Voodoo Banshee. Run what you want, don't matter. There are sometimes significant differences between distributions, just like Windows releases. I'm thankful for those who post on forums, helped me solve lots of problems. Agree need to do your own homework to solve the issue and many threads leave more questions than answers. Came across an interesting forum post regarding BIOS cache settings. Enabling cache always seemed sensible, this post makes me think otherwise. Since Windows 9x would benefit from as much stability as possible i've disabled the relevant settings. Thus far no problems or performance issues on any of the multi-OS booted. Quote pasted below in case link dies. --- System/Video BIOS Cacheable (BIOS options)... System BIOS Cacheable This feature is only valid when the system BIOS is shadowed. It enables or disables the caching of the system BIOS ROM at F0000h-FFFFFh via the L2 cache. This greatly speeds up accesses to the system BIOS. However, this does not translate into better system performance because the OS does not need to access the system BIOS much. As such, it would be a waste of L2 cache bandwidth to cache the system BIOS instead of data that are more critical to the system's performance. In addition, if any program writes into this memory area, it will result in a system crash. So, it is recommended that you disable System BIOS Cacheable for optimal system performance. Video BIOS Cacheable This feature is only valid when the video BIOS is shadowed. It enables or disables the caching of the video BIOS ROM at C0000h-C7FFFh via the L2 cache. This greatly speeds up accesses to the video BIOS. However, this does not translate into better system performance because the OS bypasses the BIOS using the graphics driver to access the video card's hardware directly. As such, it would be a waste of L2 cache bandwidth to cache the video BIOS instead of data that are more critical to the system's performance. In addition, if any program writes into this memory area, it will result in a system crash. So, it is recommended that you disable Video BIOS Cacheable for optimal system performance. Video RAM Cacheable This feature enables or disables the caching of the video RAM at A0000h-AFFFFh via the L2 cache. This is supposed to speed up accesses to the video RAM. However, this does not translate into better system performance. Many graphics cards now have a RAM bandwidth of 5.3GB/s (128bit x 166MHz DDR) and that number is climbing constantly. Meanwhile, SDRAM's bandwidth is still stuck around 0.8GB/s (64bit x 100MHz) or at most 1.06GB/s (64bit x 133MHz) if you are using a PC133 system. Now, although a Pentium !!! 650 may have a L2 cache bandwidth of about 20.8GB/s (256bit x 650MHz), it makes more sense to cache the really slow system SDRAM instead of the graphics card's RAM. Also note that caching the video RAM doesn't make much sense even with the Pentium !!!'s high L2 cache bandwidth. This is because the video RAM communicates with the L2 cache via the AGP bus which has a maximum bandwidth of only 1.06GB/s using the AGP4X protocol. Actually, that bandwidth is halved in the case of the L2 cache caching the graphics card's RAM because data has to pass in two directions. In addition, if any program writes into this memory area, it will result in a system crash. So, there's very little benefit in caching the video card's RAM. It would be much better to use the processor's L2 cache to cache the system SDRAM instead. It is recommended that you disable Video RAM Cacheable for optimal system performance. https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/system-video-bios-cacheable-bios-options.392507/ ---
  22. Thanks for the feedback @Mr.Scienceman2000. Many NVIDIA ForceWare drivers were trialed with Madden 2000 in Direct3D. Frustrating, for me best seems around v21.81 but still can't play the game in Direct3D without graphic glitches. These ForceWare drivers for MX 400 all fail to properly run Madden 2000 in Direct3D. In Windows 98 SE the MX 200 runs the game fine with appropriate driver (reported earlier). 5.32 Game won't launch (2000) 6.18 Game won't launch 6.31 8.05 12.41 21.81 Maybe best here 21.83 23.11 Sound lockup 28.32 43.45 44.03 Game won't launch 45.23 Game won't launch 53.04 Game won't launch 71.84 Game won't launch 81.98 Game won't launch (2005) No thermal gun owned but may install a cooling fan at next refurbish (3 year cycle). It's not temperature though, rather driver or other software. Reported earlier trying to get SpellForce running, on same hardware the game runs well in Windows XP using newer ForceWare drivers (query v93), even when pushed to the limit, no graphic glitches. Installed Directx.cpl for DirectX tweaks via Control Panel, no benefit either. Note the *.cpl needs to go into C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\ (not SYSTEM32, instructions are incorrect). https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/microsoft_directx_control_panel.html More BIOS tweaks, no benefit. Installed and used Driver Cleaner Professional, not sure it's necessary software, seems okay, has backup/restore functionality in case removal causes breakage. https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/driver_cleaner_professional.html Installed and briefly played Star Trek Voyager Elite Force demo, runs fine. Here CRT is preferred too for sharpness and colour where 5 computer and television tubes are used. Only exceptions are an LCD media center (small tabletop) and a netbook (built-in LCD). In comparison my LCDs appear fuzzy. Maybe free LCD giveaways are lower quality but my CRTs were free giveaways too. Power management with CRT (and LCD) works fine here on all Devuan release used (net installed Jessie, ASCII, Beowulf). This includes Window Manager (Fluxbox, OpenBox) and Desktop Environment (LXDE, MATE). I never mess with it and use default, think black screen after 10 minutes. The 'nouveau' driver is used with NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400 running Xorg with OpenBox. If running a Window Manager create an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and use the 'cvt' command to get a modeline for your resolution and refresh rate. Note i don't game in GNU/Linux, graphics work fine for window management, videos and web browsing. Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor0" Modeline "1152x864_60.00" 81.75 1152 1216 1336 1520 864 867 871 897 -hsync +vsync Option "PreferredMode" "1152x864" EndSection Section "Device" Identifier "Card0" Driver "nouveau" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen0" Device "Card0" Monitor "Monitor0" EndSection
