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galahs

Compatible Hardware with Windows 9x

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I probably can't even begin to address all of your issues, but you need to concentrate on one problem at a time for starters. ;)

 

First of all it appears that laptop uses an Intel 915 chipset. Prepare yourself for resource conflicts that may or may not be fixable. The 875 chipset is the last chipset that truly gets along properly with Windows 9x.

 

Second if the laptop has more than 512MB of RAM and you are determined to use it, don't rely on "tweaks" to fix it. I was never able to get any of these "RAM tweaks" to work on any system of mine. I purchased rloew's RAM Patch and never looked back.

 

Third, if the hard drive or optical drive in the machine are connected by SATA, you will either have to hope that the BIOS will allow you to set "Legacy IDE" mode for the drives, or you will need rloew's SATA patch as well in order for them to function properly and not run in "Compatibility Mode."

 

Fourth, when installing your OS of choice, always disable any and all possible onboard devices in the BIOS, then once you have your OS set up, re-enable them one at a time, installing drivers for each separately. This should help you narrow down problem devices

 

Use the last 9x version of the ATI Catalyst driver, 6.2 I believe. If that doesn't work verify that your Device ID is listed in the INF file for the driver. If not, add it.

the laptops is one of the last few to use the older ide / pata interface so that part is good, however the part you mentioned that there may be resource conflicts that may or may not be fixable is not which probably is the main issue. all this frustration is beginning me to look towards rleows ram patch but it would seem that i would only need that for systems that have 64 GB hard drives or larger, because for some reason, the ram issues seem to cause conflict in correlation with the hard drive size, i could be wrong but im just saying that the recent systems i worked with in windows 95 had 384 MB ram with 31 GB hard drive and no issues, then again, that was windows 95 and not windows 98, but from what i remember, i actually had a temporarily good working windows 98se computer that i sold with 1 GB ram and geforce 7300gs but ending up producing resource conflicts to which i was unaware of that would happen. 

 

also, i read somewhere that you could just use the updated fdisk.exe file from the 263044 update on a working windows 98 system and recompile it to make a new updated windows 98 boot disk iso to format 64 GB or larger hard drives properly but i just did this few minutes ago and it made no difference, when i select NO for maximum size, and try to create a manual size, it still gives me a maximum of 10781 and even if i put down 1 MB or any number, it still comes out formatted as 74 GB within the operating system. 

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I probably can't even begin to address all of your issues, but you need to concentrate on one problem at a time for starters. ;)

 

First of all it appears that laptop uses an Intel 915 chipset. Prepare yourself for resource conflicts that may or may not be fixable. The 875 chipset is the last chipset that truly gets along properly with Windows 9x.

 

Second if the laptop has more than 512MB of RAM and you are determined to use it, don't rely on "tweaks" to fix it. I was never able to get any of these "RAM tweaks" to work on any system of mine. I purchased rloew's RAM Patch and never looked back.

 

Third, if the hard drive or optical drive in the machine are connected by SATA, you will either have to hope that the BIOS will allow you to set "Legacy IDE" mode for the drives, or you will need rloew's SATA patch as well in order for them to function properly and not run in "Compatibility Mode."

 

Fourth, when installing your OS of choice, always disable any and all possible onboard devices in the BIOS, then once you have your OS set up, re-enable them one at a time, installing drivers for each separately. This should help you narrow down problem devices

 

Use the last 9x version of the ATI Catalyst driver, 6.2 I believe. If that doesn't work verify that your Device ID is listed in the INF file for the driver. If not, add it.

the laptops is one of the last few to use the older ide / pata interface so that part is good, however the part you mentioned that there may be resource conflicts that may or may not be fixable is not which probably is the main issue. all this frustration is beginning me to look towards rleows ram patch but it would seem that i would only need that for systems that have 64 GB hard drives or larger, because for some reason, the ram issues seem to cause conflict in correlation with the hard drive size, i could be wrong but im just saying that the recent systems i worked with in windows 95 had 384 MB ram with 31 GB hard drive and no issues, then again, that was windows 95 and not windows 98, but from what i remember, i actually had a temporarily good working windows 98se computer that i sold with 1 GB ram and geforce 7300gs but ending up producing resource conflicts to which i was unaware of that would happen. 

