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vipejc

Are you using Windows 9x or ME with modern hardware?

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Guest wsxedcrfv

You had my attention here until I went to the download site:

4CoreDual-VSTA

Download - Please Select Your Operation System:

Drivers& Utilities Download - Windows Vista

Drivers& Utilities Download - Windows Vista 64bit

Drivers& Utilities Download - Windows XP

Drivers& Utilities Download - Windows XP 64bit

Drivers& Utilities Download - Windows 2000

What drivers are you using for Win98, old ones that came with earlier boards?

Via Bus Master PCI IDE controller (vatapi.vxd ver. 2.0.950.120)

Source:

- Via 4-in-1 Driver set v510A (downloadable from the web)

- also available on Asrock motherboard CD (2-core and 4-core DualVSTA)

On-board network adapter (VIA Rhine II) fetnd5av.sys (ver 3.83.0.468)

Source:

- VIA Rhine Family Driver v3.84a\X86 (from the web)

- also available on Asrock motherboard CD (4-core DualVSTA)

VIA RAID Controller (this is otherwise known as the SATA drive controller)

- viamraid.mpd ver. 2.0.950.573

- Viamvsd.vxd ver. 2.0.950.500

Source:

- Via V-raid v5.80G driver set (downloadable from the web)

- also available on Asrock motherboard CD (2-core DualVSTA)

- older version on Asrock motherboard CD (4-core DualVSTA)

Via CPU to AGP2.0/AGP3.0 controller (6-29-2006)

VIA I/O APIC Interrupt Controller (8-16-2006)

VIA PCI to PCI Bridge Controller (8-16-2006)

VIA Standard Host Bridge (8-16-2006)

VIA Standard PCI to ISA Bridge (8-16-2006)

VIA Standard PCI to PCIE bridge (8-16-2006)

VIA Ultra VLINK Controller (8-16-2006)

I'm not sure what the individual driver files are for the above components, but they are most likely from the Via 4-in-1 v510A driver set.

USB 2.0 Root Hub and VIA PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller

- usbhub20.sys (ver 4.90.3000.11)

- usbehci.sys (ver 4.90.3000.11)

- source is VIA USB 2.0 Host Controller V 2.7 (from the web)

- also available on Asrock motherboard CD (2-core DualVSTA - not the 4-core CD)

The 2-core DualVSTA motherboard was available a few months before the 4-core version. I bought two of the 2-core motherboards at first to evaluate them for win-98 performance, then I bought 4 (or maybe it was 6) more - but by that time I think I could only buy the 4-core version. So I have the installation CD for both versions, and I do note a slight difference between them when it comes to win-9x/me drivers (which both CD's plainly do have).

* rloew's GigaByte MA785GM-US2H is on the trailing edge of availability

* wsxedcrfv's Asrock 4coredual VSTA is out of production

I'm not so sure that the MA785GM is as fully functional (driver-wise) under win-98 as you think it is. And while the Asrock boards are out of production, they can still be had on e-bay:

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_kw=Asrock&_kw=dual&_kw=VSTA&_dmpt=Motherboards

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_kw=Asrock&_kw=VSTA&_dmpt=Motherboards

For ridiculously low prices (starting around $15 to $30)

Basically, the 2-core and 4-core DualVSTA boards are great because:

1) they have both AGP 8x *and* PCIe video card slots

2) they take both DDR or DDR2 ram (but not at the same time)

3) win-9x/me drivers for all components except on-board HD audio

4) probably the best supported socket 775 motherboard (from a win-98 driver pov)

If anyone can propose another socket 775 board (or i3 /i5 /i7 board) with a similar (or better) level of win-9x/me compatibility, I'd really like to see it.

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I would consider any motherboard as compatible with windows 98 if there are win-98 drivers for the chipset (north and south bridge), USB drivers, IDE and/or SATA drivers, and AGP or PCIe bridge drivers. On-board sound and wifi are nice but not necessary, and possibly on-board ethernet is necessary. There are a few motherboard introduced as recently as late 2006 / early 2007 that meet that criteria - the Asrock 4coredual VSTA...

By this definition, the GA-MA785GM is not compatable, as it does not support built in graphics.

