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IoI_xD

Forcing the video card to play nicely with the half-compatible motherboard in 98.

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Before I list the specs of the Windows 98 PC I'm building I want to confirm that this is very much the poor mans Windows 98 PC. Many of the parts here were either given to me for free or pulled from other computers. I don't have that much money, and on top of that I've spent almost three weeks trying to get this PC working. I'm really hoping that I can get Windows 98 working even with the half-compatible setup I have right now:

My setup is:

  • MOTHERBOARD: Intel Desktop Board D945GCFG1
  • PROCESSOR: 1.7GhZ Core Two Duo
  • GRAPHICS: Nvidia Geforce 5200FX
  • SOUND: Soundblaster Live!
  • RAM: 512MB
  • CASE: Cheap $30 ""GAMER"" plastic case I bought off of Ebay (that may as well be the actual name of the case because of how awful it is)
  • OTHER: 1.44MB Floppy Drive and an IDE CD-ROM

Almost everything on the computer works except for the CD-ROM (I'll get to that eventually, probably just a missing driver), the sound (also missing drivers, I'll get around to it once I get the graphics out of the way), and of course...the graphics card, which has conflicts with the motherboard (It can't access any of it's default memory ranges because the motherboard is using them, presumably.) The graphics card works, but until I solve the resource conflicts, it's stuck in 16 colors at 640x480. I tried changing the memory addresses that I could to ones that were avaliable, and it resulted in Windows giving me a protection error at boot, even after I renamed smartdrv.exe via safe mode. (It's important to note that I can never change the third set of memory addresses, as Windows always tells me that I'm unable to do so, without giving me an error explaining why. The Bootlog, which is attached the post, doesn't tell me much either). I tried disabling the motherboard resources, which Windows let me do without any errors, but it still complains about the resource conflicts (...even though they shouldn't be there). I tried swapping PCI slots, but I get the same error. I tried going into the BIOS to disable Onboard VGA, and I think I did it, but apparently the manual for this motherboard is just as unknown as the motherboard itself, so I have no idea how I'm actually supposed to do it (I just changed the default video to PCI). Speaking of the onboard VGA, it's either not designed for 98 or not designed for serious use, because it outputs only 640x480 at 16 colors (I assume the latter because when I install the drivers I get the extra option of outputting in 2 colors), so that's a no go. I really don't want to buy another video card - or worse, another motherboard.

Is there any reason why Windows won't just let me change those third memory addresses? How can I make Windows 98 just suck it up and make the video card work?

BOOTLOG.TXT

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You might be able to install a moderner OS like Vista and see that everything is OK. It will exercise as well and that will help if done for some time. In the BIOS settings under Standard CMOS Features, open the CD ROM and manually override the settings. I have been using the same hardware since 2012 with PIO 0 and MWDMA2. Do this for the HDD as well. I changed the DVD for a Blu-Ray several years ago though - same settings. These settings will still exceed the CD ROMs read speed and give a throughput of 14 MB/s on the Blu-Ray and 23 MB/s on the old IDE drive. It means that the HDD might be able to say, are we there yet instead of the motherboard asking are you there yet continuously. It is more healthy for the components. If you up the speed slightly with higher BIOS access timing and HDD bench on a write does not improve, then you know you have gone far enough. The FX5200 will be a bottle neck though and my FX5500 would only give a fraction of a frame rate per second on Ancient Wars: Sparta. It was a good game cheat though. This was with modern OS. I think the new cards that are supplied may still very hard to get going and need the very best of hardware to push them. There was an improvement at the end of the line when the transistor size dropped say the HD4770 , and that one did operate reliably. With the moderner OS you  can check that the card is OK and the RAM can be checked for hard faults. I have manually set the timings in BIOS to be sure that it is OK. 667 5 6 6 15 are my RAM settings but my board G31 still needs good RAM and second hand may be just off loads but now it might be better as old hardware is not used.

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Is the GeForce FX5200 a PCI card?

Try re-installing 98SE with the "/p i" switch to disable ACPI, that might resolve some issues.

Have you tried all PCI slots for the Sound Card/GPU?

Try using the 45.23 drivers for the NVIDIA card here (the newest ones are not ideal) : https://http.download.nvidia.com/Windows/45.23/45.23_win9x_international.exe

For the sound card, use these drivers from our site!: https://msfn.org/board/topic/115903-compilation-of-creative-sound-blaster-live-drivers-for-windows-9x/

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10 hours ago, MrMateczko said:

Try re-installing 98SE with the "/p i" switch to disable ACPI, that might resolve some issues.

