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ragnargd

Research on AM3+ boards

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I tried a PS/2 splitter cable years ago. No luck. The manual says "Keyboard or Mouse". Apparently they really meant the "or". I have had problems with it thinking my KVMA Mouse connection is a keyboard after a power failure. I have to plug in a real mouse, boot the Computer, turn if off, reconnect the KVMA Mouse and turn it back on. There must be a hardware register that is maintained by standby power that selects the mode but I have not been able to find it.

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I'd rather think these ports are some quick hack of an USB 1 port, and without proper initialisation, they get confused...

Anyway... :-)

At the moment i'm really pressing the GA-870A-USB3 - and it seems to be quite stable with W98SE.

Only "issue" are the non-initialising USB2-ports, but this is still ok-ish, as, contrary to i.e. P35 chipset, activating them does not make the system hang - so on a multi-boot system, you can leave them on, and then use them at least on any other (more modern) OS.

As i run them with an 8-core Opteron and 32GB of RAM, i may soon join you in the "Day-to-day running Win 9x/ME with more than 1 GiB RAM" top three... O:-)

I also try to have two GPUs on it simultanely, the more modern GPU deactivated in W98SE, and the GF 7600GT deactivated in XP and W10, so i can make use of that horse-power (as i.e. a secondary gaming machine). At the moment, this fails, because my power-supply is too weak for my GTX 770... :-)

 

btw: As my thread seems to have gone, can anyone point me to a "howto install an NDIS2 driver for a NIC (in this case: RTL 8111E) after W98 is already installed"?

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5 hours ago, ragnargd said:

btw: As my thread seems to have gone, can anyone point me to a "howto install an NDIS2 driver for a NIC (in this case: RTL 8111E) after W98 is already installed"?

Gone? What do you mean by "gone"? It never went anywhere! It's here!

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Funny, on some occasions, i can't find this (or other) threads in the list - and then, sometimes they are there (i put a link in my favs, as that always works). Most probably it's just me needing glasses... O:)

Still, i think having a good instruction for that problem would help with many boards, for which there is no W98SE-driver, as very often, the DOS/NDIS2-drivers are still supported by the respective companys. Many links on the interweb on that have died already.

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The GA-870A-USB3 runs stable, meanwhile, with 32GB Ram, and the 8-core Opteron.

Multi-booting with different GPUs on different OSs works as well:

I installed a GF 7600 GT in the second PCIe-slot, connected it via VGA, set it as primary display in BIOS, and installed the usual driver in W98SE.

I installed a GTX 950 into the first PCIe-slot, and connected it to the DVI-D port of the same monitor.

W98SE sees it as a non-working Standard VGA device, and as it is the secondary display, i was able to disable it in system settings (this did not work for it as the primary display).

So when i start up W98SE, the VGA-port is used on my monitor.

On XP, i installed the latest driver for the GTX 950 (GTX 960 being the "latest" GPU still supported on that driver, which does not install anything for the GF 7600 GT).

Automagically, the driver / XP chooses the GTX 950 as ist primary card, hides (!) the (unrecognized) GF 7600 GT in system settings, and once the driver takes over, the monitor switches from VGA to DVI-D.

If they'd cut off my ears now, my grin would encompass my head full circle... (i hope this does not get lost in translation)... :-)

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I found a connection between the Graphics Card and the first SATA Controller on the M5A97 and the MSI 970A. They both share the same Interrupt. This may explain the Disk Write Failure BSODs. I moved my Hard Drive to the second Controller and am running another test.

This sharing does not occur on my other Computers.

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Then, wouldn't taking the other PCIe-Slot help as well? Ah, i would have to test that as well... but i'm just now in the process of installing W10 on my GA-870A-USB3, so this just has to wait a little bit...

btw: As far as i remember, this "ressource conflict" was about a dma-controller, and "motherboard ressources", and when i looked at the details, it included the first six byte of the list. Could have been the interrupts, in fact... you may have a look at it?

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On the MSI 970A, using two PCI-E Video cards did get separate Interrupts. Mixing a PCI-E Video Card and a PCI Video Card did not work. Both got the same Interrupt.

The DMA Controller does not use Interrupts so that is not an issue.

I have run my Test program on the M5A97 for 24 hours already without the BSOD. The Mouse choked up but I saw that on the Z87 as well.

I am going to have to experiment with the Interrupt Handler in the ESDI_506.PDR Driver and maybe NVCORE.VXD as well.

This particular issue you wouldn't see since you do not have my SATA Patch, so you would not be able to use the affected Ports.

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After several days of experimenting, I think I have found the problem.

The NVidia Drivers appear to have an Interrupt handling problem. It appears that with a lot of activity, the Interrupt is being left in a masked state disabling further Interrupts.

The Mouse hangups are the direct result of this as the Mouse Driver appears to use the Graphics Interrupt to poll the Mouse. Without Interrupts, the Mouse only moves when a timeout occurs in it's Driver.
Disabling the Graphics Interrupt causes the same symptoms.
I was testing with a CLI Math Program so it cannot be caused by Resource depletion. 