I don't personally need TBPLUS but if it came with a zip file that had a database (MB models, BIOS date, drivers, add-on cards) plus copies of all the drivers themselves you would have me lined up with a credit card.

Rloew, what are the chances of ever seeing a TBPLUS Plus?

TBPLUS is only for Hard Disk Controllers and Drives. It already includes an extended ESDI_506.PDR Driver, which is used for all PATA and SATA Drives. No other Drivers are needed. I haven't seen a Motherboard yet that doesn't work.

USB and Firewire Drive Controllers are supported by others. Only the FileSystem Patches in TBPLUS are currently used.

As far as newer Add-on Cards I have tried, only the Marvell AHCI SATA Controllers, sold by HighPoint with some of the 3TB Hard Drives don't work.

Some old cards don't work, but they have Windows 9x Drivers.

I recommend the Silicon Image Cards for PCI and the JMicron Cards for PCI-E.

Making a Database would entail testing many Motherboards and Cards, or having others test them. It is not practical for me to create one of significant size.

If a Motherboard or Add-on Card does not force RAID or AHCI Mode, it should work. Some newer Motherboards use AHCI when running in RAID Mode. Download a manual and see if a Motherboard, you are interested in, can be set to IDE or NATIVE Mode.

A driver cannot be written for AHCI in Windows 9x, nor can any visible Partitions be present on any attached Drives.

I now can provide a test program that can be used to do compatability tests.

Edited by rloew

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Guest wsxedcrfv
I would consider any motherboard as compatible with windows 98 if there are win-98 drivers for the chipset (north and south bridge), USB drivers, IDE and/or SATA drivers, and AGP or PCIe bridge drivers.

By this definition, the GA-MA785GM is not compatable, as it does not support built in graphics.

Are you saying that the built-in graphics is the *only* component you don't have win-98 drivers for ???

I just downloaded and expanded all the win-2K and XP-32bit drivers for the GA-MA785GM. Gigabyte really doesn't offer much in the way of win-2k drivers btw.

I searched all the .inf files for "chicago" and aside from finding that string in the HD audio driver inf files (not sure why that is) the only other place I see chicago is in the file SMBUSati.inf.

So I really don't see how you're able to do much of anything with win-98 on that motherboard. Your file-system will be running in DOS compatibility mode, I can't see how your video is going to be anything other than 640 x 480, I can't see how you're going to get USB or native Sata support. How many (!) do you see in device manager?

If a Motherboard or Add-on Card does not force RAID or AHCI Mode, it should work. Some newer Motherboards use AHCI when running in RAID Mode. Download a manual and see if a Motherboard, you are interested in, can be set to IDE or NATIVE Mode.

AHCI is not important (or is of no consequence) when you have vendor-specific SATA/Raid drivers. The use of win-9x/me Sata/Raid drivers (when available) is always preferable to Legacy IDE mode to allow the use of large hard drives (breaking the 128/137 gb barrier).

A driver cannot be written for AHCI in Windows 9x

Even Windows XP did not (does not) have AHCI support "out of the box". That started with Vista. I'm not even sure that anyone other than Intel supports or offers AHCI as part of their SATA controller / driver (or motherboard) functionality.

Edited by wsxedcrfv

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I have the installation CD for both versions, and I do note a slight difference between them when it comes to win-9x/me drivers (which both CD's plainly do have).

It's odd that the CD has Win98 drivers but the website does not.

Your driver information is excellent, it's a "How To" guide for all of us.

The Via website provided most of the drivers.

> Via Bus Master PCI IDE controller

> - Via 4-in-1 Driver set v510A

VIA_HyperionPro_V524A.zip (at Via)

VIA_HyperionPro_Chipset_V510A.zip (at CNET)

> On-board network adapter (VIA Rhine II)

> - VIA Rhine Family Driver v3.84a\X86 (from the web)

via_rhine_ndis5_v384a.zip (at Via)

> USB 2.0 Root Hub and VIA PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller

> - source is VIA USB 2.0 Host Controller V 2.7 (from the web)

VIA_USB2_V270p1-L.zip (at VIA)

> VIA RAID Controller (this is otherwise known as the SATA drive controller)