 

also, i read somewhere that you could just use the updated fdisk.exe file from the 263044 update on a working windows 98 system and recompile it to make a new updated windows 98 boot disk iso to format 64 GB or larger hard drives properly but i just did this few minutes ago and it made no difference, when i select NO for maximum size, and try to create a manual size, it still gives me a maximum of 10781 and even if i put down 1 MB or any number, it still comes out formatted as 74 GB within the operating system. 

 

i actually lied about the part of testing the updated fdisk within the os, yes, the size still was limited in the prompt screen but now within the os, i have a 6.82 GB partition, in fdisk i randomly selected about 7000 megabytes and to my belief, it came out as roughly that. now, the size is a bit small but im not too worried about that, i want to see if the os functions any better with the hard drive being at this size. 

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It's been a long time since I actually used FDISK to partition a drive, but I did use it a lot back in the day. Now I use System Commander in most cases and rloew's RFDISK or Partition Magic for certain specific purposes. If a drive is larger than what FDISK can properly display you will have to do the partition sizes by "percentages" of the entire disk rather than MB count. Try this, or use a different program to partition and format your drive and set the partition active. Then run your experiment from the beginning, setting Legacy Mode in the BIOS and disabling onboard devices. Note that it is possible for even a PATA IDE controller to be running in Native SATA mode if SATA ports are present as well (rloew correct me if I am wrong!), so be sure to check for "Legacy/IDE/PATA" settings.

 

The size of the HDD should have no bearing whatsoever on compatibility with RAM.

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could i just modify an existing driver ( mobility x600 ) to support windows 98? how / where would i add the device id and inf file? i have access to both catalyst 6.2 and the mobility x600 driver for w2k and xp which happens to mention win9x in one the text documents, although i was not able to pick it up on my previous setup today, however, the reasons could vary for that, what can i do as far as modifying? this is what one of the mobility x600 inf files say - 

 

;** General Install Requirements ALL OSs and ATI Cards 
[startup]
;** DirectX version 
LDXV=8
OS=WIN_2K
NoAskDxMessage=1
 
;The second dialog message hide when installing display driver on OS that doesn't have DirectX
;NoAskDXMessage=1
;** Include the following line if want reboot Dlg after silent install (/K switch)
;ShowRebootDlg=1
;**Asking to remove display driver before install Ati driver 
;AskUninstall=1
[bootResolution]
;DALDefaultModeBCD=HHhh,VVvv,CCcc,RRrr
;DALRULE_NOFORCEBOOT=0
;HH hh - Horizontal frequency in decimal, as an example 1024 will be written as 1024
; VV vv - Vertical frequency in decimal, as an example 768 will be written as 0768
; CCcc - Colour depth in decimal  (0004, 0008, 0016, 0032 )
; RR rr - Refresh Rate in decimal, as an example  100 Hz will be written as 0100
;for example:
;DALDefaultModeBCD=1280,1024, 0032, 0060
;DALRULE_NOFORCEBOOT=0
;** Install only on one of these OSs (WINXP, WIN2K, WINNT,WIN9X)
;OS=WIN2K
;** Show Readme message before installing driver  
;ShowReadme=ATIDrive\readme.txt
;**Not ask dialog service pack message (only WinNT4)
;NoAskServicePack=1
;**ListOnADDRemove "0" delete name "ATI Display Driver" from ADD/Remove Applet,otherwise  ("1") it appears on ADD/Remove
ListOnADDRemove=1
 
[WINXP64A]
 
[WINXP64]
 
[WINXP]
 
[WIN2K]
Label=R6
R6=DriverPath_R6,0x5460:0x20061028
DriverPath_R6=\2KXP_INF,C2_19746.INF
 
[WINNT]
 
[WIN9X]
 
[ATISMART]
Edited by cov3rt

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Use Catalyst 6.2 unless you are able to find an X600-specific package that was explicitly designed for Windows 9x. Windows 9x video drivers MUST be in .VXD format; yes Windows 98 and ME support WDM drivers like 2K/XP but video drivers are the exception to this. if the 2K package you found does not contain a .VXD file it will not work.