  23. Hi @Mr.Scienceman2000. Maybe it varies by manufacturer and model. The ViewSonic E90 CRT just fixed is early 2000s and has the controls. My other two CRTs also have screen and focus adjustments (Samsung SyncMaster 550s, ViewSonic PF790 Professional Series). The professional series ViewSonic is very nice. I don't think you game much but if you come across good drivers for your NVIDIA MX 400 feel free to report, much appreciated. IIRC correctly four different drivers were trialed several weeks ago, all problematic to some extent for games, not regular use. The clarity (focus) on the recently adjusted CRT is noticeably better. Stayed up too late on internet, videos and games enjoying the 'screen'. Can't believe the difference. The settings were still factory with unbroken glue-gun glue on the adjustment screws. It is doubtful production workers had the time to miniscule adjust with care like someone who owns the hardware. Or maybe the focus drifts over time as the hardware ages. The focus adjustment is very sensitive, even 1 degree makes a difference or if the screwdriver inadvertently moves the screw when pulling it out of the slot. Some use mirrors to make the adjustment in real-time, i was fortunate to have feedback from a family member. Little more to the left, little more to the right, go back a bit, looks good kind of feedback. Think you're correct about a quirk @UCyborg, thanks for checking with your hardware. Still running the 4-series Linux kernel. On two > 20 year old systems, same Devuan release and same kernel, one system reports 'DVI-I-1', as mentioned, the other 'VGA-1'. The 'DVI-I-1' system has no video outputs on the motherboard and only a single output port on the graphic card (VGA). Strange. Briefed a long 40 minute video 'What happened to the Computer Reset Warehouse?' from LGR (Lazy Game Reviews), always enjoy their videos. The warehouse is scheduled for shutdown later this year, sad. Mountains of glorious old school hardware. Fortunately it seems most of it has gone to people who still care about this old stuff.
  24. Screen (adjust brightness) and focus (fix blurry output) screws on the flyback transformer were adjusted slightly prior to re-install of the monitor case. If you've never done this before review online for safety precautions, be careful as the monitor is live and exposed during calibration. You've been warned, i take no responsibility for carelessness or shaky hands, death may result, no exaggeration. The monitor is > 20 years old and prior to adjustment was dim even when adjusting brightness to maximum with the front-face hardware buttons. It's now calibrated nicely with wiggle room for future brightness adjustment. This computing station is now at full glory, dual CRT monitors side by side, running like brand new. If reluctant to adjust flyback brightness on a dimming CRT, and if maximum brightness is already set on the front-face hardware buttons, most graphic drivers in Windows allow gamma adjustment via software controls. For multi-booters running GNU/Linux, most Desktop Environments have a GUI. If you run a Window Manager like me then use 'xgamma', create a script or add a custom startup entry, example below. Run 'xrandr' to identify screen name, here it's 'DVI-I-1'. Sad GNU/Linux is leaving the traditional 'VGA-0' nomenclature behind even though this is a bonafide old school CRT monitor with a VGA connection. xrandr Then adjust gamma using 'xgamma' command. Review 'man xgamma' or 'xgamma --help' for more information, especially for colour balance adjustment. xgamma -screen DVI-I-1 -gamma 1.2 This monitor test site was useful to get the settings dialed-in, no HTTPS or JavaScript needed, test images can be downloaded for future use. http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/
  25. Thanks for all responses and clarifications. Life gets in the way and Windows 98 SE (Stable Edition) doesn't run critical software here so it doesn't get booted as much anymore. That's why 'the original BSoD from Windows NT' was described as detailed, not useful @UCyborg, maybe to a developer. Thanks for the old browser friendly image links @Mr.Scienceman2000, nice new (used) hardware. My faster Windows 98 system also uses NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 400. It works well but graphic glitches running some games (Madden 2000, SpellForce) while my MX 200 ran Madden fine. My MX 400 was also received used, don't believe it ever had a cooling fan. Overall i'm happy with it, lots of video memory for Windows 9x era. So jealous @RainyShadow regarding 'warehouse full of piles upon piles of retro stuff and take all you can for a flat entry fee'. For environmental reasons alone this should be done everywhere. Sad most perfectly useful hardware goes to recycling never to be functional again. My 2001 era 19" ViewSonic CRT monitor is fixed, last update 1.5 years ago: https://msfn.org/board/topic/177106-running-vanilla-windows-98-in-2020-and-beyond/page/31/#comment-1186295 It's been running without a case for over a year. The issue persisted and worsened. Several times per week the monitor would not degauss or output an image. Sometimes it would even conk out during runtime. Video output could always be restored by gently rocking the monitor on a temporary wooden block or, once the flaky connection was identified, prodding the component with a wooden chopstick. Since the problem was worsening the monitor was unplugged and flipped. No visible connection issues were noted 1.5 years ago but there were now two obvious cracked solders underneath the flyback transformer. Quick solder refresh and the monitor's been rock solid for over a month. The casing will be reinstalled tomorrow. Though CRTs have many components that can fail, makes sense this may be the issue. It's a large, heavy part that probably jostles easily on the main board during transport and setup. Flyback transfomer solders are easy to visualize on the under side of the main board, a U-shaped pattern of 10 large solders, see image below. https://jestineyong.com/how-to-locate-the-primary-winding-of-flyback-transformer/ If anyone is picking up a used CRT, most can be rudimentary tested without a computer connection. Plug in the power and press the power switch, green LED should light up, should hear degauss, with good ears will also hear some static. Patiently wait 5-10 seconds and most monitors should briefly output something similar to 'off mode' or 'no signal' (no graphic card connected) then go into sleep mode (green LED usually goes orange). A simple test for basic functionality if there is no computer handy before passing someone your money or breaking your back hauling home broken hardware.
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