On my MSI 970A, the same Interrupt was also shared with an USB Controller. I will investigate this further but it may explain why USB crashes occur as well.

The Hard Disk problem I have been working on would also be explained in the same manner, but I could find no solution by modifying it.
This problem only appears with my SATA Patch as the Unpatched Driver cannot be used with these Controllers.

I have written a VXD that cleans up the Interrupt Controller after each Interrupt has been processed. It has been working for several hours so far. No Disk Errors or Mouse Hangs. I should know by tomorrow if it works properly.

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Confirmed.

I removed my VXD from the Z87 and ran the test until the Mouse choked. The Graphics Card Interrupt was marked active. I sent an EOI to the Virtual PIC and the Mouse recovered.

The MSI 970A, with the VXD, has been running for more than 24 Hours without any Disk or Mouse problems.

When I release the VXD, I plan to add it to the NVSIZE Package. If there is enough interest I might offer it as a standalone package.

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Regarding ASRock 890FX-Deluxe5 (NB 890FX, SB 850, having SATA3):

I can confirm the problem (unresponsive mouse) and its visible symptoms (marked DMA-controller and motherboardressources) with that board. :(

The unresponsive behaviour happens on the PS/2 mouse port, as well as on an AddIn USB2 card.

(@RLoew: As i own your NVSize-package, i'd be delighted to become a beta-tester... ;-)

It appears, the 890FX chipset, with all it's bells and whistles, ist just a preliminary 9xx chipset (already SATA3, UEFI-bios, the first board to have full AMD-FX CPU support, etc.), and less of a, say, 870A.

The onboard Marvell makes W98SE hang during detection phase, so it has to be kept switched off.

The Onboard IDE (one channel) and especially the onboard floppy may proof helpful (although i never needed those).

I have to retest the onboard USB2 for functionality.

---

Regarding my GA-870A-USB3:

I'll now have to wait for my PS/2 / USB2 AddIn-card, which is on its way. If that works, that board is a real winner (which it already is, just some centimeters more for perfection)... :ph34r:
 

Edited by ragnargd

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That's it for my testing parcour, i don't think it makes sense to test more AM3+ boards. I'll now already start selling the less promising mainboards again (770/760G), and wait for RLoews work with the others.

Some research on existing boards is still ongoing, so it's too early for a resume - i'll do that in a more brief manner on a separate thread.

What can already be said, is, the GA-870A-USB3 (ATTENTION: only Rev 3.1 and above) with its 870A chipset stands out, as it:

- is stable out of the box

- can drive the fastest AMD-FX, and at least some of the AM3+ opterons

- can support different GPUs for different OSs with full speed, thanks to it perfect onboard control of the PCIe-slots (i love that!)

- does not need patches for SATA to work (keep W98SE and the ODD to port 5 and 6, set controller to "mixed mode enabled")

- although USB2 onbard does not work, it does not hang W98SE when switched on either (you have to disable legacy, though), so it can be used by any other OS in multiboot at least

- the onboard LAN 8111E could be utilized by an NDSI2-driver (i did not, as the board has enough PCIe 1x slots, so i took a 8111B for convenience)

- onboard USB3 for other OSes (although the missing front-connector is somewhat of a nuisance)

Challenges:

- you absolutely need a compatible USB2-AddIn card, as the board has only one PS/2 port. Installation of W98SE is thus "mouse-free", and W95 is out-of-the question... :-(

- you need an AddIn sound card. As i never used onboard sound because of missing EAX, personally, it don't count this as a problem. But: YMMV ... ;-)

Edited by ragnargd

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On 2016/5/29 at 4:06 PM, junior600 said:

Where did you find the usb's drivers? I managed to install windows 98 on my msi H97 PC Mate, but now there is a problem... No matter what I do, my usb mouse doesn't work properly.the mouse jumps around the screen , often to some random location.  I have tried another usb mouse but without any result. In device manager there are 3 question marks "usb universal serial bus". I think I must install a properly driver... The strange thing is that my usb keyboard works great. Even my flash drives work great.


 

 I think the problem occurs because Legacy USB device support in BIOS is not fully compatible with Windows 98. You can use PS/2 mouse instead, or try to find compatible USB mouse. AFAIK, a Japanese user said Logitech G300r works fine with ASRock Z97 Extreme4, and he solved the problem by replacing G502 with G300r.

My Logitech MX500 have the same problem, so I use its PS/2 converter. Besides, the USB 2.0 port on Asus A88X Gamer is compatible with USB 1.1, so I can install driver for OHCD USB Host Controller and USB mouse to solve the problem. I also use Maximus Decim Native USB ver.3.3 for EHCI USB Host Controller.

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GigaByte 890FX-Deluxe5 and ASRock 970 Pro3 R2.0 now run stable:

- with RLoew Interrupt-Fix for NVidia Driver.

-withOUT any patch with an ATI Radeon x800. AMD/ATI-Fanboys: Rejoyce!

I think it's time for my resume...

Edited by ragnargd

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There board with PS 2 mouse and keyboard support on 1 PS/2 port, but you need to have in BIOS explicit PS/2 Y cable support or something like that.

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