> - Via V-raid v5.80G driver set (downloadable from the web)

vraid_driver_v550b.zip (at VIA)

via_vraid_windows_v5.90a.zip (www.viaarena.com)

The latest driver at the VIA site was 5.50 and there is a 5.90a at ViaArena but none of the links I found to 5.80g worked (one site said 'driver removed'). The HBA card by Tekgems which uses 5.80g links to ViaArena which comes up with "NoMatchingDrivers"

I couldn't find the 2CoreDual anywhere at the Asrock site, but there are several PT880-based MBs at http://www.asrock.com/mb/index.asp?s=775

VIA PT880 Ultra 4CoreDual-VSTA

VIA PT880 Pro/Ultra 4CoreDual-SATA2 R2.0 4CoreDual-SATA2 775Dual-VSTA

VIA PT880Pro 775Dual-880Pro

VIA PT880 775V88+ 775V88

The differences were:

1) the 775V88s have no PCI Express VGA, PT880Pro was the first of the AGP/PCIe generation.

2) the 775V88s and PT880Pro overviews state "Microsoft® Windows® 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP / XP 64-bit compliant" BUT driver download starts at Win2000

I'm not so sure that the MA785GM is as fully functional (driver-wise) under win-98 as you think it is.

I don't know what to think, was referencing rloew in this thread.

And while the Asrock boards are out of production, they can still be had on e-bay

There are more listings for refurbished MBs than used. Even in the online stores they are refurbs. The two listings that were 'retail packaging/new" hadd no I/O shields though the refurbs have them.

I'm convinced, these look like great boards.

P.S. While exploring I came across a web page that would be invaluable to any buyer of the MB being supported at: http://marcovollo.blogspot.com/2010/12/amptron-p4m800-pro-drivers-winxpvista7.html

Edited by JayPea

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I would consider any motherboard as compatible with windows 98 if there are win-98 drivers for the chipset (north and south bridge), USB drivers, IDE and/or SATA drivers, and AGP or PCIe bridge drivers.

By this definition, the GA-MA785GM is not compatable, as it does not support built in graphics.

Are you saying that the built-in graphics is the *only* component you don't have win-98 drivers for ???

No. There is no Audio either. But this is listed as Optional.

I just downloaded and expanded all the win-2K and XP-32bit drivers for the GA-MA785GM. Gigabyte really doesn't offer much in the way of win-2k drivers btw.

I searched all the .inf files for "chicago" and aside from finding that string in the HD audio driver inf files (not sure why that is) the only other place I see chicago is in the file SMBUSati.inf.

So I really don't see how you're able to do much of anything with win-98 on that motherboard. Your file-system will be running in DOS compatibility mode, I can't see how your video is going to be anything other than 640 x 480, I can't see how you're going to get USB or native Sata support.

I use no Vendor supplied Drivers.

My TBPLUS and SATA Packages take care of DOS Compatability Mode and SATA support..

I use ME USB and NUSB USB 2.0 Drivers.

I had to add a PCI Video Card to support higher resolutions.

I have also added a PCI Audio Card.

Ethernet Drivers are available on the Internet.

How many (!) do you see in device manager?

3. A PCI Card entry for the built in Audio, the PCI System Management Bus, and a PCI Standard Host CPU Bridge.

If a Motherboard or Add-on Card does not force RAID or AHCI Mode, it should work. Some newer Motherboards use AHCI when running in RAID Mode. Download a manual and see if a Motherboard, you are interested in, can be set to IDE or NATIVE Mode.

AHCI is not important (or is of no consequence) when you have vendor-specific SATA/Raid drivers. The use of win-9x/me Sata/Raid drivers (when available) is always preferable to Legacy IDE mode to allow the use of large hard drives (breaking the 128/137 gb barrier).

If AHCI is enabled. Windows 9x will crash. Even compatability mode cannot be used. No Driver can fix this.

Drivers are fine if they are available.

I solved the 137GB barrier for IDE mode 8 years ago, and the 2TiB limit more recently.

A driver cannot be written for AHCI in Windows 9x

Even Windows XP did not (does not) have AHCI support "out of the box". That started with Vista. I'm not even sure that anyone other than Intel supports or offers AHCI as part of their SATA controller / driver (or motherboard) functionality.