 

As for where to put your device in the INF, you will need to "study" the organization of the INF and be sure to direct your device to the correct install section for it's particular GPU "family" (R360, R420, etc etc, Wikipedia may be useful for this if you are not familiar with it, search "List of AMD graphics processing units"). The best thing to do is find the "closest" device to yours that IS listed in the INF and follow the methodology used for it.

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Note that it is possible for even a PATA IDE controller to be running in Native SATA mode if SATA ports are present as well (rloew correct me if I am wrong!), so be sure to check for "Legacy/IDE/PATA" settings.

That would be Native PATA IDE Mode.

It's not very likely with Motherboards but not impossible.

Add-in PATA or PATA/SATA Cards, except some very old ones, are Native Mode.

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I have an Inspiron 9300 arriving  in a few days, a close relative to the D810, which I'll attempt installing 98SE.   It has the x300 ATI-which is pci express just like the x600. 

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Use Catalyst 6.2 unless you are able to find an X600-specific package that was explicitly designed for Windows 9x. Windows 9x video drivers MUST be in .VXD format; yes Windows 98 and ME support WDM drivers like 2K/XP but video drivers are the exception to this. if the 2K package you found does not contain a .VXD file it will not work.

 

As for where to put your device in the INF, you will need to "study" the organization of the INF and be sure to direct your device to the correct install section for it's particular GPU "family" (R360, R420, etc etc, Wikipedia may be useful for this if you are not familiar with it, search "List of AMD graphics processing units"). The best thing to do is find the "closest" device to yours that IS listed in the INF and follow the methodology used for it.

i did not find any vxd format drivers in the mobility x600 package, however i did find some instances of vxd in the text document inf files of catalyst 6.2 which linked to VX as the type of files, are they the same? i also found one virtual device driver called atiicdxx.vxd. besides this, why is that there are multiple inf files? is it because notepad cant open more than a certain size? i did do a quick google search and it mentioned 54 KB on one of microsofts articles, but there is a 64 KB one in the catalyst 6.2 package, but i guess thats not too important. i noticed a sourcediskpath and mfg section which mentions the name of the display adapter and the hardware id, would i just copy and paste the info from the mobility x600 package into the mfg section and add the necessary files into the sourcediskpath and thats it? 

 

i did a quick search and it seems that the mobility x600 uses the rv380 architecture which is mentioned also in the catalyst 6.2 inf document as ati radeon x600 secondary but with just a different hardware id

Edited by cov3rt

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Use Catalyst 6.2 unless you are able to find an X600-specific package that was explicitly designed for Windows 9x. Windows 9x video drivers MUST be in .VXD format; yes Windows 98 and ME support WDM drivers like 2K/XP but video drivers are the exception to this. if the 2K package you found does not contain a .VXD file it will not work.

 

As for where to put your device in the INF, you will need to "study" the organization of the INF and be sure to direct your device to the correct install section for it's particular GPU "family" (R360, R420, etc etc, Wikipedia may be useful for this if you are not familiar with it, search "List of AMD graphics processing units"). The best thing to do is find the "closest" device to yours that IS listed in the INF and follow the methodology used for it.

i did not find any vxd format drivers in the mobility x600 package, however i did find some instances of vxd in the text document inf files of catalyst 6.2 which linked to VX as the type of files, are they the same? i also found one virtual device driver called atiicdxx.vxd. besides this, why is that there are multiple inf files? is it because notepad cant open more than a certain size? i did do a quick google search and it mentioned 54 KB on one of microsofts articles, but there is a 64 KB one in the catalyst 6.2 package, but i guess thats not too important. i noticed a sourcediskpath and mfg section which mentions the name of the display adapter and the hardware id, would i just copy and paste the info from the mobility x600 package into the mfg section and add the necessary files into the sourcediskpath and thats it? 