Try using the 45.23 drivers for the NVIDIA card here (the newest ones are not ideal) : https://http.download.nvidia.com/Windows/45.23/45.23_win9x_international.exe

For the sound card, use these drivers from our site!: https://msfn.org/board/topic/115903-compilation-of-creative-sound-blaster-live-drivers-for-windows-9x/

I don't know which of the solutions worked, but I have 256 colors now! Thank you so so much!! As for the sound card, I installed the drivers, but I don't have sound. Is there some sort of jumper settings I'm supposed to set?

15 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

In the BIOS settings under Standard CMOS Features, open the CD ROM and manually override the settings.

I don't see any Standard CMOS Features in the BIOS. Where else might it be? It's certainly not in Drive Configuration.

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Posted (edited)

It may not be adjustable but I thought it would being a board of this quality. If you get it working it will be fast and an upgraded CPU will be a good idea while some are still left at low prices. Have to be very careful to choose the right CPU type, look closely at pictures of underside as some sellers have it wrong. I have not seen Drive Configuration in the BIOS before. The CD ROM should show if it is connected. The first or second section down from the top in the BIOS settings should show Primary IDE etcetera and the drives connected should be there.. Select the actual CD or HDD for a new page of settings. You have turned off the inboard graphics by selecting disable Onboard VGA. F10 to save.

Edited by Goodmaneuver

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15 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

It may not be adjustable but I thought it would being a board of this quality. If you get it working it will be fast and an upgraded CPU will be a good idea while some are still left at low prices. Have to be very careful to choose the right CPU type, look closely at pictures of underside as some sellers have it wrong. I have not seen Drive Configuration in the BIOS before. The CD ROM should show if it is connected. The first or second section down from the top in the BIOS settings should show Primary IDE etcetera and the drives connected should be there.. Select the actual CD or HDD for a new page of settings. You have turned off the inboard graphics by selecting disable Onboard VGA. F10 to save.

The CD ROM is connected, but the BIOS doesn't allow me to click on the CD ROM of change any settings for it.
Here's a video I made of the BIOS:

 

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Posted (edited)

When I looked on the web I copied and pasted but returned a mobile CPU desktop board. I did not check back to see if board model was correct so the last post of mine if did not make sense then that is the reason. Yes there is no adjustment of access timings. I bought a USB Blu-Ray burner about 7 years ago and it was not a bad price, they are about $80 minimum now. DVD USB burners can be bought for about $20 minimum. In the old days it was not good for the IDE controller chip to have some devices connected with 16 bit access in BIOS and some with 32 on the IDE ports. It will not be the case with yours as you only have one but if BIOS is trying to drive CD drive too fast it may connect with 16 bit access. This might help but take a copy of scanreg results before trying to fix conflicts. https://msfn.org/board/topic/181107-windows-98se-and-nforce-2-change-chipset/?do=findComment&comment=1176842 

Edited by Goodmaneuver

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Intel-branded motherboards later than the D875PBZ are garbage for Windows 9x. The proprietary Intel BIOS is useless for configuring anything of importance, and many things are not configured in a 9x-friendly way, leading to various odd incompatibilities and errors. Third-party boards based on Intel chipsets are usually fine, especially if they use AWARD BIOS.

Several years ago rloew and I spent many hours experimenting with some Intel boards similar to this one.. in fact one was a D945GCCR. Also included a D945GTP, a DP43TF, DP45SG, and a couple of others I can't remember offhand. All of these exhibited some strange issues under 9x; resource conflicts, problems using video cards, hangs when loading USB2 drivers, etc etc. Third-party boards (Gigabyte/MSI/etc) using AWARD BIOS based on these same chipsets did not exhibit these problems.

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If a DOS app was written to read the chipset registers, boards of different makes could be compared.

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Most of my sound cards were faulty and would not work on a moderner OS. A cheap USB sound card, one that has 3D written on it near the USB plug, I bought several of these and they all worked. Sound is good.

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On 4/1/2020 at 8:36 PM, jumper said:

If a DOS app was written to read the chipset registers, boards of different makes could be compared.

Do you want a DOS app to read out PCI registers?

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Sure.

 

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You can try Craig Hart's PCI-AGP Sniffer.

The DOS-version is updated up to 2002, but will take 2007' PCIDEVS.TXT from the PCI32 version on Majorgeeks. A few years ago I used this PCIDEVS.TXT to read out HD-Audio PCI-controller registers. 

After a short experiment it seems to me the DOS-version accepts other / newer PCIDEVS.TXT to, like the 2018 version here. https://ecsoft2.org/pciagp-bus-sniffer-ids2devs

PCI-E Devices are identified too.

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My link is working on Android/Chrome :P

Your link gives the same file as far I can judge :ph34r:

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