Both of my recent Gigabyte Motherboards have AHCI mode. Both of them also enable AHCI when using RAID mode. So Native Mode is the only one that can be used.

The Highpoint Rocket 620 HBA Cards shipped with the Western Digital 3TB Hard Drives are AHCI only. I reflashed the Firmware to allow it to work in Compatability Mode but have no Driver for it.

Edited by rloew

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Guest wsxedcrfv

It's odd that the CD has Win98 drivers but the website does not.

What you usually find is that when you expand the driver packages that the web site has (and this goes with most of the motherboards made or sold by any manufacturer up until 2006 or early 2007) that when you expand them you will almost always find some win-9x/me directories for some (or many, or most) of the basic motherboard components. The fact that the driver download options on the manufacturer website usually don't list win-9x/me as an option is really no surprise, and is NOT always indicative that their win-32 driver offerings will not contain win-9x/me directories.

Your driver information is excellent, it's a "How To" guide for all of us.

I'm attaching my custom.inf file that I created as part of an unattended win-98se install on these Asrock boards. The infinst.txt file is the log file showing the creation or evolution of the custom.inf file over time as I added or replaced the inf files. It also includes the drivers for the EVGA 6200 AGP video card. I think I'm going to add the drivers for the Audigy2, Sound Blaster PCI 128, SoundBlaster Live!, and Diamond multimedia sound cards next.

custom.inf

infinst.txt

Ultimately I will try at least one PCIe video card (that I will have to go out and buy), and probably some of my old ATI All-in-Wonder AGP video cards as well.

> Via Bus Master PCI IDE controller

> - Via 4-in-1 Driver set v510A

VIA_HyperionPro_V524A.zip (at Via)

VIA_HyperionPro_Chipset_V510A.zip (at CNET)

This had me puzzled, because I can't find any evidence that I ever downloaded a 510 version of the 4-in-1 driver package. But now I see where I'm getting it - it was on the Asrock 4coredual CD:

---------------------

; ViaMach.inf

;

; Copyright © 1998-2000, VIA Technologies, Inc.

; for Windows 98 Second Edition

[Version]

;CatalogFile=viamach.cat

LayoutFile= Layout.inf, Layout1.inf, Layout2.inf

signature="$CHICAGO$"

Class=System

ClassGUID={4D36E97D-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

Provider=%VIA%

DriverVer=08/15/2006,5.1.00.0280

---------------------

A driver directory on the cd has the name "XP64_XP_2k(V5.10A)" and inside that directory are WinMe, Win98 and Win95 folders. I have downloaded the 5.15 and 5.24 versions of the 4-in-1 drivers, but I don't think I was happy with the results when trying to use them.

> VIA RAID Controller (this is otherwise known as the SATA drive controller)

> - Via V-raid v5.80G driver set (downloadable from the web)

vraid_driver_v550b.zip (at VIA)

via_vraid_windows_v5.90a.zip (www.viaarena.com)

The latest driver at the VIA site was 5.50 and there is a 5.90a at ViaArena but none of the links I found to 5.80g worked (one site said 'driver removed'). The HBA card by Tekgems which uses 5.80g links to ViaArena which comes up with "NoMatchingDrivers"

The file I downloaded was "VIA_V-RAID_SoftwarePackage_V5.zip" and I got it from "download.driverscollection.com". The download link is a long URL that doesn't work anymore because it seems to have been generated using the IP address I had at the time I got it (so the link no longer works). But I don't think it's necessary to find the 5.80 drivers, because the last (or highest) version of viamraid.mpd that I can find is 2.0.950.573, and it exists inside the 5.24 driver package as well as the 5.80 package (and the 6.00A package). Interestingly, I have a 5.40A version of the V-raid drivers, and viamraid.mpd it has is version 2.0.950.540.

I couldn't find the 2CoreDual anywhere at the Asrock site, but there are several PT880-based MBs at http://www.asrock.com/mb/index.asp?s=775

Sorry - my mistake.