 

i did a quick search and it seems that the mobility x600 uses the rv380 architecture which is mentioned also in the catalyst 6.2 inf document as ati radeon x600 secondary but with just a different hardware id

 

to be honest, i have no idea what to do with the driver issue and just right now, the computer got messed up after doing the inf update, the hard disk controller came up with a yellow marking in device manager with the cd rom and hdd not showing and trying to find a free resource just freezes the computer. so its unlikely it has anything to do with the size of the hdd or ram, but simply resource problems that windows 98 cant take care of and just other issues that have to do with assigning the right addresses to devices. im about ready to give up on this build and just put a newer os on it and sell it as is. 

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new update, i selected only primary ide controller and was able to get the hard drive to be detected in device manager and working properly with virtual memory enabled but without the cd rom. then i tried adding new hardware and have windows find the hardware and to my surprise, it successfully installed the cd rom and a new standard esdi controller with no conflicts. so for now, my system is working fine with both cd rom and hdd detected. 

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new update, i selected only primary ide controller and was able to get the hard drive to be detected in device manager and working properly with virtual memory enabled but without the cd rom. then i tried adding new hardware and have windows find the hardware and to my surprise, it successfully installed the cd rom and a new standard esdi controller with no conflicts. so for now, my system is working fine with both cd rom and hdd detected. 

thats' what I do too...can watch a dvd....except DMA isn't enabled so burning a cd has to be done at 8x speed or less   

 

x600 should be in C5_30314.inf from ati catalyst 6.2 (6-2_wme_dd_cp_30314.exe)

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new update, i selected only primary ide controller and was able to get the hard drive to be detected in device manager and working properly with virtual memory enabled but without the cd rom. then i tried adding new hardware and have windows find the hardware and to my surprise, it successfully installed the cd rom and a new standard esdi controller with no conflicts. so for now, my system is working fine with both cd rom and hdd detected. 

thats' what I do too...can watch a dvd....except DMA isn't enabled so burning a cd has to be done at 8x speed or less   

 

x600 should be in C5_30314.inf from ati catalyst 6.2 (6-2_wme_dd_cp_30314.exe)

 

the closest i found was the radeon x600 series secondary with rv380, but no inf files mention the same hardware id im looking for or the name of the device which would be ati mobility radeon x600 ( from the C2_19748 inf ) driver version 6.14.10.6483. im hesitant on testing one of the drivers because i fear the system may get messed up and i wont know what to do, but i think i may give it a try. 

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good news! i was able to get a working driver for the mobility x600 graphics. i downloaded the catalyst 4.11 for windows 98, selected have disk option from device manager, clicked the c8_19079 inf file which gave me a list of display adapters, i selected the abit radeon x600xt 128 MB, it installed all files, i then rebooted back into the desktop and all i needed to do was manually change the resolution and currently i have it set at 1024x768 in 32 bit color, but it can go up to 1280x1024. dxdiag also shows it using approximately 126.5 MB of memory :)

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Glad you got it working! :yes:

 

Although this project and its solutions probably should be in its own thread and not be directly in-line with this thread, which is really meant to be a "list" rather than a troubleshooting experiment.

 

@dencorso

Feel like thread surgery?  :angel  haha

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Windows 98SE w/ 98SE2ME

 

Siig JU-2NG011 Gigabit ethernet/3 port firewire/3 port USB 2.0 card.

Siig SC-PE4B12 UltraATA133 IDE controller

 

The driver for the RealTek 8169 ethernet chip that is on Siig's website does not work. Or at least I couldn't get it to. I found a newer driver on opendrivers.com and got it working. Firewire works out of the box. USB drivers work from Siig's website. EDIT: I forgot to mention, NUSB driver works much better.

 

The IDE card enables those old motherboards with BIOS's that don't recognize large hard drives correctly to see the entire hard drive. DOS boots from this card no problem, for some reason I couldn't get any NT based OS to boot from a HDD attached to this card.

Edited by cpucollector

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