That board is known as the "775Dual-VSTA": http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=775Dual-vsta

Edited by wsxedcrfv

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JayPea wrote:

And while the Asrock boards are out of production, they can still be had on e-bay

There are more listings for refurbished MBs than used. Even in the online stores they are refurbs. The two listings that were 'retail packaging/new" hadd no I/O shields though the refurbs have them.

I'm convinced, these look like great boards.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

I've been looking at these boards too and their AMD cousin; AM2NF3-VSTA. I'm leaning toward the AMD. The question is how anxious are you

(or I) to get one of these going? I recommend patience even though I'm not patient. I'm typing this message on a an IBM Model M keyboard made in 1995 and out of production for over ten years before I bought it. However, I bought it new. New old stock that had been sitting on a shelf for years. Works perfectly. The computer I'm typing on is based on a ASUS P4S800D-X that was out of production for 3-4 years before 10 new ones came up for sale on Ebay. Two months later, another ten came up for sale. I've got two. I'm very suspicious of refurbs. I think I'd rather buy used. If you have an account on Ebay you can have an email sent to you whenever the product comes up for sale. I haven't done this. I do go there a few days a week.

Edited by petekeller

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I searched all the .inf files for "chicago" and aside from finding that string in the HD audio driver inf files (not sure why that is) the only other place I see chicago is in the file SMBUSati.inf.

I went to my Motherboard DVD and got the XP Version of the SMBUS Files. They installed successfully.

Thanks for the lead.

I turned off the Motherboard Audio, so I am now down to only one warning in my Device Manager.

The PCI standard host CPU bridge has a Yellow Exclamation due to a resource conflict.

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Making a Database would entail testing many Motherboards and Cards, or having others test them. It is not practical for me to create one of significant size.

I was thinking of content like wsxedcrfv posted, but can see how turning that into a product changes matters, it has to be accurate and then it gets burdensome.

I now can provide a test program that can be used to do compatability tests.

Where can one find a copy, there is no mention at http://rloew1.no-ip.com/

What you usually find is that when you expand the driver packages that the web site has (and this goes with most of the motherboards made or sold by any manufacturer up until 2006 or early 2007) that when you expand them you will almost always find some win-9x/me directories for some (or many, or most) of the basic motherboard components.

That's why I like Asus, every OS supported by a driver is listed. It's a crapshoot on some sites which do not even identify the revision level of a driver.

I'm attaching my custom.inf file that I created as part of an unattended win-98se install on these Asrock boards....

Thanks, much appreciated.

I've been looking at these boards too and their AMD cousin; AM2NF3-VSTA. I'm leaning toward the AMD.

I've been a fan of AMD too, but switching back to Intel is an easy decision because all the integration work has been done.

...how anxious are you (or I) to get one of these going?

Time is on my side, and will watch for used or new MBs because I'm not keen on the idea of refurbs either.

This has been a great thread. Great technical data that helped each other out, as well as helping those still to read it in days to come.

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I now can provide a test program that can be used to do compatability tests.

Where can one find a copy, there is no mention at http://rloew1.no-ip.com/

I just wrote the program and have no instructions written for it.

It's main purpose is to classify the Controllers and detect AHCI mode.

You would need access to the Motherboard and/or Cards to use the Program. It would not tell you if a Motherboard or Card you are planning to buy is useable.

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Guest wsxedcrfv

@JayPea

Look at this: (e-bay link for 4core-dual VSTA)

Just saying here that you probably also shouldn't overlook the 775Dual-VSTA as it's almost identical to the 4core-dual-VSTA. Supposedly, the 775Dual has the PT800-Pro chipset, while the 4core-dual has the PT800-Ultra. I should have a closer look at the one I have. The Asrock website is confusing - it lists the 775dual as having "PT880 Pro/Ultra Chipset". The difference would be that the Pro either can't handle Core-2 CPU's (conroe, allendale, wolfdale) or it can't be clocked high enough to support core-2 FSB. Basically, the Ultra is certified for 1066 FSB, the Pro isin't.

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m570&_nkw=775Dual-VSTA&_sacat=See-All-Categories

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Thanks for the tips guys.

There is little difference for my use between any of the Pro or Ultra models.

To simplify matters, will go for a used board w/processor and memory that can be dropped into a current chassis.

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